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As summer blockbusters recede from view and the conversation turns to Serious Movies, awards-season prognosticators pose the kinds of queries typical of their annual sport: Will Viola Davis campaign as leading or supporting actress? Will this finally be Annette Bening’s year? But perhaps the biggest question looming over February’s Academy Awards is whether its crop of nominees, to be announced in January, will warrant the revival of the #oscarssowhite hashtag used to describe the last several ceremonies.

This year, the Academy announced changes to its voting and membership rules and invited its most diverse new class in history. But despite these moves, change will only happen as quickly as opportunities to make movies by and about people of color—not to mention women and members of the LGBTQ community—become more plentiful.

This year is already looking limited when it comes to female directors and LGBTQ stories likely to register among voters, but the following movies offer hope that it may be an improvement upon last year’s homogenous honors.

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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