With the debacle of this years Oscars now over it seems the studios are already lining up their potential nominees for next year so we’ve hada look at what possibly may be in the running. It’s a given that the blockbusters are the ones which snag visual effects and Suicide Squad won for best make up this year which makes for the unlikely tag line…’the Oscar winning Suicide Squad’. And on the visual effects front we can look forward to films like Kong, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, Alien Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, Transformers, Spiderman, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, the Dark Tower, Blade Runner 2049, Thor ;Ragnarok, Justice League and inevitably Star Wars Episode 8.
But when it comes to a acting and directing gongs here’s what we think many be some of the runners and riders……
Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz (all previously nominated) star in the Academy’s perennial favourite Alexander Payne’s social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. Still in post-production we can expect to see this around Christmas. As a director Payne’s last six films have been Oscar-nominated.
After the blockbuster Noah director Darren Aronofsky returns to a more intimate setting featuring the story of a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited and frankly obnoxious guests arrive at their home throwing their lives into turmoil. A great cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson and Ed Harris. We can expect this in October.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
A favourite at Sundance this is Luca Guadagnino’s story of a romance between a seventeen year-old boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. This was praised for its screenplay, production design and cinematography and actors Armie Hammer and breakout star Timothée Chalamet were also tipped for future awards.
After so much praise over the years Christopher Nolan is still Oscar – less. Could this be his year with another big budget film about the Dunkirk evacuation of summer 1940 when allied soldiers from Britain, Belgium, Canada, and France were cornered in on the beaches of northern France by the Nazis. Rumour is that this may open Cannes.
TV network Netflix’s picked this up at Sundance and follows the story of two men back home after on a farm in rural Mississippi after World War II where they encounter racism and struggle to cope with life after war. It stars Carey Mulligan, Mary J Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell and Rob Morgan.
THE GLASS CASTLE
A coming of age story about a young girl with an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who tries to stir his children’s imaginations as a distraction to their poverty. Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson and Room star Brie Larson star.
LEAN ON PETE
Over the years we’ve had National Velvet, The Horse Whisperer, Seabiscuit and War Horse and now another horse story about a young boy on a dangerous journey as he looks for his long-lost aunt with his only companion being a stolen racehorse, Lean on Pete. Directed by Andrew Haigh as his US follow-up to the rather good 45 Years and stars Travis Fimmel, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Steve Zahn and lead Charlie Plummer.
Lion director Garth Davis tackles the story of Mary Magdalene, who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers, but who is also often portrayed in western literature as a repentant prostitute. The cast includes Rooney Mara in the title role, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, Chiwetel Ejiofor as disciple Peter and Tahar Rahim as Judas.
UNTITLED DETROIT PROJECT
The nominations have flowed the last two times Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow has teamed up with writer Mark Boal and DoP Barry Ackroyd. Add to the mix Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg and sound mixer Ray Beckett and you have an even stronger case for awards consideration. The ensemble cast of the crime-drama set against the backdrop of Detroit’s 1967 riots includes John Boyega , John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter and Jack Reynor. Due for in August.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
To date all eight Star Wars films have been nominated for an Oscar. J.J Abrams’ most recent instalment in the ‘main’ franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, garnered five nominations. Looper director Rian Johnson’s take on the iconic series sees Rey continue her journey alongside Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
After The Lego Movie’s shock omission from the animation lineup in 2015 (it did get a best song nomination), can Warner Bros’ self-referential spinoff comedy get its revenge? The film has done very well at the box office and it features a starry production team and voice cast. Generally a fiercely contested category, US competition alone will as usual come from Pixar and Disney.
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER
A poke in the eye for Trump as this will be a timely release in July, more than a decade after the Al Gore-fronted climate change original scooped two Oscars and powered its way to $50m global. The documentary category was probably this year’s strongest and few contenders are widely known at this stage but the film played pretty well at Sundance.
BEFORE YOU ASK…
Yes there are some obvious omissions notably Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled Daniel Day Lewis drama which recently began shooting in London bit its unlikely to be ready in time due to Anderson’s perfectionist take on post-production schedules.
Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animation Isle Of Dogs is slated for a 2018 release so is unlikely to be ready in time for the Oscars but George Clooney’s Suburbicon could be in the mix despite its crime-caper genre.
Blade Runner 2049 and Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 are expected to be strong contenders in the craft categories, at least, while Fox’s The Greatest Showman (dated for late December) boasts a strong team including screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine).
Early days yet so we’ll see. Something always comes along to surprise us. Adam Sandler anyone?