March 2, 2012
Yes, yes… we know it was only a few days ago that this year’s winners were announced but to cap off our Oscars coverage for the year, we thought we’d take a look at the films that will be making a splash in a year’s team at the 85th Academy Awards next year.
Lincoln (directed by Steven Spielberg)
The biopic to end all biopics. This is a passion project of Spielberg’s that has been on the cards for a long time now with Daniel Day-Lewis always assumed for the lead role. With those two Oscar heavyweights front and centre, and the fact it deals with a prominent figure in American history, it guarantees nominations at the very least. Would definitely be the very early favourite.
The Master (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
A period drama about the beginnings of an organisation that sounds just a little bit like Scientology. It brings together a much-loved director with potential Oscar-worthy performances from Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix and in particular Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This has the makings of something really great.
Les Miserables (directed by Tom Hooper)
Hooper won for ‘The King’s Speech’ last year and to follow it up he’s taking on the epic stage musical. Proven Broadway star Hugh Jackman is Jean Valjean alongside Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and the villain of the piece, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert. This is bound to be epic and is likely to be held in high regard by the Academy.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (directed by Peter Jackson)
Eight years ago ‘Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson and co swept the board, winning each of their 13 nominations for ‘Return of the King’. For his return to Middle Earth, the pressure is on Jackson to deliver more of the same quality. If he hasn’t lost the Midas touch then this is a good shout for a Best Picture nomination, and hopefully a Best Supporting Actor nod for Sir Ian McKellan.
Django Unchained (directed by Quentin Tarantino)
Tarantino is always a good shout for a nomination, if not always the win that his fans crave. This western is littered with potential winning performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and possibly even Sacha Baron Cohen. It’s a good shout for a screenplay award too.
Cloud Atlas (directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski)
“Six stories all set at different times in different places that become intricately related to each other.” This adaptation of British novelist David Mitchell’s acclaimed book has a cast of top notch quality including Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon and the one person the Academy would adopt if they could, Mr Tom Hanks. It also stars Hugh Grant in a role unlike any in his career. Expect surprises.
The Great Gatsby (directed by Baz Luhrmann)
Baz Luhrmann does his thing once again, this time adapting the classic American novel with a great cast at his disposal. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan take the lead roles with Toby Maguire and Joel Edgerton supporting them in what should be a beautiful film regardless of the strangely unnecessary 3D. May well provide Leo with the nomination he craved but failed to receive for ‘J. Edgar’ this year.
The Dark Knight Rises (directed by Christopher Nolan)
‘Return of the King’ won big because it finished off a much-loved and critically-praised franchise. This is unlikely to achieve the same because it’s based on a comic book (stupid Academy!) but there’s always a glimmer of hope. For this not to be the highest-grossing film of the year would be incredible so it will get nods, even if they’re mainly for technical awards. You know what would be fantastic though? A Best Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Caine, which is not entirely out of the question.
Gravity (directed by Alfonso Cuarón)
“The lone survivor of a space mission to repair the Hubble telescope desperately tries to return to Earth and reunite with her daughter.” Ooooh. The survivor in question is George Clooney, who could well make up for his loss this year to Jean Dujardin in the Best Actor category. He has another Oscar-winner in Sandra Bullock at his side and will be overseen by director Alfonso Cuaron, who made ‘Children of Men’ and the best Harry Potter film ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’.
Prometheus (directed by Ridley Scott)
A director of this caliber always has a chance and all signs point to success with his return to the world of ‘Alien’ he created in the ‘70s. If it pushes all the right buttons then it definitely has a shot at Best Picture, and probably a directorial nod too. Best Picture winners usually have a strong, stand-out performance which looks unlikely despite the quality ensemble. Expect plenty of technical award nods, chiefly make-up, special effects and sound design.
Untitled Bin Laden thriller (directed by Kathryn Bigelow)
Bigelow was the first woman to win the directing prize in 2010, beating ex-husband Jim Cameron in the category before beating his gargantuan blockbuster ‘Avatar’ to the Best Picture prize as well with ‘The Hurt Locker’. Not much is known about this topical thriller starring Hardest Working Actress Ever™ Jessica Chastain, rising star Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong, but it should be special. There were even rumours that while making the film she was leaked information about the whereabouts of Bin Laden.
Untitled Terrence Malick Project
The Academy likes a bit of Malick even if he doesn’t ever win, and if they were willing to nominate ‘The Tree of Life’, one of his more unconventional films, then something like this is bound to be considered. It’s a romantic drama with Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen and Javier Bardem. That’s a lot of talent.