Best Bets for Independent Classic and Foreign Films:


Museum of Fine Arts


Coolidge Corner Theatre
3 screens


Kendall Theatre
Kendall Square
9 screens

Brattle Theatre
Harvard Square


Embassy Theatre
6 screens


West Newton Cinema
6 screens


 La La Land


It’s a huge musical love story, with two beautiful headliners (Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling) and incredible imagery (it was shot during magic hour). La La Land is a front-runner for best picture, a likely winner of a Golden Globe for best comedy/musical and more. 


The 13th


Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary delves into Michelle Alexander’s award-winning book The New Jim Crow. With research and original interviews, DuVernay brings Alexander’s thesis to life: America’s prison policies continue a system of racial discrimination that dates back to slavery. While it might not win for best documentary — O.J.’s Made in America is another front-runner — this is one you don’t want to miss.

  1. Did you know it’s named after the constitutional amendment that banned slavery?
  2. You should really read “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” by Ta-Nehisi Coates before or after watching. 
  3. It’s so interesting that this came out the same year as Luke Cage (Netflix). Remember, Luke was billed as the superhero we need in 2016: a bulletproof Black man. 
  4. Today, the U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prisoners. 


Kenneth Lonergan’s film about Massachusetts, a dead father, a fuckup uncle and a guardian dispute sounds kind of terrible on paper. Or like cringe – not in the way Collateral Beauty sounds bad. But it’s immaculately executed. Massachusetts looks beautiful, the young Lucas Hedges delivers a great performance, and the dialogue is tear-jerking. It’s a front-runner for best picture.

  1. Lucas Hedges, who plays one of the leads … is one of those kids in Moonrise Kingdom that everyone dresses up as for Halloween.
  2. Ever wonder what happened to Miss Rhode Island from Miss Congeniality? She’s Sandy’s mom in Manchester now! 
  3. Manchester by the Sea was a huge Sundance hit. But it wasn’t as lauded coming out of Sundance as Birth of a Nation, which is not likely to win best picture. 
  4. Seriously, why haven’t sexual assault allegations hurt Casey Affleck’s Oscar bid? He denied the allegations but reportedly settled them for $2 million!
  5. Kenneth Lonergan, the screenwriter, says he wears a watch with the time set 15 minutes fast. I don’t know, either.
  6. Michelle Williams made me cry … again. 



This coming-of-age tale set in Miami about a young Black gay man is one of the most beautifully shot movies of the year. The story takes place in three time periods of the boy’s life — and each actor carries his section. It’s not like one movie could fix #OscarsSoWhite, of course, but many see Moonlight as a front-runner for best picture.

  1. Janelle Monáe — yes, the singer — was underratedly fantastic.
  2. Unlike Brokeback Mountain, which lost best picture to Crash (a total upset), Moonlight is going to take it all home in February.
  3. Birth of a Nation’s Nate Parker said he would never take a gay role. Multiple men in Moonlight decided to do just that. No shame. 
  4. Subtly, the film is set in the 1980s – aka around the time the AIDS crisis was going on.