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Five Potential Oscar Worthy Films for 2015

The 2015 Academy Awards are probably too far away to talk about in terms of which films are going to win, but talking about the films that look promising, and potentially worthy of an Oscar nod, is never too early. Last year’s films, like the groundbreaking CGI fest that was Gravity and the heart-wrenching slavery drama, Twelve Years a Slave, both before release were talked about as having Oscar potential. So if we can predict success along the lines of those two films, then maybe these five films I’m about to name might just stand a chance of Oscar nomination for the 87th Academy Awards:

5. Fury

This upcoming film is possibly one of the riskiest of the five films on this list, as director David Ayer (End of Watch) hasn’t been too lucky in terms of Awards nominations in the past, and his latest feature, Sabotage was panned by critics and fans alike. So Fury, his upcoming WWII film, has a lot to prove; however, it does look like a slightly unique war film with the plot mainly taking place inside a tank, and with a cast from the likes of Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf (just before he went crazy), Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, and Jason Isaacs, it might just elevate the film into something special.

The actual plot is supposed to be about a five man tank crew who embark on a dangerous mission which leaves them outnumbered and out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier who is thrust into their platoon. Wardaddy and his men suddenly face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

The script is written by the director himself, which can only be a good thing, as the last feature he wrote – End of Watch – had great believable dialogue and superb characterisation.  So let’s hope Ayer can emulate that authenticity for Fury and finally get the Academy recognition he deserves. Check out the trailer below:

 

4. Gone Girl

This one has been anticipated for some time because the novel, which was written by veteran novelist Gillian Flynn, was highly successful at the time and praised for its gripping and twisted plot. So no wonder this one has been adapted by David Fincher (Seven and The Social Network) because dark, complex and mysterious plots have been something of a trademark of his films. The cast is impressive too, with Ben Affleck playing the lead, and in support he’s got the likes of Rosamund Pike, Missi Pyle, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry.

Interesting choices of cast here, because many of the actors like Harris and Perry are mainly known to appear in comedy films; however, this is clearly a shrewd move from Fincher: as the plot revolves around a murder, it keeps all these actors on the same level of suspicion, so often with murder mystery films you can tell just by the casting who will be the killer – usually someone who plays those types of roles all the time – but not here.

The plot follows a man who must cope with his wife’s disappearance, having become the focus of an intense media circus; he sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

It sounds fascinating, so with Fincher being a favourite among the Awards’ selectors with his previous two Oscar nominations, could this be Fincher’s time to bring home the Award? Check out the trailer below to see why this is being so widely anticipated:

 

3. Foxcatcher

If you’re looking for something both original in story and in casting, then this based-on-a-true story is one to watch out for. One of the main reasons this has Oscar potential is because of the director, Bennet Miller: known for his Academy Award winning films like Moneyball and Capote, he is on a roll and he’s about to blow us away with his third film, which has been described by critics as “grand” and “moving” but ultimately “desperately sad.”

The unique casting I mentioned earlier is of Steve Carell, who is known for mainly playing incompetent buffoons in comedy films, but in this he has had a complete transformation both in looks (as they used prosthetics to beef his face up) and in his voice tone. It’s going to be interesting watching a great comedy actor go into a serious dramatic role like this, alongside talent such as Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Michael Hall, and Sienna Miller.

That cast is not to be sniffed at, and neither is the film’s plot, which follows an Olympic wrestler called Mark Schultz whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont and his brother Dave Schultz lead to unlikely circumstances.

If you need any more reason to believe why it should be on this list, click on the trailer below for a teaser of what kind of intense atmosphere this film is going to carry.

 

2. Interstellar

When done well, films about space travel can be extremely popular. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek, Star Wars and Apollo 13 are just a few examples of films that have been set in space and gained Oscar nods for both the direction and acting. So this year’s Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception and The Dark Knight) is looking to try and top all of these films with a rather audacious but thematic plot about a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations of human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

The plot’s main message seems to be about how humankind is built to explore the vast regions of space, and that maybe in recent years we have stopped exploring and just tried to live with what we have on Earth; but if we do this, then one day global warming will leave Earth ruined, and if we explore our solar system then we may find another planet which will help mankind grow and survive. This message will, no doubt, attract the Academy’s attention and so will the cast, which is headed by recent Academy Award winner, Matthew McConaughey and backed up by the likes of Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, and Matt Damon. Christopher Nolan (who has already been nominated for three Academy Awards in the past) has clearly made sure this stands the best chance of a nod by picking this cast who have over eight Oscar nominations between them.

Interstellar does seem like it’s going to aim high, just like Inception did when Christopher Nolan and his brother, Jonathan Nolan, basically set the whole movie inside dreams. We will have to see if this will be thought of in the same regard as the likes of Kubrick’s 2001, but if last year’s space film Gravity is any indication whether space movies are in fashion, or that Interstellar stands any kind of chance, then we had better hold on to our hats. Check out the trailer below:

 

1. Nightcrawler

Films about unhinged characters never seem to be out of fashion, and why would they? They are so very interesting, when done right of course. The unpredictability of what the central character is going to do next – like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, William Foster in Falling Down, Max Cady in Cape Fear, and most notably Jack Torrance in The Shining. So this year’s upcoming movie weirdo, Lou Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, looks set to match these great films by showing us how a young man stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism, as he tries to manipulate his way to the top.

The film, directed by Dan Gilroy, is only his first feature, so tipping him for an Oscar nod this early seems rather plucky, but with the film’s American Psycho tone and strong supporting cast from Bill Paxton, Rene Russo, and Riz Ahmed, this could be the surprise breakout of a director trying to show the other side of crime journalism.

The main Oscar appeal to this movie is, of course, Jake Gyllenhaal.  Nightcrawler is no doubt a vehicle for him, but playing characters that at first glance appear to be normal, but are really deeply rotten, is what he is best at. He’s showed this recently when he played two versions of one character in 2013’s Enemy which pretty much prepared him for this madcap role. So hopefully Nightcrawler might just be the first Oscar win, which he so much deserves. Check out the cool looking trailer below:

That’s it from me, but it’s not it from Oscar potential movies, as there are bound to be many more that will turn heads and gain popularity in the coming months. So if you think I should have mentioned another movie instead of one of these, let me know in the comments section below.



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