Oscar Time is here! Which means it’s the hour in which we discuss how some of our favorite topics (climate change, the empowerment of women, trees, robots taking over the world, more trees) appear in some of the nominated features.

For anyone following American pop culture news in 2016, it’s obvious that The Oscars are as contentious as they are out-of-touch — which is really saying something. For one thing, they are so white! That’s really a shock in a year that saw talented, diverse actors carrying critically acclaimed, blockbusting movies like Creed, Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation, Chi-raq, and Star Wars (to name a few). This year’s ceremony has garnered boycotts from people of color and members of the transgender community for perpetuating harmful — and let’s be honest, tired — societal norms.

But we really do love our screen time, and we’re actually excited about some of these nominees. So if you find yourself without weekend plans and would like to squeeze in a few nominated films before the ceremony on Sunday, here are our recommendations:

ExMachina_Ava2
Film4/Universal Pictures

The best movie to take you out of your comfort zone:

EA: We could talk all day long about Ex Machina’s cinematography — which flawlessly contrasts its ladybot heroine’s shiny, sterile living quarters with the lush wilderness all around it — but the screenplay is truly a work of art. It’s no small feat to make a sympathetic protagonist out of a colder-than-cold-blooded murderer, nor to highlight the very human loneliness of a captor. Of Ex Machina’s many themes, one of the more poignant is the question of who deserves access to the natural world — which may resonate with an audience that spends far more time in The Cloud than, say, looking at clouds.