So the Academy Awards are over for another year as Moonlight walked away with the coveted Best Picture prize. However we're already looking ahead to 2018 and anticipating those movies sure to generate buzz at next year's Oscars.
From Guillermo Del Toro to Darren Aronofsky, we've rounded up some of the movie essentials headed your way over the next 12 months, ones that we think stand a good chance of claiming awards gold.
Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful, becomes a successful entrepreneur – and a target of an FBI investigation – when she sets up a high-stakes, international poker game, in this directorial debut by acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
As the writer of such sizzling big screen dramas as A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson's War,The Social Network (for which he won an Academy Award) and Steve Jobs (not to mention the TV series The West Wing), Aaron Sorkin as proved himself perhaps the hottest screenwriter in Hollywood. But this is the first script of his he’s directed, so we only presume he’s pretty in love with this one.
Jessica Chastain heads up the cast as Molly Bloom, with able support from Idris Elba, Chris O’Dowd, Kevin Costner and Michael Cera.
Forget the amped-up action of his epic Dark Knight comic book trilogy or the mind-bending visuals of Inception and Interstellar. Director Christopher Nolan's latest movie sees him focusing on the real-life World War II Operation Dynamo, which saw the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the French town of Dunkirk between 27th May and 4th of June, 1940.
Featuring a quite exceptional cast of A-listers and Oscar-winners including Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Harry Styles (yes, really), this promises to be one of the most emotionally engrossing movie events of 2017. Nolan has won a Best Screenplay gong for Memento, but he’s never won Best Director, which IS RIDICULOUS! Could this be the movie to bag Christopher Nolan the big one?
There’s not much we currently know about this one except that it concerns a mother whose relationship is challenged with the arrival of some uninvited guests. So why are we excited?
Well, it’s the new movie from Darren Aronofsky, whose movies are always challenging and idiosyncratic. Black Swan was the last of his movies to excite the Academy (it was nominated for five and won one, for Natalie Portman), but we’re thinking that the presence of Oscar fave Jennifer Lawrence in the case here might make it a favourite…
Gary Oldman has long been celebrated as one of the most chameleonic and versatile of big screen performers, from his early days in the likes of Sid & Nancy (in which he played punk figurehead Sid Vicious) to his recent turn as the kindly Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight blockbusters.
Amazingly however, he's never won an Oscar and even more amazingly, he's only been nominated once for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2011. Will his transformative appearance as the legendary Winston Churchill in Atonement director Joe Wright's new movie finally bring home the bacon? Here's hoping.
There are two films with this title coming out in 2017. One is an urban musical directed by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, and the other is Pixar’s new animated feature, about a 12-year-old boy who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery. Who know, maybe RZA’s movie will turn out to the biggest Oscar winner in history…
But no, we’ve got our money on Pixar’s Coco, seeing as it’s written by Adrian Molina and directed Lee Unkrich, two of the brains responsible for the superlative Toy Story 3. Hey, it’s Pixar – what else do you wanna know?
The Shape of Water
The Academy don’t usually go for genre pictures. But Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy flicks are different – poetic, stirring, politically engaged. His latest film is set in 1963, against the backdrop of Cold War era America, where Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a janitor in a government facility falls in love with an aquatic man (Del Toro regular Doug Jones) who is being held captive for testing.
Del Toro is a director that has so far been shunned by the Academy. He usually alternates between his big-budget crowd-pleasers (Hellboy, Pacific Rim), and his smaller-scale personal projects (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone). Who knows – the shape of water could be the film that finally gets him noticed by the Academy…
The Book of Henry
Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow returns to his indie roots for this emotional story of a young boy who vows to save his next-door crush from her abusive policeman father, a plan that is then taken up by his mother. Fuse Trevorrow's acclaimed background with low-budget hit safety Not Guaranteed plus an excellent cast led by Naomi Watts and Room sensation Jacob Tremblay, there are lots of reasons to expect this to find favour with the Academy.
Normally we wouldn’t be thinking that a sequel – and a sci-fi sequel at that – would be a contender at the Oscars, but this isn’t your usual genre follow-up.
Directed by the Academy Award nominated Arrival filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, this is the 30-years-later sequel to the classic Blade Runner, with Harrison Ford returning as Replicant hunter Rick Deckard, with – again – the Oscar-nominated Ryan Gosling, fresh from La La Land, as LAPD Officer K.
If Mad Max: Fury Road can defy expectations and end up as a Best Picture nominee, then we’re betting that Blade Runner 2049 can get in there. Might this finally bag Harrison Ford the Oscar he’s never won?
Ravishingly designed period dramas tend to play well with the Oscars – think of the likes of Sense and Sensibility or Shakespeare in Love.
This befrocked extravaganza appears to play right into the Oscar wheelhouse, being the story of the 16th century Netherlands mania for all things tulips, adapted by noted playwright (and aforementioned Shakespeare screenwriter) Tom Stoppard from the novel by Deborah Moggach. Historical fact plus lavish design and an A-list cast rooted by Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan and Christoph Waltz will surely all count in its favour.
Writer/director Alexander Payne has earmarked himself as an acerbic, intelligent and compassionate observer of human nature, having delivered us stunning, Oscar-friendly hits like About Schmidt, The Descendants and recent black and white gem Nebraska. His latest features a brilliantly twisted set-up, focusing on a man and wife who voluntarily decide to shrink themselves – only for the wife to change her mind at the last minute.
It sounds perfect for Payne's caustic yet emotional approach, with the incredible ensemble including Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz (again) and Alec Baldwin.
My Cousin Rachel
One of author Daphne Du Maurier's most celebrated tales of Gothic intrigue gets a sumptuous staging this summer courtesy of Notting Hill director Roger Michell. It's also got the sort of marquee cast that awards season loves, led by Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, in a richly engrossing story of repressed love and skeletons in the closet. Check out the trailer below.
What movies are you tipping for success at next year's Oscars? Let us know @Cineworld.