With the summer over, the film industry and its fans have have their eyes set firmly on award season. A time where over the winter months actors yell, cry, lose weight or change their appearance in some way, whilst directors and writers tackle more serious tasks.
With this in mind, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at some of this year’s possible contenders for BAFTA’S and Oscars. We’ll kick things off with Foxcatcher, which tells the true story of Olympic Gold winning brothers Mark and David Schultz, whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont led to tragic and fatal circumstances in the late 90’s.
Brought to the big screen by director Bennett Miller, who has already been nominated for an academy award for Capote, this already has a lot of award buzz surrounding it. Add to the mix three central performances from Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and an unrecognisable Steve Carell, whose dark turn here has gained a lot of attention, and this is certain to at least be nominated for a number of trophies.
Another clear contender is Alejandro G Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Opening to rave reviews across the board at this years Venice film festival (but ultimately failing to take home any prizes), it’s a story about a former Hollywood superstar who has failed to break away from his most popular character; the superhero Birdman.
Adding a sense of authenticity, former Batman Michael Keaton takes the lead role in this, and judging by the initial buzz could earn his first oscar nomination with this comeback. Supported by a cast including Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Edward Norton, the film may gain most of its nominations for its performances, but nevertheless looks to have weird and wonderful imagery on show too.
One film I’m really looking forward to is Nightcrawler. Written and directed by The Bourne Legacy scriptwriter Dan Gilroy (a film I really hated), it would usually be enough to put me off completely, but from what I’ve seen of the film so far I’m excited to see the final product.
A dark thriller set in L.A, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a determined and slightly unhinged drifter who finds a career in nocturnal crime journalism by filming gruesome scenes of murders and accidents. Whilst the film itself does look interesting, it’s Gyllenhaal’s performance that could take home a few awards. I’ve always been a fan of his, and with him losing 20lbs for the role and talk of him injuring his hand after becoming so involved in a scene involving a mirror, he seems to be on top form here.
A film that has only recently popped up on my radar and is again creating a buzz is Rosewater. Based on the the memoir ‘Then They Came For Me’ by Maziar Bahari, it tells the harrowing true story of his 118 day imprisonment and torture in Iran after submitting footage to the BBC of public riots in connection with the country’s presidential election.
Written and directed by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, this is the one film that could either be completely ignored or embraced by Academy members. The subject matter is there though, as is a central performance from Gael García Bernal that is certain to turn some heads.
Finally, another film to snatch up a lot of awards could be Interstellar. Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, plot details are quite sparse. From the trailers so far, all we can really gauge is that it involves a group of explorers who set off into space in search of other habitable planets, and that wormholes play a big part in the narrative.
This may sound like simple blockbuster fodder but with Nolan at the helm, you know there’s going to be a lot more going on than meets the eye. Sci-fi is currently as popular as ever with last year’s ‘Gravity’ doing extremely well at the award ceremonies, and this could earn Christopher Nolan his very first and long deserved oscar.
So there you have my selection of big names for next year’s awards. Do you think I’ve missed any? What are your predictions? Feel free to leave your comments below.
Next Week: Why I was wrong about Star Wars…