Hollywood’s biggest night is the Super Bowl for non-sporty folk, an opportunity to get drunk on a Sunday and collectively scream at the TV. This year, the Academy nominated nine movies for Best Picture, humbly requesting that you spend approximately 27 hours consuming the content. We realize you may happen to have a life outside of the movie theater, so we at Someecards are here to help with cheat sheets for the five Best Picture nominees you need to know about to fake your way through an Oscars watch-party.
Following our rundown on the one that will win—La La Land—here is everything to know about the one that should win: Moonlight.
What Happens in Moonlight
Kids grow up so fast—and in Moonlight, we see Chiron grow from up from boy to teen to adult in 111 minutes. It's a coming-of-age story that will relate to anyone who has ever come of age before. It's sad that it took a century of cinema to finally get to see the struggles of being black, poor, and gay all at once on screen, but Moonlight finally brings the issues to light for a wide audience.
Like an episode of This American Life (or, you know, a play), it is divided into three acts.
Act I: Little
- Chiron, then a little kid called "Little" because of his size, meets Juan, a drug dealer who truly has a heart of gold, and becomes his surrogate father, Juan teaches him how to swim, and that if he's gay, it's okay. His mother calls him the F-word in a harrowing sequence over instrumental music and powerful lighting that'll make you resent the color fuchsia.
Act II: Chiron
- Chiron, now a teenager, continues to be bullied by his peers. He's still close with Juan's girlfriend Teresa, but we find out that Juan has died somewhere between Acts I and II, which really isn't fair. Chiron has a sexual encounter with his childhood friend, Kevin, but later Kevin is recruited to beat him up as part of a hazing ritual. Chiron whacks the kid who pressured Kevin with a chair, and then we see him escorted into a police car.
Act III: Black
- Years later, Chiron is a drug dealer in Atlanta going by the name "Black." While physically very strong and buff, he is still sensitive and sad. One night he receives a call from Kevin, who apologizes for his actions as a teenager. Chiron drives down to Miami to see Kevin, who works in a diner. Later at Kevin's apartment, Chiron confesses that he had not been intimate with anyone else since Kevin, let alone another man. They embrace. But do they kiss? We don't know.
If you liked the technicolors and musical drive of La La Land, you’d love them in a movie that means something!
Smart things to say about Moonlight
“Some people are calling this ‘Black Boyhood,’ but it’s not about boyhood. It’s about manhood.”
"Mahershala Ali's performance is truly exemplary. He's only in the first third, but his presence is felt the whole movie."
“Hot take: Mahershala Ali isn’t in this movie long enough to warrant an Oscar.”
“I, like, ‘shipped Chiron and Kevin so hard. They better have hooked up.”
"This film doesn't give us a clean, tidy resolution because life doesn't give us a clean, tidy resolution."
"Fact: Paula, Chiron's mom, is based on both screenwriter/director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarrell Alvin McCraney's moms."
"This is an important movie for Trump's America. We have racial, socio-economic issues for Trump and dangerous homophobia for Pence."
"Almost all of the world's problems can be tracked back to an oppressive definition of masculinity that destroys individuals and communities alike."
How to pretend you've seen all the 2017 Oscars Best Picture nominee: La La Land.