Look around. Do you see? Better movies are starting to find their way to theaters, after months of a creative, cultural drought. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, ticket buyers can actually choose from big-ticket franchise efforts (Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) to crowd-pleasing animated features (Moana). And in addition, the Oscar contenders are finally starting to reach larger audiences. Moonlight, Loving, Nocturnal Animals and Manchester By The Sea and joining films like Allied, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge and Bleed for This at multiplexes. It's a magical time of year.
This also means that Oscar analysts (myself included) are seeing more films, and the charts below can tighten up as mysterious films start to show their cards. Silence just released a trailer, and a few other movies have yet to fully pull back their curtains, but the majority of the playing field has been revealed as we head into Thanksgiving weekend. The Broadcast Film Critics Association will have their nominees on the table soon. The Indie Spirit Awards just revealed their nominees. And major regional critics groups, from New York to Los Angeles, will help make the larger Oscar picture a little more refined in coming weeks.
For the moment, here's where I think everyone stands: