The Oscar season just ended but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about next year’s Oscars. While there are some people out there making prediction on who will win I am not going to be that brave but I will give you a list of movies to keep an eye out for. There are some high profile directors coming out with big movies. This year we will see new movies from Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, and David O. Russell. Last year we had two movies that premiered at Sundance and went on to get a Best Picture nomination so we have to take that into consideration also.
So without further ado here are the movies to keep an eye for this year. Some will rise some will fall but these are the ones we will be talking about all year long.
Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg Directing Tom Hanks in a cold war drama sounds like Oscar bait to me. Also with a script that was partly written by Joel and Ethan Coen (although they also had writing duties on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken which didn’t do much for that movie).
Silence – A Martin Scorsese movie about the Catholic Church. Need more be said?
Tomorrowland – Might not have a great chance but with George Clooney and what looks like an original twist it could get a few nominations similar to Hugo a few years ago although Brad Bird is no Martin Scorcese.
Aloha – Cameron Crowe is no strange to the Oscars and Bradly Cooper has now been nominated 3 years in a row so it stands a chance. But not too many romantic comedies can get the big nominations.
Southpaw – Will this be the movie that gets Jake Gyllenhaal his Oscar? Definitely had a dramatic appearance change and the Oscars love that. Also its a movie about boxing which has gotten plenty of Oscar love in the past.
Ricki and the Flash – Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Diablo Cody with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. It’s a musical and the Oscars don’t usually go for the musicals but Meryl Streep did get the nomination for last years Into the Woods.
Black Mass – The Story of real life Irish Mob Boss Whitey Bulger. It could be a turn in the right directions for Johnny Depp. Also stars Kevin Bacon, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Joel Edgerton
Steve Jobs – With all the behind the scenes shenanigans it will be interesting if the movie turns out good. But it stands a chance to be a great movie with an Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin screenplay and Oscar winning director Danny Boyle
Crimson Peak – I normally wouldn’t consider a horror movie Oscar material but Guillermo del Toro is someone that feels like the Oscar’s want to give some recognition to.
The Martian – Ridley Scott returns to space this time with Oscar nominees Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This time telling a story of a man who is presumed dead and must survive on Mars all alone.
In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard making a giant epic about the real Moby Dick. Could be a great movie or giant failure but with a release date of December 11th you can tell they are hoping for some Oscar love.
Joy – the last 3 movies Directed by David O. Russell have been nominated for Best Picture and the last two were nominated for the top 5 (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay) so why not this one. And it stars Russell’s good luck charms Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro. So we could see Cooper get his 4th acting nomination in a row.
Snowden – No stranger to controversy Oliver Stone directs this very topical drama about Edward Snowden. With CitizenFour the documentary about Snowden winning Best Documentary this year you know the topic is one the Academy loves and you have Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Snowden so could see an Acting nomination for him.
The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director, Picture, and Screenplay this year for Birdman so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him nominated again next year. This time for his western that stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Who maybe will finally get his Oscar.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl- The breakout hit at Sundance this year won the Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award. Similar to what Whiplash did last year so no reason to count it out.
The End of the Tour – After getting amazing reviews at Sundance with the right kind of backing it could get a few Oscar nominations. Not sure it will get a Best Picture nomination but definitely some Acting nominations are possible for Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg.
The Walk – Robert Zemekis is known for making visually stunning movies and this one looks no different. Based on the true story of Philippe Petit who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers. The story has previously been told in the documentary Man on a Wire. The movie stars Joseph Gordon Levitt as Petit and he could get an Oscar nomination for it.
Inside Out and The Last Dinosaur – PIXAR movies have a tendency showing up on the Best Picture list I think Inside Out has the best chance but since we don’t know much about what The Last Dinosaur is about it’s hard to say.
Midnight Special – Jeff Nichols could finally breakthrough with his first studio movie after such great smaller movies like Mud and Take Shelter. It's about a father and son on the run when the dad learns the son has supernatural powers. Doesn't sound like something that would normally be an Oscar consideration but with a release date in late November it is being released in prime Oscar season.
The Hateful Eight- A western from Quentin Tarantino worked out well for Django Unchained we will see if he can repeat it with The Hateful Eight. The premise sounds similar to Stagecoach but with a Tarantino twist. And despite his dark and violent screenplays the Academy loves Quentin Tarantino.
Suffragette – The story of the foot soldiers during the beginning of the feminist movement. It got the historical tradition and could be timely especially given Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech. It also has Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep. But with an unknown director the chances for any big nominations seems unlikely.
Trumbo – About Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. If the Oscars proved anything it is they love a movie about movies.
The Sea of Trees – In the Suicide Forrest in Japan two people meet who are there for the same reason to commit suicide. But when they meet they begin a new journey together. Directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe
Carol- Todd Haynes hasn’t had very much Oscar success but he could change that this year with Carol. It’s about a young woman who becomes obsessed with an older woman. It stars Cate Blanchett and Ronney Mara.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - O.K. probably not likely to get nominated outside a few techinical awards but the original movie did get a Best Picture nomination in 1977. If J.J. is able to bring movie that can capture the spirit of the original movie I wouldn't dismiss the chances.
The Danish Girl - I didn't have this on the list initially because I didn't think it was going to be released till 2016 but it looks like it will be a late 2015 release and if one movie looks like it could do well at the Oscars it is this movie. About a Danish artist who was the first person to get a sex change. The movie is directed by Tom Hooper who won an Oscar for The Kings Speech and stars Eddie Redmayne who just won an Oscar for The Theory of Everything.