How do I feel about the Oscars? You might say they’re rigged, you might say they’re poorly judged. You might still be sore from the last time Leonardo DiCaprio got snubbed… Nevertheless, whatever gets people excited about watching more films gets two big thumbs up from me. Oscar Season hits the UK late December to January where all the films hoping to be nominated are usually released. I personally don’t think is a bad thing that they’re all released at the end of the year. It gives the chance for little known or slightly odd films to come into the spotlight and gain commercially from the advertisement that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Think back to Whiplash (2014) and The Artist (2011).
With that in mind, here are the films with some Academy Award buzz that I have either seen or are very excited about viewing…
My top films to see in Oscar Season
Carol dir. Todd Haynes
Carol actually came out in the UK in November so I have already seen it, but it’s brilliant. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cate Blanchett gets yet another Oscar to add to her existing accolades. And Rooney Mara has been one of my main girls since The Social Network (2010). It’s an aesthetic dream.
The Revenant dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu
This film excites me and I have literally no idea why. Firstly, I haven’t an effing clue what it’s about. Something to do with Leonardo Di Caprio’s character being betrayed by Tom Hardy and also something to do with a wife? Who knows, I’m actually trying not to find out so I can see it pretty fresh. Though I want that Oscar for Leo as much as the next guy, it will be extra nice if he gets it for an Alejandro González Iñárritu film (the director of Birdman (2014)) and not another Martin Scorsese film. This film is out in the UK January 15th.
The Hateful Eight dir. Quentin Tarantino
Ah, Tarantino, the gang is back together! I’m definitely in the pro-Tarantino side of the stands. Not because I love everything he does or who he is, but there’s always something about his movies that’s worth getting excited about. Will I think this movie will get any Oscars? I’m not sure… It depends on the competition in the Best Supporting Actor category (I’m just assuming here). And, the competition in the Best Original Screenplay category. Which is usually the best chance Tarantino has nowadays. Either way, I’m at a fangirl level of excitement for this film. This film is out in the UK January 8th.
Joy dir. David O Russell
What do Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and David O Russell have in common? An identical schedule during the months of January and February rustling up Awards buzz for the film they’ve inevitably just collaborated on. There was Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013) and now Joy. They must really, really like working together. But hey, that’s fair enough in a business where you must have to try really hard to hide your true feelings about some people. I am a Jennifer Lawrence fan. I didn’t used to be, but now I’m getting there. And it seems I’m even excited to see her in a biopic about the woman who invented the wonder mop. This film is out in the UK right now!
Bridge of Spies dir. Steven Spielberg
I’m not 100% sure why I’ve put Bridge of Spies on this list because as far as I’m concerned it’s not had too much attention so far apart from very favourable reviews. But it’s classic Oscar botherer material. It was directed by Spielberg who hasn’t had a film released since 2012’s Lincoln. Tom Hanks is fantastic in it, it’s the good kind of period drama where everything actually feels proper authentic and it’s based on an inspirational true story. The film came out in November so I’ve already seen it, and yeah sure it was classic Spielberg fare and nothing out of the ordinary, but that’s kind of what I liked most about it. A dependably good film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens dir. J.J. Abrams
C’mooooon as if the new Star Wars movie wasn’t going to make an appearance on this list! It’s got to get something right? It came out on the 15th December in the UK and you’ll no doubt be able to catch it until the end of February.
What films are you most looking forward to seeing over the next couple of weeks in Oscar Season? Anything you’ve seen that’s good but ain’t on this list?