I have recently watched three completely different films - Joy, Son of Saul and Mustang, each of which have been nominated for a few equally different category awards.
Joy based on the biography of a self-made millionnaire is a semi-fictional and inspirational portrayal of Joy Mangano, who had to overcome quite a few barriers to create her own business empire. Despite being a story of success there's an underlying and constant reminder that whatever one does, one has to be resilient.
"Joy is anchored by a strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence, although director David O. Russell's uncertain approach to its fascinating fact-based tale only sporadically sparks bursts of the titular emotion."
The son of Saul did unbalance me emotionally and was difficult to watch at times not so much because I can say I feel what this father had to go through in order to give a proper burial to a son under the dramatic concentration camp circumstances but because I know what it is like to lose a child and feel a sense of helplessness which surfaced somewhere throughout the film.
"Difficult to watch, impossible to forget (...) the Hungarian director László Nemes shoots in unbroken takes and employs a squared-off aspect ratio and tight shots to heighten the intensity and the visceral feeling, putting us right there in the moment." - Richard Roeper - Chicago Sun Times
Mustang is the one I got "attached" to the most, maybe because amongst many reasons it delt with the problematic issue of the identity one should forge throughout life irrespective of family traditions and an almost visceral refusal to be controlled or repressed, which I am acquainted with though in a slightly different context than the one experienced by the five main characters in the film.
"Among Erguven's finest achievements with Mustang is casting such mesmerizing actresses to play the characters who would be just at home in a Chekhov production or an Instagram-worthy fashion shoot. With their tumbling manes of wavy hair, self-possed stares and languid untamed beauty, they more than live up to Mustang's title - which doesn't refer to anything literal but instead to the strong spirited, stunningly graceful creatures at the story's heart." - Ann Hornaday - Washington Post