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Added by BradWesley123 on 23 Feb 2015 07:01
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2016 Oscar Contenders - Best Picture

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People who added this item 179 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8

Director: Cary Fukunaga
Writer: Cary Fukunaga
Cast: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah
Release Date: October 16th
Plot Synopsis: A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.

Pros: Fukanaga's coming off his breakout work on True Detective, so there's a strong interest in his follow-up. This curiosity is aided by it's acquisition by Netflix. Add the strong, timely story at the heart of the film, and things look pretty strong.

Cons: Netflix is an unknown entity when it comes to awards season contending. The fact that the four major theater chains (AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Carmike) are boycotting the film makes it controversial, which could end up distracting from the film's quality. The movie is also likely much darker than usual Oscar fare, and could be passed over for more "inspiration" films.

Post Release Report: It got strong reviews, but it appears to be a dark horse. Netflix'll be a question mark until the first bout of nods come out. Right now, it appears unlikely.
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People who added this item 520 Average listal rating (363 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Big Short (2015)

Director: Adam Mckay
Writers: Adam Mckay, Charles Randolph
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Marisa Tomei
Release Date: December 11th
Plot Synopsis: When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Pros: Paramount sprung to get this into awards season, so they've clearly liked what they seen. Add in an awards-magnet cast and a timely story, and we could be seeing one of the biggest surprise hits of the year.

Cons: McKay's largely remained in the comedy realm throughout his career, so it's still pretty unknown if he can pull off the dramatic elements. Plus, with Paramount moving quickly to get this into theaters (it was shooting earlier this year), it could come out rushed.
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People who added this item 329 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Black Mass (2015)

Director: Scott Cooper
Writers: Scott Cooper, Mark Mallouk
Cast: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Juno Temple, Adam Scott, Peter Sarsgaard
Release Date: September 18th
Plot Synopsis: The true story of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger, FBI agent John Connelly and the FBI's witness protection program that was created by J. Edgar Hoover.

Pros: Warner Bros. clearly have a lot of confidence in this one, considering they abandoned another Bulger pic produced by perennial awards contender Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Movies with big ensembles usually play well with the Academy, and damn does this thing have one. Plus, this could ride a potential Depp comeback narrative the way that Birdman and Dallas Buyers Club did in the last couple of years.

Cons: Depp's been in the wilderness for a while now; its been a long time since he's even played a human being. Scott Cooper is a question mark too; Crazy Heart won two Oscars, but there were very few who genuinely loved it, and his follow-up Out of the Furnace missed big. It will also have to do a lot to set itself above the standard gangster movie pack.

Post Release Report: It got solid reviews, but it looks to have a stronger shot at a Best Actor nod for Depp and Makeup (maybe Edgerton for Supporting Actor, but that's a stretch).
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People who added this item 461 Average listal rating (319 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
Release Date: October 16th
Plot Synopsis: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.

Pros: Hanks and Spielberg are heavyweights, with movies Hanks starring frequently making the shortlist (even Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close got a nod) and Spielberg's movies usually factoring into the awards race (three of his last four live-action movies were nominated for Best Picture). Others check-marks; period setting, war, 4th quarter release.

Cons: I can't honestly see any at the moment.

Post Release Report: Great reviews plus solid box office make this look like a strong contender.
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People who added this item 344 Average listal rating (218 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Brooklyn (2015)

Director: John Crowley
Writers: Nick Hornby
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Emory Cohen
Release Date: November 6th
Plot Synopsis: In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries.

Pros: It was arguably the big, breakout Sundance hit of 2015, and the last few years have been pretty good to Sundance breakouts; Whiplash, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Precious all made into the Best Picture category. Aided by it's awards friendly story and setting, this looks pretty strong.

Cons: Female led movies have never done particularly well at the Oscars beyond acting. Plus, the movie's backer (Fox Searchlight) has so many potential awards players, including another Sundance hit (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), that it may get passed over for more likely hits.
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People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (125 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.6
Burnt (2015)

Director: John Wells
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jamie Dornan, Lily James, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Rhys
Release Date: October 23rd
Plot Synopsis: A chef assembles a crew together in an attempt to create the best restaurant ever.

Pros: Knight's script was once considered one of the best never made, and Cooper has been on a hell of a run for the past couple of years.

Cons: Wells' last movie August: Osage County didn't go over entirely well, and if this one hues too much toward that, it may miss the boat entirely. Plus, this isn't really Cooper's biggest awards contender this year. (Read on)

Post Release Report: Poor reviews and disastrous box office killed this one's chances.
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People who added this item 87 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.2
By the Sea (2015)

Director: Angelina Jolie
Writer: Angelina Jolie
Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Mélanie Laurent, Niels Arestrup
Release Date: November 13th
Plot Synopsis: Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

Pros: Pitt and Jolie in a movie together will definately be able to find and audience, meaning if it's at least somewhat good, it'll find its way into the conversation.

Cons: Jolie's previous directorial efforts weren't very well-received, and from all I've read on this one it strikes more towards arthouse than prestige.
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People who added this item 436 Average listal rating (279 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Carol (2015)

Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Phyllis Nagy
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson
Release Date: November 20th
Plot Synopsis: Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Pros: Blanchett is an Oscar favorite, the film has an LGBT story, Haynes last two movies combined for five nominations, and The Weinstein Company is distributing. Oh, and it's a period piece. OSCAR!!!!!

Cons: Haynes has yet to have a movie crack the Best Picture shortlist, and this could just end up being a showcase for Blanchett and Mara. Plus, while many gay-themed movies have done well, lesbian films have yet to truly breakout with the Academy.

Cannes Report: It appears to be one of the best reviewed of the fest, now starting to look like a lock.
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People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (78 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Concussion (2015)

Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Cast: Will Smith, Albert Brooks, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Luke Wilson, Paul Reiser
Release Date: December 25th
Plot Synopsis: A look at how American football players suffer from major head injuries and life-long debilitating problems as a result of repeated concussions and efforts by the National Football League to deny it.

Pros: The NFL's failing of the numerous assault case have made headlines for the last couple of years, but concussions are a subject that has been largely suppressed for decades. With a strong, and largely unknown, story and a prime Christmas release indicates that Sony feels that they have a genuine contender.

Cons: Smith hasn't had a hit (either commercial or critical) in a while, and these type of movies always run the risk of watering down the subject matter. Writer/Director Landesman is a question mark too; his last directorial effort Parkland was pretty awful, and made zero impact.
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People who added this item 591 Average listal rating (347 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Crimson Peak (2015)

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam
Release Date: October 16th
Plot Synopsis: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds...and remembers.

Pros: Del Toro's last non-tentpole production, Pan's Labyrinth was one of the best reviewed movies of the 00s, and with a great cast at his disposal, maybe he can make his way back to the Kodak theater. Plus, it's been a pretty good last couple of years for Mexican directors (back-to-back Best Director trophies); maybe good things come in threes too?

Cons: It's a horror movie, and going by the movie's trailer an incredibly odd one to boot, and Academy elitism would likely prevent a horror movie from ever touching Best Picture.

Post Release Report: It got okay reviews, but this really never was an awards picture to begin with. Highly unlikely.
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People who added this item 421 Average listal rating (268 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1

Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: Lucinda Coxon
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Amber Heard, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts
Release Date: November 27th
Plot Synopsis: In early 1920s Copenhagen, the illustrator and artist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) asks her husband, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), also known as Lili Elbe to stand in for a female model. The popularity of the portraits leads to Gerda painting her husband in further pictures as a woman. Einar develops an attraction for a female physical appearance and begins to relinquish his life as a male. Ultimately Elbe becomes the first ever recipient of male to female sex reassignment surgery, and Gerda supports the decision, although their marriage becomes strained when Gerda comes to the realization that Einar, now Lili, is no longer the man she married

Pros: Redmayne's Oscar clout is very high coming off a win this year, and director Hooper is a now a perennial contender after his win for The King's Speech and the success of Les Miserables. They've got a meaty story here, and considering that movies with LGBT stories usually do pretty well, this could make the cut.

Cons: Les Mis wasn't totally well-received, and basically made it into the Best Picture race because Hollywood loves the hell out of musicals. Plus, the above description sounds a lot like The Theory of Everything doesn't it? Just switch out ALS for transgenderism. Maybe people are tired of this sort of "strained-marriage" narrative.
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People who added this item 136 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3

Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer: Donald Margulies
Cast: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston
Release Date: July 31st
Plot Synopsis: A magazine reporter recounts his travels and conversations with author David Foster Wallace during a promotional book tour.

Pros: Ponsoldt has been on the way up for a while, and with this being one of the stronger hits from Sundance, it stands a solid shot. Plus, being a biopic never hurts.

Cons: It'll likely be too small; distributor A24 has yet to make a splash in the awards race and seams unlikely to with less baity material. Also, many see this more as a performance piece for Segel and Eisenberg rather than a great whole narrative.

Post-Release Report: It doesn't appear that it'll have the legs for top prize, but Segel's performance is being highly touted.
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People who added this item 367 Average listal rating (247 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Everest (2015)

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Lem Dobbs, Justin Isbell, Mark Medoff, William Nicholson
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson, John Hawkes, Elizabeth Debicki
Release Date: September 18th
Plot Synopsis:A hiking expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.

Pros: Each year usually has a visually spectacular movie (Inception, Life of Pi, Gravity), and this appears like this could be 2015's. Add in a great cast and thrilling story, and this could be a hit.

Cons: It could also be more of a commercial prospect than a prestige one. Behind the camera; Baltasar Kormákur hasn't really proven himself beyond some nifty action flicks and the fact that it has five credited writers may end up throwing off the film's tone.

Post Release Report: It's gotten decent reviews but it seems more likely in the technical categories than it does for the top prize.
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People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: David Nicholls
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple, Tom Sturridge
Release Date: May 1st
Plot Synopsis: In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.

Pros: Period romances are right up the Academy's alley, and director Vinterberg is coming off Best Foreign Language Film nominee The Hunt; he's on their radar.

Cons: Fox Searchlight is likely marketing the movie like last years' Belle (May release, period romance), which doesn't smell of an Oscar hit, rather a Summer counter-programming sleeper hit.

Post-Release Report: Pretty much exactly as I said in Cons. It just sort of came and went. Could snag a few technical nods though.
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People who added this item 98 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.5
Freeheld (2015)

Director: Peter Sollett
Writer: Ron Nyswaner
Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, Michael Shannon, Luke Grimes
Release Date: October 2nd
Plot Synopsis: New Jersey car mechanic Stacie Andree and her police detective girlfriend Laurel Hester both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Pros: Just read the synopsis.

Cons: Could be way too small and fly under the radar.
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People who added this item 398 Average listal rating (294 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7

Director: Peter Sohn
Writers: Enrico Casarosa, Bob Peterson
Cast: Lucas Neff, Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader, Judy Greer, Frances McDormand, John Lithgow
Release Date: November 25th
Plot Synopsis: After a traumatic event unsettles a lively Apatosaurus named Arlo, he sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way - a human boy.

Pros: The second of two Pixar movies released this year, the other is Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur seems the most likely to restore the animation powerhouse to it's former glory. The story harkens back to studio's classics, and a late release doesn't hurt.

Cons: Pixar's been off of their game for a few years; after getting two films into the top category (Up and Toy Story 3), they've been out of the game for five years. Add the production wows that have plagued this one (the first director was fired and the story was heavily reworked) and the could continue the slump.
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People who added this item 846 Average listal rating (602 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen
Release Date: November 13th
Plot Synopsis: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?

Pros: After a decade or so of being out of the Academy's favor, Tarantino is now one of there favorites. Both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained earned Best Picture nominations, and he himself picked up an Oscar on Django for Screenplay. With a typically stacked cast and Weinstein backing, it seems like a strong bet at the moment.

Cons: This is Tarantino's second straight western, concerning some that he's gone stale. And reviews for the leaked script were fairly negative (though it has been heavily reworked since).
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People who added this item 1229 Average listal rating (894 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
Inside Out (2015)

Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Writers: Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, and Meg LeFauve
Cast: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black
Release Date: June 19th
Plot Synopsis: On a small town college campus, a philosophy professor in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student.

Pros: It looks to be going back to the old Pixar winning formula, one that got two back-to-back Best Picture nominations.

Cons: It's been five long years since Pixar made it into Best Picture, and they've been in a creative rut ever since.

Cannes Report: Excellent reviews, calling Pixar's best in years. It all depends on how the live-action competition shapes out, but it'll definitely be in the hunt.

Post-Release Report:It may be too early to call it a lock, but it's definitely one of the early favorites.
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People who added this item 254 Average listal rating (165 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.9

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Charlotte Riley, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson
Release Date: December 11th
Plot Synopsis:Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.

Pros: Being a previous Oscar winner, all of Ron Howard's films get a certain level of interest. He's got a solid cast and strong story to work with, and the fact that it was moved off of it's original March release date to the more awards-friendly December gives many confidence.

Cons: It's been a while since Howard's a few years since a film form Howard made the cut, and his last movie Rush, also starring Hemsworth, missed completely. Warner Bros. could be lying about the date change too, and it's really not that good.
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People who added this item 240 Average listal rating (156 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6

Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Jamie Blackley, Parker Posey
Release Date: July 24th
Plot Synopsis: On a small town college campus, a philosophy professor in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student.

Pros: Any good Woody Allen film will be in consideration. He's been on an "every couple of years" pattern for awhile now (Midnight in Paris in 2011, Blue Jasmine in 2013), maybe 2015 keeps that tradition alive.

Cons: The pros here could probably serve as cons too. It may be just another late-period flop.

Cannes Report: Decent reviews, but none of them were particularly glowing. Doesn't look likely, but maybe it'll tick up.

Post-Release Report: Mixed reviews and poor box office likely rule this one out.
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People who added this item 300 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
Joy (2015)

Director: David O. Russell
Writers: Annie Mumolo, David O. Russell
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Bradley Cooper
Release Date: December 25th
Plot Synopsis: The life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs.

Pros: David O. Russell's last three movies have been nominated for a total 25 nominations. Duh.

Cons: From all that's been reported, the film will deviate from Russell's recent "fuck-ups who just want happiness" trend a bit, and could be more obscure.
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 3.8 IMDB Rating 4.4
The Last Face (2016)

Director: Sean Penn
Writer: Erin Dignam
Cast: Javier Bardem, Charlize Theron, Jared Harris, Adele Exarchopoulos, Jean Reno
Release Date: N/A
Plot Synopsis: A doctor and the director of an aid agency in war-torn Liberia fall in love but passionately disagree with each others’ approach to the life-threatening issues that surround them.

Pros: Penn's got a pretty solid track record behind the camera (his last movie Into the Wild is widely considered one of the more underrated of the 00s). He's got a strong international cast to work with here, and an "important" story to work with as well.

Cons: Many "important" movies fail to impress, and many are likely turned-off by Penn's politics.
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People who added this item 249 Average listal rating (131 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Macbeth (2015)

Director: Justin Kurzel
Writers: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, David Thewlis, Elizabeth Debicki
Release Date: N/A
Plot Synopsis: Macbeth, a duke of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Pros: Macbeth has been adapted often, but none have really been considered the definitive version; this could be it. Fassbender and Cotillard are recent nominees, and it has the ever-prominent Weinstein Company backing it.

Cons: Shakespeare works have never been incredibly hot with Oscar voters, with Hamlet in 1948 being the one Best Picture winner among only six nominees (seven if you count West Side Story; two of which were for different Romeo & Juliet adaptations). Director Justin Kurzel isn't a household name either, and his last movie The Snowtown Murders is a very different type of movie than this, so it does lead to questions about whether he can handle Shakespeare.

Post Cannes Report: Did moderately well with critics, so a solid possibility.
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People who added this item 1383 Average listal rating (972 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

Director: George Miller
Writers: Nico Lathouris, George Miller, Brendan McCarthy
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Release Date: May 15th
Plot Synopsis: In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

Pros: Critical acclaim, decent box office, technical achievement (which has helped movies like Gravity and Boyhood succeed for the past two years).

Cons: Early release, action movie stigma.

Post Release Report: The movie was a critical smash, and did reasonably well at the box office. While it's a lock in numerous technical categories (sound, visual effects, editing, maybe cinematography) it still has to fight off the stigma of being an action movie, as well as an early release.
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People who added this item 980 Average listal rating (702 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
The Martian (2015)

Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Drew Goddard
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels
Release Date: October 2nd
Plot Synopsis: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Pros: Sci-fi has been growing in appreciation over the years; where once they could only have a prayer in the technical categories, they now have legitimate chances at the big prizes. Gravity, Inception and District 9 all made the cut, and several others were in contention. With a strong crew behind this one and great source material, this could keep the genre flourishing.

Cons: It has been a long time since Ridley Scott has made a great film, and a few since he's even made a good one (The Counselor and Exodus anyone?). This could just end up being pure commercial fare.

Post Release Report: Great reviews and excellent box office are making it look highly probable.
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People who added this item 296 Average listal rating (192 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton
Release Date: July 1st
Plot Synopsis: Greg Gaines is an awkward, self-deprecating high school student determined to coast through his senior year as anonymously as possible. Avoiding social interactions like the plague, Greg spends most of his time remaking wacky versions of classic movies with his only friend, Earl. Greg’s well-meaning mother intervenes, forcing him to befriend Rachel, a classmate who's been diagnosed with leukemia. Against his better judgment, Greg concedes. Both Greg and Rachel are surprised—even shocked—to find out that they actually like each other. Tentative at first, this unlikely duo becomes inseparable. But when Rachel gets sicker, Greg’s well-fortified world is changed forever.

Pros: This was the big breakout at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and with Fox Searchlight picking it up, this could do some real damage.

Cons: The movie's main characters are teenagers, and many may just toss it off as a coming-of-age flick and not give it the same weight as an adult led pic.

Post Release Report: Despite strong reviews, it appears this will likely not have the legs to make the awards season push.
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6.1

Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: Peter Straughan
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy
Release Date: October 30th
Plot Synopsis: A feature film based on the documentary "Our Brand Is Crisis", which focuses on the use of American political campaign strategies in South America.

Pros: This seems like it's aiming to be this year's Argo. Warner Bros. is backing it, George Clooney is producing (he was originally going to direct), and the plot involves American-Middle Eastern politics (it'll probably aim for an October release too). With solid source material and a strong cast, this could end up being a frontrunner.

Cons: While David Gordon Green has been on a comeback the last couple of years, he's never mounted something this awards-seasony. Plus, writer Peter Straughan's last collaboration with George Clooney was The Men Who Stare at Goats. Remember that? Didn't think so.

Post Release Report: Poor reviews and all-time awful box office. No fucking chance.
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Program (2015)

Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: John Hodge
Cast: Ben Foster, Chris O'Dowd, Lee Pace, Dustin Hoffman, Jesse Plemons
Release Date: N/A
Plot Synopsis: An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.

Pros: Armstrong is one of the most controversial figures in recent memory and with a cast and crew this solid, it's highly likely that is gets a strong push.

Cons: Frears has been a bit hit-or-miss as he's gotten more prolific. If we get the Frears behind The Queen and Philomena then we're in business, but if we get Lay the Favorite or Chéri, it's likely not gonna happen.
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People who added this item 960 Average listal rating (680 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
The Revenant (2015)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
Release Date: December 25th
Plot Synopsis: The frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Pros: Iñárritu is coming off of three Oscar wins, including his Birdman winning Best Picture. With his alone, this could be big but, add in DiCaprio and Hardy starring and Chivo shooting, and this has the makings of potential winner.

Cons: It's incredibly difficult for a filmmaker to take BP back-to-back. Also, it could end up being just a more artful, yet average revenge thriller.
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People who added this item 547 Average listal rating (369 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Room (2015)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writers: Emma Donoghue
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
Release Date: October 16th
Plot Synopsis: After 5-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.

Pros: This type of emotional, mother-son story could hit voters hard.

Cons: With such a packed field, will it be able to stick out?

Post Release Report It's gotten great reviews and solid box office, with many prognosticators predicting an excellent showing. Bet on it.
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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.9

Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Chris Sparling
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, Naomi Watts, Katie Aselton
Release Date: N/A
Plot Synopsis: A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out.

Pros: The plot has "prestige" pic written all over it, and while the McConaissance isn't as powerful as it was a couple of years ago, it's still enough to power a good movie into awards season.

Cons: Van Sant is a bit of a question mark. If the movie is more in line with his nominated Good Will Hunting and Milk, then it's got a strong shot, but if he goes for a more indie-arthouse approach, it may be polarizing. Based on the plot alone, this could end up being a total misery fest, and those movies have never done well with the Academy (unless their "inspirational").

Cannes Report: It was booed and laughed at, called the worst of the year (maybe ever). Not a shot in hell.
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People who added this item 86 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.2

Director: Billy Ray
Writer: Billy Ray
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Dean Norris
Release Date: October 23rd
Plot Synopsis: A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.

Pros: The cast and crew are stacked, and the Argentinian original won Best Foreign Language Film.

Cons: American remakes of foreign films usually tend to be bad and while Billy Ray has had much success as a screenwriter, he was nominated last year for Captain Phillips, neither of his previous directorial efforts were breakout hits.
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People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (418 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Sicario (2015)

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal
Release Date: October 2nd
Plot Synopsis: A young female FBI agent joins a secret CIA operation to take down a Mexican cartel boss, a job that ends up pushing her ethical and moral values to the limit.

Pros: It's been getting great reviews in the festival circuit, and it's got a timely subject.

Cons: Female led movies don't have the best history with the Academy, and neither do action movies. Add those together, and the odds aren't great.

Post Release Report: Solid reviews and great box office could help propel it in, but the category looks to strong at the moment. It'll likely have a strong showing in technical categories though.
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People who added this item 321 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4
Southpaw (2015)

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writers: Kurt Sutter, Richard Wenk
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Rita Ora, 50 Cent
Release Date: July 24th
Plot Synopsis: A boxer fights his way to the top, only to find his life falling apart around him.

Pros: The boxing-drama genre has been historically lucrative for filmmakers and who better to have backing it up than Harvey Weinstein. Add a strong cast led by one of the most exciting actors in Hollywood and you have a potential breakout.

Cons: It's Summer release gives a lot of people pause and for as many boxing movies hit, there are several that don't. Plus Weinstein has had a rough couple of years, with only one Oscar win (The Imitation Game for Adapted Screenplay).

Post-Release Report: Gyllenhaal for best actor? Maybe. Best Picture? No way.
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People who added this item 661 Average listal rating (425 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Spectre (2015)

Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: John Logan
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista
Release Date: November 6th
Plot Synopsis: A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Pros: Skyfall was arguably the best 007 outing ever (it won two oscars, and was incredibly close to a Best Picture nod) and with most of the crew back from that film, this one will get a decent look.

Cons: No matter how good it is, many will still see it as nothing more than above average action film.

Post Release Report: It's a box office smash, but it's gotten pretty mixed reviews. No way.
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People who added this item 625 Average listal rating (438 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Spotlight (2015)

Director: Thomas McCarthy
Writers: Thomas McCarthy, Josh Singer
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup, John Slattery
Release Date: N/A
Plot Synopsis: It tells of how the Boston Globe's "Spotlight Team" reporters spent a year interviewing victims and reviewing thousands of pages of documents and discovered years of cover-ups by Church leadership. Their reporting eventually led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who had hidden years of serial abuse by other priests, and opened the floodgates to revelations of molestation and cover-ups worldwide that still reverberate today

Pros: A lot of them. The story is powerful, the cast is stacked, and the director has been on the brink of breaking out for years.

Cons: McCarthy's last movie The Cobbler tanked hard, and movies about reporting usually fall into the "boring" category rather than the "compelling" one.

Post Release Report: Near unanimous praise is being heaped upon it, with many not only predicting a nod, but to win the prize outright.
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Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis
Release Date: December 18th
Plot Synopsis: ???

Pros: The last time J.J. Abrams took over a previously dormant franchise (Star Trek), it came incredibly close to a Best Picture nod; it managed an ever-important PGA nod, and a WGA nod too. It landed four Oscar nominations, and won one.

Cons: At the end of the day, it's still a franchise picture, and it would be incredibly tough to overcome that stigma. It would have to be all-time great.
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People who added this item 337 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Steve Jobs (2015)

Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, Katherine Waterston, Jeff Daniels
Release Date: October 9th
Plot Synopsis: His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, Steven Paul Jobs.

Pros: The director and screenwriter are both recent Oscar winners, the cast is stacked, and it's a biopic of one of modern history's most prominent figures.

Cons: The structure of the film (three 30 minute scenes following Jobs at different points in his life) could cause some narrative problems, and Sorkin's recent series The Newsroom was criticized throughout it's run for poor writing. Does Boyle have the ability to cut through Sorkin's usual soapbox style the way Fincher did?

Post Release Report: Strong reviews, but the box office has been pretty disappointing. If I had to guess, I'd say it makes it in, but that's it. Not shot at winning.
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People who added this item 287 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9

Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus
Cast: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti
Release Date: August 14th
Plot Synopsis: The group NWA emerges from the streets of Compton, California in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes pop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Pros: This category always has at least one hit in it, and this did incredibly well. It was also strongly reviewed too.

Cons: August is pretty early, so it could give over shadowed by critical smashes later in the year. Plus, movies centered around African Americans usually have to be about civil rights or slavery to even get noticed, so it'll be tough.

Post Release Report: Solid reviews and big box office could carry this in, but it really just doesn't fit the usual Oscar mold, so it could be a struggle to get in.
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People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Suffragette (2015)

Director: Sarah Gavron
Writer: Abi Morgan
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson
Release Date: October 23rd
Plot Synopsis: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

Pros: Historical, issue based movies have always done wonderfully during awards-season, and the cast is very Oscar-friendly. Plus, with this most recent year being criticized for it's lack of diversity, eyes will likely be looking a bit more outside the box than usual.

Cons: Female led movies don't have the best history with the Academy, and Historical-Issues movies have a tendency to be a bit heavy handed. The movie also shot over a year ago, and feasibly could've contended last year, but was held (though, admittedly, this is likely do to campaigning).

Post Release Report: It's gotten okay reviews (though even most of the positive ones are disappointed), but it's lacking in box office. Focus will likely focus it's campaigning on The Danish Girl, which is critically in the same boat, so this one'll likely fall off. Though Mulligan will likely compete for best actress, and maybe a few below-the-line categories.
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People who added this item 208 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Trumbo (2015)

Director: Jay Roach
Writer: John McNamara
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Louis C.K., Alan Tudyk, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Release Date: November 6th
Plot Synopsis: The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he's blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist.

Pros: After Breaking Bad, Cranston's popularity is quite high, and the cast joining him is pretty damn strong. It really checks off numerous awards-season boxes; biography, period, adversity, Hollywood, white guy.

Cons: While Roach has done some strong work on HBO, his cinematic resume leaves a bit to be desired, and it'll be interesting to see if he can pull it off. Plus, from what I read, it appears that it doesn't have any major studio backing, making an awards run much tougher.

Post Release Report: Not really stirring up much buzz. Unlikely.
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Truth (2015)

Director: James Vanderbilt
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace
Release Date: October 16th
Plot Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at news anchor Dan Rather during his final days at C.B.S. News when he broadcast a damaging report about how President Bush relied on privilege and family connections to avoid fighting in the Viet Nam War.

Pros: With a story this buzzworthy, it's at an early advantage. It's a journalistic biopic with two Oscar-winning leads. Writer-director Vanderbilt also wrote one of the best movies about journalism ever with Zodiac.

Cons: He also wrote White House Down and The Amazing Spider-Man, and this is his directorial debut; director's first films rarely do well with the Academy. The Academy "steakeaters", or conservative members, may repel the story.

Post Release Report: Mixed reviews and weak B.O.. Nope.
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People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (154 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Walk (2015)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Lebon, Ben Schwartz, James Badge Dale
Release Date: October 2nd
Plot Synopsis: The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Pros: Zemeckis's live-action return, Flight, was well-recieved, so he's on the radar. With a solid cast and an exciting story to mine from, this could be a real hit. Just watch the documentary Man on Wire to know what this could be if done well.

Cons: It could also be a mildly entertaining 3D extravaganza, and with Zemeckis's recent spotty record, it could very well be just that.

Post Release Report: Good reviews didn't propel this one much. Maybe for visual effects, but otherwise out.
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Add items to section

And the Nominees Might Be...

As of March 8th.

*Bridge of Spies
*Brookyln
*Carol
*The Hateful Eight
*Joy
*Our Brand is Crisis
*The Program
*The Revenant
*Spotlight
*Steve Jobs

If there is only five. (The Academy is seriously considering going back to the old format because hey, fuck you cinema.)

*Bridge of Spies
*Brooklyn
*Carol
*Joy
*The Revenant
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Damn, that was a quick year. It was a very twisty award season, but in the end Birdman prevailed. Now our eyes, as usual, turn to next year, with a wide array of possibilities already on the schedule, and countless that aren't.

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