Oscar-nominated film “La La Land” is screening at local theaters this week.

The Week in Film is a new column dedicated to bringing awareness to award-winning films, special movie screenings, rereleases, limited-distribution runs and avant cinema that should be seen in theaters to be properly appreciated. This week’s column also includes synopses of Academy Award-nominated films that are no longer playing in local theaters.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, and as the day gets closer, theaters around Chattanooga are bringing some of the films nominated for Best Picture back to the big screen for a limited time. Check out the films nominated below, with showings listed if they are still playing in town.

Arrival
Directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Amy Adams, “Arrival” deals with the complications of the arrival of alien spaceships on Earth. With no way of establishing contact with them through conventional means, linguist Louise Banks (Adams) is brought in to attempt to decipher the alien’s pictorial language. What follows brings the nations of the world to the brink of war as Banks races to discover the mysterious purpose behind their visit.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but was released on DVD and Blu-ray last week.

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Rating: PG-13

Fences
Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play and featuring a script penned by Wilson before his death in 2005, “Fences” follows the lives of Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) and his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), as they struggle to raise a family in 1950s Pittsburgh. Through a series of affairs, estranged children and social unrest, these characters reveal themselves to be flawed and complex people whose lives connect with ours in meaningful and unexpected ways.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but will be released on DVD and Blu-ray March 14.

Rating: PG-13

Hacksaw Ridge
“Hacksaw Ridge” is a story about the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American soldier who refused to pick up a gun and instead served as a noncombatant medic on the field. Because of his Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, Doss refused to kill but wanted to serve in a capacity to help his fellow countrymen. “Hacksaw Ridge” is both an indictment of the futility of war and a tribute to those men who saw no other option but to follow their conscience.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 21.

Rating: R

Hell or High Water
What would you do to save the only life you’ve ever known? For Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster), the only way to satisfy outstanding debts with the bank holding the deed to their land is to orchestrate a handful of robberies to get enough money to get their property back. Hounded by a Texas marshall (Jeff Bridges) on the eve of retirement, “Hell or High Water” examines the ties of family and the limits to which we’ll go to preserve the normalcy of our world.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but was released on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 22.

Rating: R

Hidden Figures
Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, “Hidden Figures” documents the events surrounding three black women who just so happen to be accomplished mathematicians as they prove themselves within the male hierarchy of NASA in the 1960s. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, the film follows them as they assert their capability in an environment that judges them on both their race and gender.

When: Monday-Friday, Feb. 20-24
Where: Carmike Wynnsong 10, Regal Hamilton Place 8, Carmike East Ridge 18 + IMAX, Carmike Majestic 12, Carmike Northgate 14, Cleveland UEC Theatres 14
Rating: PG

La La Land
Who would have thought that a musical would be the leading candidate to win the Best Picture Oscar this year? “La La Land” pairs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a wistful and emotional story of love, failure and music in Los Angeles. Directed by Damien Chazelle, who also wrote and directed the remarkable “Whiplash,” this film serves as a gentle and ethereal reminder of the power and relevance of the musical in modern cinema.

When: Monday-Friday, Feb. 20-24
Where: Carmike East Ridge 18 + IMAX, Carmike Majestic 12, Carmike Northgate 14, Cleveland UEC Theatres 14
Rating: PG-13

Lion
“Lion” is a story of survival and love that follows young Saroo as he is separated from his family in a small village in India and whisked away by train to Calcutta. He barely escapes from several people who would have sold him into slavery and winds up in an orphanage, where he is eventually adopted by a family from Australia. As an adult, and with the help of Google Earth, he sets out on a mission to find his biological family and rediscover the village where he grew up.

When: Monday-Friday, Feb. 20-24
Where: Carmike Wynnsong 10, Carmike East Ridge 18 + IMAX, Carmike Majestic 12, Carmike Northgate 14
Rating: PG-13

Manchester by the Sea
Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea” is the story of Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck), who becomes the keeper of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies. Having settled in Boston after a failed marriage, he is reluctant to return to his hometown. Eventually forced to revisit the memories that have shaped him, Lee faces the people and events that he left behind.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 21.

Rating: R

“Moonlight
Broken into three chronological sections, “Moonlight” examines different parts of Chiron’s life, a young man who has trouble adapting to a troubled home life and his budding sexuality. Played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes in the different segments, we watch as Chiron grows close to a local drug dealer played by Mahershala Ali and becomes estranged from his drug-addicted mother. “Moonlight” is a masterpiece of insight and emotional revelation that seeks to unravel the knotty connections that bind us all together.This film is not currently playing in Chattanooga but will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 28.

Rating: R

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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