Top 10 films you’ll hear a lot about come Oscar season

Honorable Mentions

Mary Queen of Scots

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Old Man and the Gun

Peterloo

Roma

Top 10

Hereditary

Synopsis:

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

Prospects:

“Get Out” surged last year during Oscar season despite an early release date. A24 is getting “Hereditary” out there fairly early: June 7th.

From the trailers the film appears downright frightening and maybe a little too much for Academy voters. Like “Get Out” and “The Exorcist” before it though, I can see it being embraced. Currently holds a 89 on Metacritic after it played for critics at Sundance.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Synopsis:

A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

Prospects:

“Moonlight” may not have earned Barry Jenkins a directing Oscar. “La La Land” took that price, but infamously lost Best Picture to “Moonlight.”

“Moonlight” is one of the best “Best Picture” winners this decade and Jenkins is a career to watch. Unfortunately the release date for this film is still not solidified. If not a late release this year, move it up on your 2020 Oscar predictions!

Ad Astra

Synopsis:

An Army Corps engineer searches across the galaxy for his father, who disappeared on a mission to find alien life 20 years prior.

Prospects:

Writer/Director James Gray has been on a roll lately. With “The Immigrant” and “The Lost City of Z” being off-the-radar hits he is due for a breakout.

With a solid cast and a January 2019 release date, it’s easy to see marketing push this out for a limited release to qualify for the next Academy Awards.

BlacKkKlansman

Synopsis:

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully managed to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan and became the head of the local chapter.

Prospects:

You’ve probably heard the raves out of Cannes. Spike Lee has created a critical hit which is currently holding a strong 75 on MetaCritic with 16 reviews.

Normally that wouldn’t inspire tremendous confidence, but this film is brash, loud and right up Hollywood’s alley. It has an August release date, but the timeliness of the film will likely give it the box office boost and word-of-mouth it needs to get to Oscar night.

Boy Erased

Synopsis:

The son of a baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program.

Prospects:

Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig made a huge splash last year with “Get Out” and “Lady Bird.” With John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” becoming a critical hit, we’re seeing a lot of actor/directors prevailing.

Joel Edgerton has proven very talented and with a cast the includes Crowe, Kidman, and Hedges this looks to be another great film.

Widows

Synopsis:

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Prospects:

Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Shame) is another director with a golden track record. A trailer for “Widows” debuted at CinemaCon to an ecstatic crowd.

The wide ensemble is lead by the always great Viola Davis and the film has a strong release date in November.

First Man

Synopsis:

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Prospects:

I’m reluctant to fully support this film, mainly because it has everything going for it. Damien Chazelle just came off an Oscar win for “La La Land” and a nomination for “Whiplash.”

His track record as of late is pristine. Now this film with a huge including Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Kyle Chandler and many more. Add on an October release date and this film looks made for Oscar.

The Favourite

Synopsis:

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

Prospects:

Speaking of directors on a roll: Yorgos Lanthimos has just come off two critical hits with “The Lobster” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”

This time the cast is bigger and the premise is bigger. Its release date is a very confident late November and it features a stellar cast: Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman.

A Star is Born

Synopsis:

A movie star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Prospects:

Bradley Cooper could be another ‘actor-turned-director’ that breaks out. The trailer appeared at CinemaCom to a very enthusiastic response.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper headline another talented ensemble (Hello SAG). The film is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name which won 1 of 4 Oscar nominations.

Backseat

Synopsis:

The story of Dick Cheney, the most powerful Vice President in history, and how his policies changed the world as we know it.

Prospects:

The photos of yet another Christian Bale assimilation have stirred up the buzz on this one.

Directed by Adam McKay who just came off “Thr Big Short,” “Backseat” appears to be another high-energy biopic with an expansive ensemble including Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, and many more.

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