Entertainment

What you should be watching based on what's cleaning up this awards season

Your 2018 viewing list sorted.

By Emma Land

With the proliferation of on demand viewing services, it can sometimes be a question of too much choice. What should we watch? What's rating well? Is Stranger Things really all it's cracked up to be? (The answer is yes, apparently).

Well, thanks to awards season kicking off already, we've been given a pretty good indication of what the must-watch movies and television shows are for 2018.

So here we go. Prepare to binge watch at home and lose yourself in the magic of movies.

Movie: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took out the best drama category at this week's Golden Globes, and by all accounts is a frontrunner to win the Oscar.

Boasting an all-star cast of Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson, the film is about a grieving mother (McDormand) searching for justice for her daughter's killer.

It has been getting rave reviews across the globe, with the UK's Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin describing it as "a film that continually forces you to interrogate your own reactions to it – both in terms of what you're laughing at and why."

Given the dark comedy was written, produced, and directed by Martin McDonagh who brought us 2008's brilliant In Bruges, we can see why. That was a film about a hitman with suicidal thoughts and yet somehow he managed to make it funny. Uncomfortably so.

This is a must-watch for us. It is screening in cinemas now.

Television: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Amazon Prime is a relative newcomer to the streaming market, but they've hit a winner with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which scooped the Best TV series, Comedy award at the Golden Globes. Its lead actress, Rachel Brosnahan from House of Cards fame, also won her for performance.

It tells the story of a 1950's housewife who, after an unexpected life turn, discovers her talent for stand-up comedy. If you enjoyed the period costumes and full moment-in-time immersion of Mad Men, this one won't disappoint.

Amazon have released the full first episode to watch for free. The rest of the season is available to view on-account.

Movie: Lady Bird

Described by the New York Times as 'big-screen perfection', Lady Bird won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan, who viewers might best remember for her chilling portrayal of a murder victim in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.

The film, also nominated in a slew of categories at the upcoming Critics Choice Awards, is a coming-of-age story based around the difficult relationship between a daughter (Ronan) and her mother (Laurie Metcalf).

Lady Bird is due to be released in New Zealand cinemas in mid-February.

Movie: The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro took out the Best Director gong at the Golden Globes for this fantasy picture in which a mute cleaning lady in a 1960's top-secret research facility falls in love with a creature from the deep.

Del Toro, known for his whimsical and fantasy-driven movies, was influenced by the cult classic Creature from the Black Lagoon when penning the script.

It has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the Critics Choice Awards and is also nominated for 12 awards at the BAFTAS including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Expect to see it listed in plenty of categories when the Oscar nominations come out at the end of the month.

Television: The Handmaid's Tale

To quote the promotional material, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of an 'oppressive society run by Christian fundamentalists who force all fertile women into a breeding programme.'

Quite the interesting premise for a television show!

Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and Top of the Lake fame plays the central character. She took out the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes and the series also won Best Television Series, Drama at the Globes.

The Handmaid's Tale is currently available to stream on Lightbox.

Movie: In the Fade

In the Fade took out Best Foreign Film at the Globes and a hot contender for an Oscar nomination too.

Starring Diane Kruger, the German film has pretty heavy subject matter. It is loosely based on a real-life series of killings that took place six years ago. Kruger plays a grieving mother, a performance which won her best actress at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

You'll need to keep an eye out for this one - it doesn't yet have a scheduled release date in New Zealand.