A Crash Course In The Movies Nominated For Golden Globes

Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment.
Now that we've all accepted the fact that another white guy will be hosting another awards show in 2017, it's time to get over it and start really understanding all the movies that are nominated for a Golden Globe.

In total, there are 23 movies (excluding foreign language and animated films) nominated for a Golden Globe — that's a lot of movies to get familiar with in less than two weeks. The films range from obscure (The Lobster) to mainstream (La La Land), from drama (Fences) to comedy (War Dogs).

While there's no better way to expand your film knowledge than by going to see the films themselves (Seriously, go! Seeing movies is fun!), it's the end of the year and we're all busy, so I've summed up everything you need to know about the nominated actors and films right here. These are the finest films of the year, so let's get to know them a little better. All this new knowledge will also come in handy when the Oscars roll around in February.

The question remains: Are you ready to be a millennial movie critic? A patron of the arts? A cinephile, as they say? If so, grab your popcorn, plug in your headphones, and let's get started.

The 74th annual Golden Globes air Sunday, January 8 at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC.

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1 of 24
20th Century Women (2016)
Set in the 1970s, this film is may be narrated by a hormonal teenage boy (Lucas Jade Zumann), but, as the title promises, its all about the women. Although only one of the three amazing leading ladies (Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning) is nominated, each embodied a generation of females with ease and accuracy. This is a drama for those who love strong characters, emotional angst, and, well, twentieth century women.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Annette Bening)
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Arrival (2016)
Amy Adams makes sure this is not your average alien movie. The thriller-drama (adapted from a short story) is surprisingly moving and deeply personal. And the score? It's effectively perfect for the mysterious and breathtaking landscapes, and the last scenes will leave you questioning everything you know about the movie (and yourself). It may even leave you in a state of metaphysical crisis.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Amy Adams)
Best Original Score
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Captain Fantastic (2016)
Viggo Mortensen plays a vagabond father who raises his gaggle of children off the grid somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. This comedy-drama focuses on the highs and lows of going against the norm. It's funny, quirky, and it made Mortensen become a surprise favorite for his charming performance.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama (Viggo Mortensen)
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Deadpool (2016)
Plot twist: Deadpool may win Ryan Reynolds some Golden Globes. Who knew? This expletive-filled superhero move is more about revenge, regret, and one-liners than it is about acting heroic, but that's what makes it so good. Also, there's a pegging scene.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Reynolds)
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The Edge Of Seventeen (2016)
Hailee Steinfeld shines as an out-of-luck and "Ugh, my life sucks!" teenager trying to figure out her place in her family, high school, and life. Everything may be the worst for our main character, but Steinfeld's performance is near perfection. Many critics felt a pang of nostalgia seeing Steinfeld as the awkward Nadine trying to navigate her emotions.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Hailee Steinfeld)
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Elle (2016)
French actress Isabelle Huppert is the Meryl Streep of Europe, having delivered flawless and memorable performances throughout her lucrative career. But for many Americans who aren't film critics, she may be the one name you don't know on the list. In this (somewhat controversial) film, Huppert plays Elle, a middle-aged woman who is raped outside her home in the first scene. From there, the movie chronicles her days combining black comedy satire with intense drama.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture (Isabelle Huppert)
Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
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Fences (2016)
Go ahead and roll out the red carpet for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. At least, that's what many critics are saying. The movie is adapted from a 1983 play of the same name, written by American playwright August Wilson. Davis and Washington have already won awards for their roles in the play during its Broadway revival in 2010, which means they know how to act the hell out of their on-screen characters. Washington also directed the adaptation and the lack of a nomination in that category has some critics upset. (Especially after seeing Mel Gibson's name show up. Boo.)

Nominated for two Golden Globes:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
(Denzel Washington)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Viola Davis)
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Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
Is anything with Meryl Streep not a crowd favorite? Unlike many of the movies on this list, Florence Foster Jenkins is a fun, lighthearted story of the real Jenkins, a notable socialite and performer who had a notoriously bad singing voice. Grant's nomination was a bit of a shock, but it's undeniable that the movie is a treat for viewers.

Nominated for four Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
(Hugh Grant)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Meryl Streep)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Simon Helberg)
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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
This is Andrew Garfield's year to be starved, suffering, and pushed to the edge of survival. He is the lead in two films (Hacksaw Ridge and Silence) and in both, he carries the ensemble cast. Some think this means the former Spider-Man is due for an Oscar. Others are too caught up with the fact that Mel Gibson's name is in the nominations.

Nominated for three Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
(Andrew Garfield)
Best Director (Mel Gibson)
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Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden Figures hits you right in the ovaries, because it's a tale of true female empowerment. It tells the true (little known) story of the three Black women that basically saved NASA in the 1960s. It's hard to peel off just one of the three leading ladies to nominate (because they're all so deserving), but Octavia Spencer has been a critical fave ever since her role in The Help. As for the original score, it's just as upbeat and happy — a nod to the feel good Motown beats of the time.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Octavia Spencer)
Best Original Score
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Hell Or High Water (2016)
Two brothers, played by a blue-eyed Chris Pine and an angry Ben Foster, are hell-bent on robbing the bank that is due to foreclose their farm in this emotional drama. And what's a modern-age Western heist movie without a little cameo from the wonderful Jeff Bridges as a wise, aging Texas Ranger? Less talked about than the other movies nominated for Best Motion Picture, this film appeals to the action-movie lovers, as well as one who enjoys the wild antics of a vengeful family.

Nominated for three Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Jeff Bridges)
Best Screenplay
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Jackie (2016)
In Jackie, Natalie Portman expertly portrays a roller coaster of emotions in a way that only an Oscar-winning actress could. The movie, which takes place during a microscopic amount of time (only the few days following John F. Kennedy's assassination), is really a psychological analysis of grief, resilience, and the strength of one powerful woman, Jackie Onassis Kennedy.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
(Natalie Portman)
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La La Land (2016)
There's a lot to say about La La Land, the musical standout from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle. To begin with, Ryan Gosling is fantastic as Sebastian, a melancholy jazz obsessee who falls for Emma Stone's character, Mia, a struggling-yet-determined actress. While critics have their wavering opinions about details of the plot (Why is Gosling, a white man, mansplaining jazz for half the film? Is Stone really a good enough dancer for this role? etc.) there's no denying that this film is sweet, thoughtful, and a special treat for the eyes and the ears.

Nominated for seven Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling)
Best Director (Damien Chazelle)
Best Screenplay
Best Original Song, "City of Stars"
Best Original Score
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Lion (2016)
A story of one man's desire to learn about his roots and his past has become one of the most heartwarming films of the year, because of the palpable chemistry between the actors, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, who are each nominated for a Golden Globe. In the words of one of our film writers: "Lion is the incredible, hard-to-believe-it's-true kind of story that grabs hold of your heartstrings from the first scene and doesn't let go until after the credits roll."

Nominated for four Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama (Dev Patel)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Nicole Kidman)
Best Original Score
15 of 24
The Lobster (2016)
This offbeat film is a dystopian tale masked as a romantic comedy. Colin Farrell plays the main character, David, who, after being left by his wife, is taken to a hotel where he must reveal what animal he wants to be turned into (a lobster) if he is unable to find love within 45 days. The Los Angeles Times calls the combination "its own brand of horror movie, as well as a deranged thought experiment, a stealth love story, and a witty dismantling of the usual barriers separating man from beast." Phew.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
(Colin Farrell)
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Loving (2016)
Another one of those hard-to-believe-it's-true-stories is Loving, but for every different reasons than other true story movies that are nominated (Lion and War Dogs). Loving is a heartbreaking story of the struggle of a biracial couple who are just trying to live their lives together. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are flawless as the couple (they really look like the real-life ones, too), so it's no surprise seeing both their names on the Best Performance list.

Nominated for two Golden Globes:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Joel Edgerton) Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture (Ruth Negga)
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Manchester By The Sea (2016)
Be ready to cry in this one. Casey Affleck, whose name has been in the forefront of Oscar conversation because of disturbing sexual assault accusations, gives a jarring and compelling performance as a depressed and lost anti-family man, Lee Chandler, struggling to do the right thing for his nephew, Patrick, played by the equally impressive Lucas Hedges. (Watch out for him! He is great.) The New York Times expertly describes the movie as "a finely shaded portrait, a study of individual misery set in a place that is observed with care and affection."

Nominated for five Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama (Casey Affleck)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Drama (Michelle Williams)
Best Director (Kenneth Lonergan)
Best Screenplay
18 of 24
Miss Sloane (2016)
In Miss Sloane, the talented and intense Jessica Chastain plays the title character, Elizabeth Sloane, a talented, ruthless, and formidable D.C. lobbyist who is as smart as she is devious. Following Chastain's highly-praised performance as the kickass CIA analyst in Zero Dark Thirty, Miss Sloane is an ideal follow-up who-needs-a-man-in-charge role.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Jessica Chastain)
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Moonlight (2016)
Is it possible for a movie to be so intense, yet subdued? So intense, yet effortless? So palpable, yet weightless? Oh, Moonlight, you leave me at a loss for words. This film is special for so many reasons: For its main character, Chiron, played by three incredibly talented actors (none of whom are nominated, unfortunately) that brilliantly portray three distinct times in the his life, making one of the softest and sweetest characters to be brought to life this year. His delicacy is best displayed when he is around, or talking about, his father figure, played by Mahershala Ali (give him all the awards!). The film's director, Barry Jenkins, should go ahead and start clearing out some new space on his mantle.

Nominted for six Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Naomie Harris)
Best Director (Barry Jenkins)
Best Screenplay
Best Original Score
20 of 24
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Tom Ford is way more than just a dapper clothing, accessory, and makeup mastermind. He also has a talent for writing, cinematography, and costume design. Nocturnal Animals is the second film from Ford, exploring the relationship between a posh gallery owner and her ex-husband, a novelist, who sends her a copy of a manuscript of his new novel — a lightly-veiled story about a fictional family mirroring their own lives. It's a story within a story that is hauntingly beautiful, with tragedy on both ends.

Nominated for three Golden Globes:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)
Best Director (Tom Ford)
Best Screenplay
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Rules Don't Apply (2016)
This is Warren Beatty’s gift to 2016. Beatty, an iconic actor and director, has had his time in the forefront of cinematic culture, but he's re-emerged in his late 70s with a taste of the '80s Hollywood, portraying another icon, the wealthy and reclusive entrepreneur Howard Hughes. While the movie as a whole doesn't quite mesh with the state of 2016, according to reviews, it's interesting to see Beatty portraying Hughes while surrounded by other big names including Annette Bening (Beatty's wife), Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, and the nominated Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins). She nabbed the nomination for her wide-eyed and innocent performance as a young lady who garners the attention of Hughes and is eager for a future in film. It is, in a word, meta.

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe:
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Lily Collins)
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Sing Street (2016)
The surprise nomination for the jovial juvenielle musical, Sing Street, has left many adding it to their queue to watch before the Globes and Oscars. It's refreshing to see two actual musicals nominated in this category. The film tells the story of two brothers, a fellow group of stifled young school mates, and a denim-clad girl, who form a rock band with dreams of leaving their small town (ad school) behind, and becoming the next Duran Duran. Roger Ebert even gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Plus, the film's original song, "Drive It Like You Stole It," is one for the books.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
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War Dogs (2016)
This movie wasn't a standout of the year (although the Rolling Stone article it's based on is definitely worth a read), but Jonah Hill's portrayal of Efraim Diveroli was pretty impressive. The cocky attitude, the boastful mannerisms, and the subtle flashiness of his character is what earned him the nom, even though he shared much of his screen time with Miles Teller, who played his childhood friend and business partner.

Nominated for one Golden Globe:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Jonah Hill)
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