After all the Oscar talk of who won, who lost, who stole the show, and how the show ran, maybe you're exhausted on 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Philomena, American Hustle, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Captain Phillips. So, how about we look ahead to 2015?
Because it's never too soon.
There's a barrage of high-profile projects coming out in the next 10 months that can qualify for the Academy Awards, but which 10 features do we feel are fighting fit for Oscar? Sure, most of these are sight unseen. But after all the award season predictions and Oscar watching, we think we've nailed down 10 films that are ripe for a Best Picture nod next year.
1. "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, and Tilda Swinton.
Director: Wes Anderson
Release Date: March 7th, 2014
Why It Could Win: Anderson has been Academy Awards-nominated three times, twice for Best Original Screenplay (Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums) and once for Best Animated Feature (Fantastic Mr. Fox). The Grand Budapest Hotelis his most elaborate and ambitious production yet, and we suspect the Academy will take notice and pay tribute. It's got a spectacular and star-stacked cast, an earnest nostalgia for old school Hollywood fare, as well as a whimsical story of romance and regret. What's not to love? Plus, as we've seen with Her's nomination, this Academy is not so stodgy as it once was.
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Release Date: March 28th, 2014
Why It Could Win: On paper this biblical pic is pretty tough to beat. Writer-director Aronofsky has an enviable record with the Academy since 2000, when his second film Requiem for a Dream earned an Oscar nod for Ellen Burstyn. In 2009, The Wrestler wrangled nominations for Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. Two years later, Natalie Portman won for Black Swan, which also boasted a Best Director and Best Picture nod. Now, I won't go so far as to say Aronofsky's due at this point. But no matter how daring his dramas, he's made the Academy recognize him. A nomination is almost guaranteed. But with a cast of Oscar-winners onboard, Noah could be his big winner.
3. "Devil's Knot"
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos, and Alessandro Nivola
Director: Atom Egoyan
Release Date: May 9th, 2014
Why It Could Win: Egoyan has had two previous brushes with Oscar, both in 1997 when he earned nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for The Sweet Hereafter. Since then, his brand of sensual crime drama has largely been ignored by the Academy. But this time he's sinking his teeth into a twisted true crime story that has drawn headlines for decades. It's sure to pique Academy members' interest, and with a cast made up of Oscar winners (Witherspoon, Firth and Ryan) as well as actor to watch Dane DeHaan, Devil's Knot could prove darkly enticing enough to get Egoyan a Best Picture nomination at last. At the very least, it should lock down some acting nods.
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