It speaks volumes as to the power of that little golden statue that, despite the fact it’s more than 6 months until the red carpet is once again rolled out at the LA Dolby Theatre, buzz has already begun concerning who will take home one of film’s most prestigious awards in 2015. With the blockbuster season in full swing, now is the time when many of the film’s you’ll all be hearing about begin to offer audiences their first glimpse at the stories and performances that will be battling it out come Oscar night.
From biographical dramas including Foxcatcher and Wild and the grand cinematic accomplishment of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, to heart-pounding thrillers such as Gone Girl and sweeping epics like Exodus: Gods & Kings, the 2015 Oscars will once again form a centrepiece to everything that is powerful and exciting in current cinema. However, don’t just take our word for it, below is an extensive list of the previews and teasers that have already caught our eye and will no doubt catch the Academy’s.
Foxcatcher (Dir. Bennet Miller)
“I wanna be the best in the world”
Channelling both the gloom and intensity that this startling true story is steeped in, the latest trailer for Foxcatcher effortlessly justifies why the film is already generating heightened Oscar talk. Check out our full analysis of the trailer right here.
Gone Girl (Dir. David Fincher)
“Did you kill your wife Nick?”
The twists and turns of Gillian Flynn’s New York Times Best Seller has already enthralled many a reader and this October you will have the chance to see Fincher’s cinematic adaptation, which he co-wrote with Flynn. Exuding a disquieting dread that chillingly immerses you within this tale of deceit and uncertainty, Fincher looks to be on the top of his game here and the Academy are well-known for their love of powerful American thrillers. Expect to hear Fincher’s name read out when the nominations are announced in late January.
Unbroken (Dir. Angelina Jolie)
“If you get me through this, I swear I’ll dedicate my whole life to you”
The powerful and poignant true story of a determined American that’s directed by the First Lady of Hollywood and written by the Coens, it’s fair to say that Unbroken’s chances come Oscar Night are fairly substantial. Starring rising Brit star Jack O’Connell as Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War 2, this astonishing picture looks set to balance first-class filmmaking with commanding central performances, sweeping the audience along on an incredible journey of survival and self-discovery.
Mr. Turner (Dir. Mike Leigh)
“You still making your nice little pictures Mr. Turner?”
Already a critical triumph on the Festival circuit, Mr. Turner follows the footsteps of the eponymous British artist during the last quarter of his life. From the trailer alone we can see writer/director Mike Leigh drawing his own fascinating canvas here, evoking gentle warmth through Timothy Spall’s beautifully understated performance while addressing some of the key questions about artistic beliefs that were asked during that age. The result is a hypnotic and heartfelt portrait of creative passion, told by one of film’s finest artists.
The Judge (Dir. David Dobkin)
“Sometimes you’ve got to forgive, in order to be forgiven”
If you’re looking for safe acting flutter, then The Judge may well be the one to put a bet on. Juxtaposing his infectiously cheeky persona with theatrical domestic drama, Robert Downey Jr. returns to the more emotionally complicated roles we used to see him do before he first donned the Iron Man suit, playing a man trying to build bridges with his estranged father (Robert Duvall). Though it looks undeniably sentimental, the power of Downey Jr. and Duvall’s performances shines through here, marking The Judge as a serious nominations contender.
The Last Of Robin Hood (Dir. Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland)
“Errol Flynn, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore”
One of the Silver Screen’s comedic kings playing one of cinema’s greatest actors, The Last Of Robin Hood was born for Oscar glory. Telling the story of Errol Flynn’s final days, it stars Kevin Kline in a role that should once again prove his credentials as both a serious and humorous actor. The trailer shines with Kline’s relish of the role, with Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning permeating the atmosphere with added class. A look behind the scenes of classic Hollywood’s celebrity culture, which vastly differs from that shown in the film that follows below.
Map To The Stars (Dir. David Cronenberg)
“It was like a dream, but it seemed so f**king real”
A quote that without doubt sums up your reaction to seeing this red-band preview of David Cronenberg’s latest mind-bending drama, which takes a viscerally absorbing peek in to the lives of Hollywood’s elite. Julianne Moore was widely lauded when the film was shown at Cannes for her portrayal of a manic-depressive actress striving to find that one great role, while Cronenberg was praised for creating a film that dared to shy away from the generalised depiction of celebrity culture in favour of twisted and honest representation. Cynically sensational!
Two Days, One Night (Dir. Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
“Don’t give in. You have to fight”
Another huge hit from Cannes, this haunting French drama taps in to a subject of particular pertinence, redundancy. Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, who only has a weekend to convince her colleges to forego their bonuses in order to keep her job. The Dardenne’s have always shown an exquisite eye for telling relatable stories and imbuing them with honesty and restraint. Powerful and poignant, this short teaser affirms that Two Days, One Night is business as usual.
Wild (Dir. Jean-Marc Vallee)
“I’m lonelier in my real life than I am out here”
Director Jean-Marc Vallee caused quite a stir at this year’s awards for his intensely potent depiction of one man’s battle against both disease and the authorities in Dallas Buyers Club and his latest looks likely to command a similar effect. Reese Witherspoon stars as a Cheryl, who sets off on an 1100-mile hike for personal reasons. Based on true events, the trailer, with its lush cinematography, emotional performances and inspirational story, embodies everything that makes this a front running contender for nominations.
Exodus: Gods & Kings (Dir. Ridley Scott)
“Something is coming that is out of my control”
Ridley Scott’s career hasn’t been particularly noteworthy of late, but let us not forget he once made a sword and sandals epic that both the Academy and audiences adored! Like Gladiator, Exodus is a film that looks sumptuous to behold and captivating to experience. Starring Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Moses & Ramses, this Old Testament tale looks to be a solid return to form for this once fantastic director. Both literally and metaphorically biblical!