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2018 Oscar Contenders - Best Picture

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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0

Directors: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman
Release Date: September 22nd
Plot Synopsis: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

Pros: It's a biopic-esque historical flick with studio backing, a solid release date, and two stars that have been Oscar magnets lately. The last time that Dayton & Faris had Carell in front of the camera, Little Miss Sunshine was a Best Picture nominee, and screenwriter Beaufoy is an Oscar-winner himself. If the quality's there, it could be a solid performer.

Cons: It could also be a slight quasi-dramedy that is fun to watch, but doesn't leave much of an impact. If it leans more comical, it'll already be at a disadvantage.
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People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Batista, Lennie James, Ana de Armas
Release Date: October 6th
Plot Synopsis: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Pros: The original has been hailed as an all-time classic, and the crew on this is just insane; the cast is excellent, one of the writers (Francher) wrote the original, and Villeneuve is on one of the finest runs (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival) in recent memory. If this thing turns out as good as it sounds on paper, we could be in for a helluva ride.

Cons: The original wasn't exactly hailed in its time, and belated sequels have a tendency to play the original's greatest hits and offer nothing new.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.8

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writers: Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory and Walter Fasano
Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
Release Date: November 24th
Plot Synopsis: Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.

Pros: It got a rapturous reception at Sundance, and has Sony Pictures Classics backing. Smaller films have been hitting harder during the 2010s, and last year's winner also handled an LGBT story.

Cons: It's just so small though. It'll need a lot of build-up to make a big dent against larger fare.
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Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Michael Mitnick
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland
Release Date: December 22nd
Plot Synopsis: Electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse compete to create a sustainable system and market it to the American people.

Pros: The last time the Cumberbatch did a biopic with the Weinstein Co., The Imitation Game, it scored eight nominations, including one for Best Picture. If The Current War has the type of reviews that the former did, it shouldn't have a problem.

Cons: The Academy has been shying away from the obvious contenders for the past few years, honoring smaller, art-house fare. If The Current War reeks of awards-bait cloyingness, they may not be as receptive as they once were. Plus, director Gomez-Rejon has no record with the Academy, with his last film, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, got no play.
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Darkest Hour (2017)

Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Hurt
Release Date: November 24th
Plot Synopsis: Winston Churchill leads a charge against Adolf Hitler's army in the early days of World War II.

Pros: I mean...come on? What pros does this movie not have? If it's good, and the talent in front of and behind the scenes suggests it will be, it'll be a frontrunner.

Cons: Pretty much the same that went for The Current War, though Focus Features has less of a history with overt cloyingness than The Weinstein Co.
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Director: Armando Iannucci
Writers: Peter Fellows, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin and David Schneider
Cast: Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko, Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Paddy Considine, Michael Palin
Release Date: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

Pros: Iannucci has had a very impressive run lately; he got an screenplay nomination for his last film In the Loop, and his show Veep has become one of the best of the past decade. He's pretty much the go-to-guy for cutting political satire; add a historical bent to that, and it may be too much to ignore. It also doesn't hurt that the craziness of the Trump administration may lend the film a political relevancy that could hit hard.

Cons: On the flipside, the current political climate may render the film tame in comparison. It's also at a disadvantage for being a comedy, a genre that is always underrepresented.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Detroit (2017)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Cast: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reynor, John Krasinski
Release Date: August 4th
Plot Synopsis: A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States' history.

Pros: Bigelow and Boal's last two collaborations have resulted in two BP nominations, one win (The Hurt Locker), and a total of 14 nominations (7 wins). They've once again got a ground-level view of a historical event, with the themes of power and race featuring prominently.

Cons: August 4th is a little early for an awards contender, and Bigelow's films have often faced some harsh backlash after their release. While that didn't completely hurt Zero Dark Thirty (though Bigelow did miss out on a director nod), it was released late enough for the backlash to hit post-nominations; that wouldn't happen this time.

Post Release Report: Reviews have been incredibly strong for Detroit, and it's timeliness should propel it into the conversation. No lock yet, but a very strong contender (had it been released a couple of months later, it would likely be locked in; this early, I really can't tell).
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

Director: James Franco
Writers: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone, Jacki Weaver, Melanie Griffith, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tommy Wiseau
Release Date: December 1st
Plot Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau's The Room (2003).

Pros: Hollywood loves itself, and this is a movie about making a movie. The story lends itself to a lot of Ed Wood comparisons, which, while not cracking the top category, did win two Oscars. It got a pretty strong response by the critics who saw it at SXSW, so maybe it'll have legs.

Cons: As much as I'd love to see it be a contender (I'm a big fan of The Room), it'll likely be too much of an oddity to be taken very seriously. Plus, it would appear to be much more of a comedy, which, as I'v previously stated, gives it an inherent disadvantage.
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Downsizing (2017)

Director: Alexander Payne
Writers: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor
Cast: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Alec Baldwin, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, Margo Martindale
Release Date: December 22nd
Plot Synopsis: A kindly occupational therapist undergoes a new procedure to be shrunken to four inches tall so that he and his wife can help save the planet and afford a nice lifestyle at the same time.

Pros: Payne has an excellent record with the Academy, with his last three films (Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska, respectively) all scoring BP noms. Downsizing has pretty much everything (great cast, satire, midwesterners) that have made him so successful in the past, plus Paramount looks to be giving the film a big push late in the season.

Cons: Payne's never tackled sci-fi before, and that plotline is one that could just go off-the-rails really easily. And, while his last movie, Nebraska made it in, opinions have, somewhat, soared over the years. Could people be growing tired of the filmmaker's style?
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People who added this item 273 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Dunkirk (2017)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy, Jack Lowden
Release Date: July 21st
Plot Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Pros: Nolan films are always events, and his WWII epic looks no different. This appears to be his Lean-est film to date, and epics have always had a place in Academy members hearts. War films, too, have a great record, as last year's Hacksaw Ridge can attest.

Cons: As successful as they have been, Inception is still the only Nolan film to make the BP cut. Even if the film is well-received and a box office smash, there's still a very good chance that it could be forgotten in favor of later-year releases.

Post Release Report: A critical and commercial smash; Dunkirk will almost assuredly be a major contender.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 359 Average listal rating (254 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
Get Out (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Keith Stanfield
Release Date: February 24th
Plot Synopsis: A young black man visits his white girlfriend's family estate where he learns that many of its residents, who are black, have gone missing, and he soon learns the horrible truth when a fellow black man on the estate warns him to "get out". He soon learns this is easier said than done.

Pros: The movie got superb reviews and is one of the biggest box office smashes of the year. It also strike a socially conscious cord, which is something that always attract Oscar voters.

Cons: Horror movies usually don't even get a look, and the February release means that it has to hold up for nearly a year to get noticed. Even for a movie as big as this one, that's an incredibly tough sell.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

Director: Destin Cretton
Writers: Destin Cretton, Andrew Lanham, Marti Noxon
Cast: Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Snook, Max Greenfield
Release Date: August 11th
Plot Synopsis: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

Pros: Small, emotionally exhausting films, like this one appears to be, have been winning this category for the past few years. Their the type of movies that are more likely to get broad support, as well as passionate fanbases. Also worth noting is Cretton's resume, which boasts his breakout Short Term 12, a character-driven indie that was able to take a complex and depressing subject and make it real. If this one has even a little of the previous film's magic, it'll be in the hunt.

Cons: Cretton's record isn't completely sound; he has a co-writing credit on this year's flop The Shack. It's also a movie that could just be too small, and get outshone by other searing indie-flicks.

Post Release Report: Mixed reviews and poor box office make this a no-go.
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Director: Simon Curtis
Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Simon Vaughan
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson , Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Release Date: November 10th
Plot Synopsis: A rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children's author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive, Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

Pros: British, biopic, includes a World War, Fox Searchlight backing; traditionally, all it would take for this to get in is minimal quality.

Cons: Searchlight hasn't done particularly well it's classical Brit-pics recently (Belle, Far from the Madding Crowd), and Curtis's last two films (Woman in Gold and My Week with Marilyn) weren't the biggest hits with the Academy. Most likely a contender for costumes.
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Director: Michael Gracey
Writers: Michael Arndt, Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya Coleman
Release Date: December 25th
Plot Synopsis: The story of P.T Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Pros: After the success of La La Land, musicals are back in fashion with audiences, and word from CinemaCon was that The Greatest Showman may even provide greater spectacle than Chazelle's six-time winner (it's even got that film's songwriters, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, doing the music). A prime Christmas release date and heavy studio essentially guarntees that if it's good, it'll be a big contender. Hell, even if it's not very good, it might still get in; they love musicals (see: 2012's Les Miserables).

Cons: La La Land was such a singular event that anything attempting to emulate it may receive unfavorable opinions. It also could end up being nothing but empty spectacle; pretty, but hollow.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.4
Happy End (2017)

Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Toby Jones
Release Date: TBA
Plot Synopsis: A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.

Pros: Haneke is a highly respected director, and his last film, Amour, was one of the few foreign films to make the BP shortlist.

Cons: Amour is the only foreign film to be nominated in this decade, and one of only three since 2000. It'll also, likely, have to either eclipse the quality of that film, or at least be similar in quality, to make a big impact.
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Logan Lucky (2017)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katherine Waterston, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes
Release Date: August 18th
Plot Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Pros: It's Soderbergh's first film after his "retirement", and he's got an excellent cast for a comeback. The Academy loves a big ensemble.

Cons: Soderbergh, outside of 2000, has not really been much of an awards director, and the film's comedic leaning will put it at a disadvantage.

Post Release Report: Great reviews, but weak box office. Could have legs, but it'll probably be too small to compete.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0
The Mercy (2017)

Director: James Marsh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis
Release Date: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Yachtsman Donald Crowhurst's disastrous attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race ends up with him creating an outrageous account of traveling the world alone by sea.

Pros: James Marsh has a strong Oscar history, winning Best Documentary for Man on Wire and directing The Theory of Everything to five nods and a win. The leads are also Oscar winners, and respected enough that anything with them will get them a few more looks. The film's writer, too, while not having an Oscar record yet, has a solid screenwriting career, with films like The Bourne Ultimatum, Contagion and The Informant!. Capping it off with a historical pick, this film does have quite a few pros.

Cons: It's unlikely to be the uplifting biopic that The Imitation Game, The King's Speech or The Theory of Everything were; putting it at something at a disadvantage, considering Brit-pics only do well at the Oscars with likable, mellow biopics. It also isn't (yet) being backed by Focus Features or the Weinstein Co.; necessary for British films.
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Molly's Game (2017)

Director: Aaron Sorkin
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera
Release Date: November 22nd
Plot Synopsis: Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game.

Pros: Sorkin is a prolific enough artist that all films scripted by him get serious consideration, and he's got another great cast to help his words come to life.

Cons: Sorkin has never directed before, and it's unknown whether or not he'll be able to filter out some of his more annoying writerly ticks. Plus, only three of his seven scripts have anchored a BP nominee. And, as always, film's with female leads are at a disadvantage.
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Mother! (2017)

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristen Wiig
Release Date: September 15th
Plot Synopsis: Centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Pros: Aronofsky is always a talent worth keeping an eye on, and the cast he's assembled here is excellent.

Cons: Aside from Black Swan, Aronofsky has never really been an awards contender. The horror genre does no favors either, and if the Oscars are going with a horror film this year it'll likely be Get Out.
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Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Writers: J. Mills Goodloe, Chris Weitz
Cast: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Dermot Mulroney, Beau Bridges
Release Date: October 20th
Plot Synopsis: Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain.

Pros: Elba and Winslet are very appealing leads, and movies about survival usually do very well with the Academy. Plus, this being his first English-language film, Abu-Assad has a pretty strong record with the Academy, with two of his films (Omar and Paradise Now) getting Best Foreign Film nods.

Cons: Could be too mainstream, or too corny; there's romance here. Also, foreign filmmakers often face problems moving to English-language.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.3
Mudbound (2017)

Director: Dee Rees
Writers: Dee Rees, Virgil Williams
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige
Release Date: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

Pros: The movie played extremely well at Sundance, and is one of the few likely contenders this year that engages with race. Checks pretty much every Oscar box.

Cons: Netflix has yet to break through, outside of documentaries. Whether it's stigma or simply not enough people are seeing these movies, it'll put this one at a disadvantage.
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Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Michael Green
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Daisey Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom Jr.
Release Date: November 10th
Plot Synopsis: A lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into the thrilling mystery of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone's a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Pros: Previous versions of this story have done quite well critically, and ensemble pictures always do pretty well with the actors branch (the largest one).

Cons: This is likely more of a relatively fun studio picture. Branagh hasn't done a real oscar-bait film for a while, and this looks to continue the trend. Likely a strong player in the visual (costumes, production) categories.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 0
The Papers (2017)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Cast: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Carrie Coon, Jessie Plemons, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Sarah Paulson, Alison Brie, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Zach Woods
Release Date: December 22nd
Plot Synopsis: A pair of Washington Post employees battle the federal government over their right to publish the Pentagon Papers.

Pros: It's Hanks, Spielberg and Streep doing a movie about the press in the age of Trump. It's pretty much already in. And holy shit, that cast.

Cons: Spielberg's films can become to sentimental, and this one runs a great risk of that happening. If it does it'll still probably be in, but likely not a winner.
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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville
Release Date: December 25th
Plot Synopsis: Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, Charles James is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family.

Pros: The last time that PTA and Day-Lewis collaborated, they gave us There Will Be Blood, which scored eight nods (including Best Picture). Both men are Oscar magnets in their own right but together, all the film has to do is be good. The fact that Annapurna and Focus Features are releasing it only aids to it's prospects.

Cons: PTA has only done one BP nominee in his whole career, and his movies following Blood (The Master and Inherent Vice) have been extremely divisive.
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Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones
Release Date: December 8th
Plot Synopsis: An other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963.

Pros: del Toro's one of cinema's foremost visual stylists, naturally drawing attention. The Cold War setting hints at something closer to Pan's Labyrinth than Pacific Rim.

Cons: del Toro has never really been an Oscar prospect, and his last couple of films haven't really caught on. If this is closer to those, tech categories will be the best that it can do.
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The Snowman (2017)

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writers: Hossein Amini, Matthew Michael Carnahan
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, Chloë Sevigny, Toby Jones, James D'Arcy
Release Date: October 20th
Plot Synopsis: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

Pros: Alfredson has a pretty stellar batting average as a film director, with his English-language debut Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy scoring three nods, and coming close to a BP one too. Here, he's working from an acclaimed Norwegian mystery novel (comparisons to Hitchcock are guaranteed) and he has an excellent cast to bring it to life.

Cons: Serial killer movies are a dime a dozen, as are movies about dark, complicated men. It'll have to separate itself as something more. The screenwriters open up a few questions as well; who's work is going to show up more. Amini has a pretty strong record (Drive, The Wings of the Dove), while Carnahan's is a bit spotty (Lions for Lambs, The Kingdom). If it's more Carnahan, can he elevate his game? Also, it may not be seen as having as much weight as other down-the-line picks (barring all-time greatest, this isn't going to be a top fiver).
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Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisey Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie
Release Date: December 15th
Plot Synopsis: Having taken her first steps into a larger world, Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.

Pros: The Force Awakens came surprisingly close (it had an outside shot, at least), and Johnson is an inspired choice to helm the project. If he's able to bring some of the genius that he put into Brick or Looper, then we could have something on par with The Empire Strikes Back. Voters have been warming to franchise filmmaking over the past few years.

Cons: It would have to be all-time great to fight the inherent stigma against blockbuster cinema. Even then, it's still not certain.
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Stronger (2017)

Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: John Pollono
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Clancy Brown, Miranda Richardson
Release Date: September 22nd
Plot Synopsis: A victim of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 helps the police track down the killers while struggling to recover from devastating trauma.

Pros: It's an inspiring true story about one of the most prominent terror attacks of the past few years' i.e. the kind of movie that the Academy usually eats up. It's got a solid lead in Gyllenhaal, who's due for at least another nomination.

Cons: David Gordon Green's last venture into Oscar-bait territory, Our Brand is Crisis, crashed and burned, and none of his other films have even been in the conversation. Movies about the Boston Marathon Bombing aren't exactly hitting with voters either, with last year's Patriots Day failing to gain any traction.
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Suburbicon (2017)

Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen & Grant Heslov
Cast: Julianne Moore, Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac,
Release Date: November 3rd
Plot Synopsis: A home invasion rattles a quiet family town.

Pros: Clooney's a perennial contender, and the added bonus of having the Coen brothers help with the script makes this a rather tantalizing prospect. The lead trio are, too, quite strong, as is the period setting. If it's good, it'll probably be in.

Cons: Clooney does have a fairly mixed record as a director. While there have been Oscar nominees like Good Night, and Good Luck. and The Ides of March, there have been bombs like Leatherheads and The Monuments Men. The Coen Brothers' assistance isn't the greatest guarantee either; while Bridge of Spies hit very well, Gambit and Unbroken were met with mixed to negative reviews. Plus, Paramount has a couple of other awards season prospects (Downsizing, mother!); which one will be the focus?
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Director: Jason Hall
Writer: Jason Hall
Cast: Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Kate Lyn Sheil, Joe Cole
Release Date: October 27th
Plot Synopsis: A look at how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects American servicemen and women returning home from war.

Pros: The last PTSD-themed war drama that Hall was a part of was American Sniper (he wrote it), which scored six nominations, including BP. War set films also get nominated frequently, especially one's with big studio backing (DreamWorks).

Cons: Hall's an unproven director, and his script for Sniper was one of the film's weaker elements. Plus, the movie shot a while ago and, while they could just be stalling it for a better awards' season chance, that doesn't bode well for the film's overall quality.
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Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges
Release Date: October 13th
Plot Synopsis: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.

Pros: McDonagh is already, somewhat, on Oscar's radar; he won for a short film and got another nod for his In Bruges script. This cast though, will give it a big boost. Having Fox Searchlight along to promote it should put it in focus.

Cons: Seven Psychopaths wasn't the most warmly received film, and even In Bruges wasn't actually a real player outside of script. Voters also have somewhat delicate sensibilities and often veer away from profane films, which this most certainly will be. Likely a player for Actress and script (maybe a supporting performance somewhere in there).
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0

Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: Lee Hall
Cast: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams, Eddie Izzard
Release Date: September 22nd
Plot Synopsis: Queen Victoria strikes up an an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Pros: Frears has done extremely well with older female-led bio-dramas over the last decade. Mrs. Henderson Presents, The Queen, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins have all gotten multiple nominations, with a couple (The Queen, Philomena) making it into the race for top prize. Focus Features is, also, backing it.

Cons: If they skewer towards comedic (like Mrs. Henderson and Jenkins), then they won't be taken as seriously. His lighter ones have been more amiable than anything else and, in a year as likely stacked as this, that just won't be enough.
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.1
War Machine (2017)

Director: David Michôd
Writer: David Michôd
Cast: Brad Pitt, Topher Grace, Emory Cohen, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, John Magaro
Release Date: May 26th
Plot Synopsis: An absurdist war story for our times, writer-director David Michôd recreates a U.S. General's roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody - raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today. His is an exploration of a born leader's ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. At the story's core is Brad Pitt's sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist's no-holds-barred exposé.

Pros: War movies usually do well, and the satire angle gives it a savage edge. Pitt films, whether starring or producing, usually do pretty well come awards season.

Cons: The Netflix problem is here once again. Plus, the fact that they're releasing this thing in May instead of mounting a late-season awards campaign doesn't really bode well for the film's critical prospects.

Post Release Report: Mixed-to-poor reviews and absolutely no buzz. Not a chance.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.9
Wind River (2017)

Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal, Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham
Release Date: August 4th
Plot Synopsis: An FBI agent teams with the town's veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.

Pros: The last two films that Sheridan has written, Hell or High Water and Sicario, both major players, with one of them (Hell) scoring a BP nod. Add in The Weinstein Company and a similar release pattern to Hell or High Water and Wind River could be one of the year's most successful indies. Early reviews out of Sundance were solid...

Cons: ...but not triumphant like the previous two. Many critics have pointed to it as being less inspired than the previous two, and most of those criticisms are place at Sheridan's direction. It also, likely, will not have as immediate an impact as the other two; the war of drugs and rural poverty likely resonate more widely than Native American issues. Possible, but it would likely take rapturous reviews (and it's not getting them).

Post Release Report: The reviews have been solid and it's doing well at the box office, but it would take a lot to stay towards the top in an exceptionally back-loaded year. It needed Hell or High Water style praise, and it didn't quite get it.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.4
Wonderstruck (2017)

Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Brian Selznick
Cast: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Cory Michael Smith, Tom Noonan, Amy Hargreaves, Millie Simmonds
Release Date: October 20th
Plot Synopsis: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.

Pros: Haynes has a solid record with the Oscars, with films Carol and Far from Heaven scoring ten nods between them. The last time a Brian Selznick work was adapted it was Hugo, and it scored 11 nods including the big one. Amazon picked the movie up, and it's riding high after scoring Manchester by the Sea six noms (and two wins) last year.

Cons: Haynes has yet to score a Best Picture nominee, and films aimed at families can be seen as "slight".
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Wonder Wheel (2017)

Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Jim Belushi
Release Date: December 1st
Plot Synopsis: Described as a period drama set in New York in the 1950s

Pros: Like every upcoming Woody Allen film, it'll be in contention only if it's good.

Cons: Allen hasn't had a film in BP since Midnight in Paris, which is one of only three Allen films to do so. His last few films (Magic in the Moonlight, Irrational Man, Cafe Society) have made little to no impact, and this one will too if it falls in line with those.
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People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (277 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Wonder Woman (2017)
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And the Nominees Might be...

People who added this item 451 Average listal rating (312 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Moonlight (2016)
As of March 21st

*Call Me by Your Name
*Darkest Hour
*Detroit
*The Greatest Showman
*Mudbound
*Phantom Thread
*The Post
*Suburbicon
*Thank You for Your Service
*Wonderstruck
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I was quite busy this Spring, so this list is pretty late.

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