Your Cheat Sheet for This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Movies (No Spoilers)


I’m willing to bet that most parental units have only seen one or two Oscar-nominated films this year and those were probably the family movies:  COCO, The Boss Baby, or Beauty and the Beast. In general, we don’t have time to watch any films that exclude our kids, let alone see all the films up for an Academy Award each year.

Fortunately for me, I work in the entertainment space and watching various films is a part of my job. A perk of my job is being connected to people at the Academy, which allows me access to private screenings of Oscar-nominated films! I couldn’t watch all of them, but I have been able to watch a few more than most.

For the parents who have little or no clue about the films up for nominations, here’s my opinion on the handful of films that I was able to review.

Best Picture Category

The Shape of Water

If you are into romantic fairytale fantasy films, this one’s for you. If not, you will most likely chuckle through a lot of the film and feel weird watching the relationship between the two main characters (a creature and a human) progress. This film blends reality and fantasy in an interestingly addictive way. You will not turn away once you start, even if you aren’t into fantasy films because you’ll be compelled to watch until the end to find out what happens to the creature!  

Lady Bird

This film is for every parent who has a daughter. If your daughter is in high school or getting ready to enter, watch it with them. It’s a nice little coming of age story for young ladies and a harsh reality for moms at the potential ups and downs of a mother-daughter relationship.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This film is my favorite out of the films that I watched in the Best Picture category mainly because I relate to the main character who is a fierce single mother that refuses to take sh** from anyone and will do anything for her children.

Other Films Nominated

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Phantom Thread

The Post

Best Documentary Category


This film wraps up an athlete’s struggle, government politics, and corruption all into one. Being able to learn more about the extent of the Russian government’s involvement in the Olympics doping scandal was very eye-opening, and the film showcases the lengths people will go to win in a sports competition, but there were quite a few moments in the film that lost my attention.

Last Men in Aleppo

This film is very heavy and, at times, visually disturbing to watch but necessary for everyone to see. We only know about the civil war raging in Syria through news outlets, but this film gives a first-hand disturbing account of the consequences of the ongoing war raging throughout Syria. It’s heartbreaking, it’s disturbing, and it’ll empower you to act. It’ll force you to question how and why this war has gone on for so long, killing millions of innocent lives. It’ll give you a better understanding of why there are so many refugees from Syria trying to find a safe haven. They are fleeing to save themselves, to save their families, and to live without fear.

Other Films Nominated

Abacus:  Small Enough to Jail

Faces Places

Strong Island

That’s it! That’s my recap of the Oscar Nominated films I was able to watch without my children that have a Motion Picture Association of America rating beyond the typical G-rated films. Every one of these films is available for streaming on various platforms. If you find the time, grab some microwavable popcorn, pour a glass of wine and enjoy!

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Sysamone Phaphon is a single mom of two. She’s lived in the east bay area for 15+ years. She is the current CEO and founder of the CBD Nanoemulsion brand, Khuenphu. Sysamone also provides growth marketing consultancy in the technology, healthcare and cannabis industries through a digital marketing agency called A.V.O. Prior to pursuing the consultancy path & building her own company, she was previously the Head of Growth for cannabis manufacturer, Vertosa, where she managed PR, Marketing and brand partnerships. She is also a brand ambassador for Mothercoders, a nonprofit organization helping mothers on-ramp to careers in tech so they can thrive in a digital economy. When she’s not working, she’s playing baseball mom for her daughter’s all girls competitive travel baseball team and lacrosse mom for her son’s competitive travel team. When she has personal time for herself, she loves naps, enjoying infused products and binge watching various series on all the streaming channels.


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