Looking Ahead: Possible Contenders For Next Year’s Oscars

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Despite the fact that this year’s Oscars just finished up, it’s always fun to look ahead at the next year’s possible contenders. There are some that will slip right under our noses, and some that look like sure-fire hits, but turn out to be disasters. So, without further ado, here are some films I think will be major contenders come next Oscar season.

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Unbroken

Angelina Jolie’s war film (based off a true story) is one that is almost a guarunteed lock for Best Picture next year. From a script written by the Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men, Fargo), you know that there’s a good script, it’s just down to Jolie’s directing abilities. She only has one film under her belt (In The Land of Blood and Honey), so it’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out.

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Foxcatcher

Does this one look familiar to you? That might be because it was supposed to come out this past December and had some Oscar hype, but moved out of 2013, so that director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) could finish up the film. But, it was probably moved to also avoid the tough competition. This dark story doesn’t have a new release date yet, but Sony Classics will most likely schedule it sometime later in the year.

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Inherent Vice

Any film from Paul Thomas Anderson should be considered an awards contender. Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, the is about a private investigator who’s searching for his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. With a cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, and Benicio Del Toro, this one is one of my most anticipated 2014 releases.

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Into the Woods

This one could go either way. It has the potential to be a musical hit, similar to Les Miserables two years ago, because of director Rob Mashall’s expereince with musicals (his film Chicago won Best Picture in 2002). But, Marshall directed duds such as Nine (another Oscar hopeful) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Like I said, it could go either way.

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The Imitation Game

This film apparently has an amazing script that topped the Black List in 2011 and has Benidict Cumberbatch in the lead role. Also, it’s about a man who cracked the Enigma code during WWII, but was also persecuted for being homosexual. Sounds like a timely topic for today’s audiences.

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Interstellar

I hate being one of those people who hypes up a movie too much. Everytime you do that, you’re bound to be disappointed. But, with Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Interstellar, I can’t help but think he has another awards contender on his hands. With a cast filled with Oscar winners and nominnes, including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, Michael Caine, and Matt Damon, this film has all the ingridients for a well-made blockbuster. But, will it be enough for a Best Picture nomination?

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Gone Girl

This film not only has a great release date, which is around when Argo and Gravity were released, but also a great director (David Fincher), a decent leading duo, and the fact that it’s based off a well-recieved novel. Now, some of the cast might look weird (Neil Patrick Harris? Tyler Perry?), but if the film is anything like Fincher’s previous efforts, we’re in for a treat.

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A Most Violent Year

If you haven’t heard of writer/director J.C. Chandor, you might want to start learning about him. With two well-recieved films already under his belt (Margin Call and All Is Lost), he’s looking to finally break out with A Most Violent Year, which a strong pair of leads, Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. Even though distributor A24 is new to the awards game, they plan on getting this dark film noticed by the Academy.

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Fury

David Ayer seems to like one genre and one genre only: action. All of his films usually involve dirty cops, drug money, and a lot of violence. But, he seems to be stepping slightly out of his comfort zone for this. Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, and Shia LaBeouf star in this WWII war flick that could not only win over audinces, but the Academy as well.

On The Outside Looking In:

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Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s latest film recieved rave reviews when it opened at Sundance earlier this year and has a killer premise: follow a young boy for 12 years and film a segment of his life every year, going from age 7 to age 19. The premise seems too original for the Academy to pass up. However, distributor IFC isn’t known for backing Oscar-contenders and they’re releasing this earlier in the year, hurting it’s chances of an Oscar.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

This film has already been getting stellar reviews and has an amazing cast including Raplh Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, and Willem Dafoe, the only issue here is the release date. Very few films released in the first half of the year are remembered during Oscar seaon, so I don’t see this having much of a chance at awards come next February.

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Trash

Never underestimate the power of Stephen Daldry. He’s only made four films, but all of them have been included in big categories, whether it’s for Best Director or Best Picture. His films might not be the best-recieved (Extremley Loud and Incredibly Close has a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, despite getting a Best Picture nom), but he finds ways to get his films in there. The only thing holding this back is that Universal will be more focused on Unbroken than this, so the marketing push might not be enough. Then again, keep in mind that Daldry’s little heard film The Reader beat out The Dark Knight for a Best Picture nominiation back in 2008. So, you never know.

What do you guyst think? Are there any films that you think I missed and should have included?

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