Awards season contenders ranked by their posters

Which of these official promotional images do you think is most deserving of awards glory?


Rebecca Speare-Cole

With awards season fast approaching, and because Hollywood loves nothing move than to celebrate surface beauty, we’ve lined up some of the year’s big hopefuls and ranked them according to how visually appealing their official promotional assets are. If you’ve got a favourite 2016/17 movie poster that isn’t featured below, let us know @LWLies

11. Arrival

This sleek poster doesn’t explicitly suggest aliens, yet from the imposing monolithic shape, title and tagline we know just what to expect from Denis Villeneuve’s low-key sci-fi drama. The subtlety with which Arrival’s poster positions the film is as mysterious and original as the film itself.

10. Lion

Perhaps not the most original composition or tagline, yet Dev Patel’s frowning face definitely gives Lion’s poster an implication of high stakes and solid determination. Patel’s curly lion mane locks suggest a hint of Samson-like inner strength. We could have done without the random search engine bar cutting right across the centre though.

9. Fences

Although Fences was not shot in black-and-white, this fine looking monochrome poster eloquently conveys a sense of time and history. And with a powerhouse acting duo like Denzel Washington and Viola Davis front and centre, it would be pretty difficult not to stop and take notice.

8. La La Land

Emma Stone’s bright yellow dress contrasts beautifully with the deep blue-purple sky, and there’s a certain dreamy quality afforded by the glowing street lamp and twinkling stars above. Although there is something of a mannequin challenge feel to the pair’s mid-dance pose.

7. Silence

Minus the crashing waves, there is very little noise in this poster for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Jesuit drama. With its gloomy palette and clever framing of Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver’s characters within Liam Neeson’s strong, embattled frame, this almost ethereal image suggests so much without actually giving anything away.

6. Sully

We get the plane, we get the Hudson River, and we get Tom Hanks as Captain Sully, but there’s so much more to this poster for Clint Eastwood’s true-life drama than meets the eye. A perfect example of a deceptively simple composition.

5. Loving

Besides the rather corny ‘all love is created equal’ tagline, and the slightly contrived pose of Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, the poster for Jeff Nichols’ Loving has an irresistible romantic warmth to it, with its attractive blend of natural light and soft sepia tones. Its impact again comes from its simplicity, suggesting two people who love each other deeply.

4. 20th Century Women

For a film entitled 20th Century Women, it’s something of a surprise to see two men in the group of five featured on this poster. But Mike Mills’ film is about relationships, and the eye-catching placement of various ’70s-era photographs hints at both the period and setting. A sumptuously sunny, analogue-tinged snap of an everyday family scene that perfectly captures the film’s heartwarming essence.

3. Manchester by the Sea

This poster for Manchester by the Sea can get a tick for being aesthetically pleasing. At first glance, the cosy scene of pebbles and seagulls gives the poster a Nicholas Sparks feel. However, the cold seaside setting, Affleck’s downcast gaze and the awkward space between the two central figures is enough to suggest what is in fact an emotionally raw modern masterpiece.

2. Jackie

It’s hard to miss this striking, deep red vision of Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy – a straight to the point statement that this is a biopic. Seeing red immediately conjures up associations with the former First Lady’s blood-splattered dress after her husband’s assassination in 1963, alluding to the inherent tragedy of this 20th century icon.

1. Moonlight

This striking neon-hued portrait comprises the three different lead actors in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. The faces are neatly spliced together, with jarring triangular shapes offsetting the separate shades of pink, purple and turquoise. The boyish innocence, bloodied nose and intense stare all capture the disparate yet ultimately singular thread of one person’s “story of a lifetime”.

Published 30 Nov 2016

Tags: Academy Awards Awards season Oscars

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