The much-awaited award ceremony is almost here and we can’t wait to see who wins. The Oscars have always been the gold standard for good international and American cinema. So you can say with some certainty that the nominated films are worth a watch. Of course, there have been times when the Academy has received backlash for not including some important films or personages but, in general, it has been held in high regard. And if you’re wondering which of the films are worth your time, we’re here with our list of recommendations of must-watches.

1. The Shape Of Water

This film has received rave reviews as it explores the concept of forbidden love. A mute young woman finds unexpected love in a monster, who the government wants to exploit. Their unlikely but heartwarming relationship tugs at your heartstrings while the film makes an important point about inclusion and discrimination.

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The film that has the world applauding, Three Billboards is a hard-hitting masterpiece. It tells the tragic story of a mother who wants justice for her daughter’s unsolved rape and murder. She calls attention to her daughter’s forgotten case by putting up three huge billboards questioning her town’s sheriff about it. The film has already won many awards at the Golden Globes and BAFTA this year, so you know it’s a good film.

3. Lady Bird

Nominated for five awards, Lady Bird has been sweeping audiences with its touching, real performances and story. It follows the coming-of-age story of Christine, a troubled teenager, who not only has trouble fitting in at school, but also shares a turbulent relationship with her single mother.

4. Get Out

A horror film that explores racial tension, this film is guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. It’s already won many accolades and is sure to win at least a handful of Oscars.

5. The Post

This film will remind you why Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are such great actors. The story of journalism during a war, this film will resonate with Indian audiences too as the state of good journalism in our country is in jeopardy as well. Plus, Streep’s character as a woman in power in a male-dominated world is brilliantly portrayed.

6. On Body And Soul

A Hungarian film, nominated under the Foreign Films category, this will make you question your perception about love. Two unlikely colleagues find that they have been destined to be together, through their dreams.

7. Mudbound

A heartbreaking tale of a civil war-era America, this film explores the issue of racism and war through the eyes of two soldiers – one black and one white. There have been many films made in this genre but this is one of the few that looks at one issue from multiple angles.

8. The Big Sick

This is comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s true story about how he met his wife and fell in love with her, only to see her meet with an accident and slip into a temporary coma. Funny, witty, and heartfelt, the film explores the issue of inter-racial couples and how Nanjiani won over his wife’s parents.

9. Darkest Hour

A retelling of Winston Churchill’s early years as Prime Minister, this film has been touted for its powerful performances – especially Gary Oldman’s.

10. I, Tonya

Another film that has been receiving rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, I, Tonya is a must-watch. It is based on the true story of Tonya Harding, America’s star Olympic figure skater, and her career that was embroiled in controversy from start to finish.

Happy binging and here’s hoping the best film wins.