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Where to See This Year's Oscar Contenders in NYC

Oscar season is upon us, and New York City is the best place you could be to catch up with all the year’s most celebrated films.

Los Angeles may be the center of the moviemaking universe, but when it comes to getting the ultimate moviegoing experience, it’s hard to beat New York City. With everything from super divey arthouse cinemas to ultra-luxurious setups complete with reclining leather chairs and cocktails, NYC has a theater for everyone’s taste. As is often the case, the closing months of 2017 are serving up some of the best movies of the year — so we’ve assembled a definitive guide of films you need to see before the 90th edition of the Academy Awards.

1. Lady Bird

November 3
Angelika Film Center, 18 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

An inescapable presence in American independent cinema over the last six or seven years, Greta Gerwig makes her solo directorial debut with the heavily autobiographical Lady Bird. 23-year-old Saoirse Ronan stars as the Gerwig stand-in, and looks all but guaranteed to secure her third Academy Award nomination come January (watch out, Meryl!). The film’s trailer opens with Ronan’s character proclaiming, “I hate California, I want to go to the east coast. I want to go where culture is, like New York,” and there’s no better place to revel in this kind of unabashed NYC appreciation than NoHo’s storied Angelika Film Center.

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

November 10
AMC Empire 25, 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Another strong contender for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role nod, Frances McDormand — who took home the prize in 1995 for her indelible performance in Fargo — stars alongside Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell in Martin McDonagh’s darkly comedic Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. If three billboards aren’t quite enough for you, the AMC Empire 25 is just steps from Times Square, where you are sure to get more than your fill.

3. A Fantastic Woman

November 17
Angelika Film Center, 18 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

If you’re not intimidated by subtitles (or if you’re a Spanish speaker), consider Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman. Not only is it Chile’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film, A Fantastic Woman has already won Best Screenplay at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. What’s more, this is a rare film in which a transgender character is actually portrayed by a trans performer, with second-time actress (and first-time lead) Daniela Vega delivering a truly heart-wrenching performance.

4. Call Me By Your Name

November 24
The Paris Theatre, 4 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

As soon as it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name catapulted to the front of the Best Picture pack. Heralded by many as “2017’s Moonlight” — not only because its plot revolves around a burgeoning romance between two young men, but also because it just might ride a wave of critical raves all the way to top honors at the Academy Awards — Call Me By Your Name is a brilliant contemporary riff on the classic summer romance story.

Itself a perfect blend of old and new, the historic Paris Theatre — Manhattan’s only remaining single-screen cinema — looks to be the perfect venue to catch Guadagnino’s latest masterpiece. You can even stroll across the street to Central Park if the film’s Italian Riviera setting makes you yearn for a little natural beauty.

5. The Shape of Water

December 1
Angelika Film Center, 18 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

If any filmmaker knows how to make a creature feature with some heart and soul, it’s Guillermo del Toro. His latest film, The Shape of Water, took top honors at the Venice Film Festival in September, and features a never-better Sally Hawkins playing a mute janitor who works in a top-secret Cold War-era government laboratory that’s home to a mysterious — and ultimately quite charming — Creature From the Black Lagoon-esque humanoid amphibian.

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

December 15
AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13, 1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

This one, of course, needs no introduction, and while it’s unlikely to snag nominations in any of the major categories, it’s sure to receive some love from the technical branches of the Academy. With a film like this, the quality of the theatrical experience is what matters most, and there’s no better blockbuster-ready screen in NYC than the main auditorium at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13. The only true IMAX experience in the city, AMC Lincoln Square’s 600-person theater boasts an 80’ x 100’ screen and one of the most bombastic sound systems you will ever have the pleasure of experiencing.

7. Phantom Thread

December 25
Location TBD

When Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement from acting in June, the film world collectively uttered a tremendous cry of dismay. If Day-Lewis is indeed through with Hollywood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread will be the last time we get to see him work his magic on the big screen. The pair’s last collaboration, There Will Be Blood, landed Day-Lewis a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Oscar as well as one of the most iconic one-liners in recent history, and Phantom Thread has the potential to be a late-breaking contender in any number of Academy Award categories.

Make the Most of Your Trip

If you want to see several of these great films but are worried about fitting them into your already packed itinerary, never fear! Affinia is offering a special deal: an extra night free if you book a two- or three-night stay, at no extra cost to you. Being a true cinephile is as time-consuming as it is rewarding, but we’re ready to help you make the most out of your New York film experience.

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