Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja, Aamir Khan’s Dangal, Shahid Kapoor’s Udta Punjab – 5 Bollywood movies of 2016 that deserved some Oscar love.

globalmovie     09 Feb,2017         No Comment

It is a long forgotten news that the hard-hitting cop drama Visaranai is now out of the Academy Award Race, with the Tamil movie not making it to the final five of the Best Foreign Language film nomin.

In the past, only three Indian movies have made it to the Academy Awards final nominees – Bimal Roy’s Mother India, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan. Though even Deepa Mehta’s John Abraham-starrer Water made it to the final five in the 2005 edition, it was Canada’s official entry. So does that mean our movies are not worthy enough for Academy Awards?

Not exactly so. There have been a few Bollywood movies in the last year, that could have made some kind of impact, if the subject matter was made in a Hollywood studio. Here are five such movies…


A real-life based hijack drama revolving around braveheart air hostess Neerja Bhanot’s self-sacrifice to save her flight’s passengers. Directed by Ram Madhvani and starring Sonam Kapoor and Shekhar Ravjiani.

Why it deserves an Oscar nomination: Neerja boasts of superlative performances, a confident direction and water-tight narrative. Plus it merges real-life human survival drama and terrorism, two genres loved by the Academy jury.


A biopic based on former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and how he fulfilled his own dreams of winning a gold for India through his daughters. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari and starring Aamir Khan and Sakshi Tanwar.

Why it deserves an Oscar nomination: The jury has a weakness for sports biopic, especially if it plays from the underdog’s side. Remember how The Blind Side, Rocky and Raging Bull found love at the Oscars?

Nil Battey Sannata

A single uneducated mother decides to be an inspiration to her school going daughter by joining school and excelling at that. Directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and starring Swara Bhaskar.

Why it deserves an Oscar nomination: It’s a myth that Oscars only love dark movies. Even a sweet but realistic movie like Nil Battey Sannata, with its own strong messages of winning spirit and women empowerment, could have bowled over the jury members.


Another movie based on a real life incident about an Aligarh university professor who was ostracized by the society for being a homosexual. Directed by Hansal Mehta and starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Why it deserves an Oscar nomination: Well-acted and subtly written, Aligarh is a movie that should be hailed by many who supports alternative sexuality movement. Manoj Bajpayee’s fantastic performance is even up there with the Best Acting performances of the year, but we are too much in the wish zone to even consider that.

Udta Punjab

Revolving around the drug trade nexus in Punjab, the movie is about how the nefarious trade affects the lives of a drug-addicted rockstar, a conflict-driven cop, an upright doctor and a Bihari farmhand. Directed by Abhishek Chaubey and starring Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt.

Why it deserves an Oscar nomination: A few years back, a drug trafficking based movie called Traffic which also dealt with multiple tracks left the Oscar jury in awe. Udta Punjab, while not a perfect movie, deals with the dark themes in an arresting way, while not losing out on its dark humour. The movie is also ably supported some credible performances.

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