Top 10 Best Picture Contenders- September 2015

Best Picture

It’s that time of the month- time for a rundown of who I think are going to be the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The contenders don’t look too different, but we do have a new frontrunner, one of the many films boosted by successful screenings at Telluride and TIFF. With NYFF currently underway, the Oscar race is really taking shape, and the campaigns are going to be in full swing as we go into October.

1. Spotlight– After a third place finish at the TIFF awards and currently scoring a massive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, Spotlight is  the first film so far this year that feels like a Best Picture winner. It’s recently announced that it will campaign all it’s actors as supporting, meaning pretty strong chances for Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo to score nominations, and is surely one to beat for Original Screenplay.

2. Steve Jobs– With a strong 91% on Rotten Tomatoes from it’s premiere at Telluride, Steve Jobs‘ screening in New York will surely decide whether it’s a frontrunner. So far, the signs are good, and I’m currently predicting Michael Fassbender to win Best Actor and Aaron Sorkin to win Adapted Screenplay, plus nominations for Brits Danny Boyle and Kate Winslet. This is a film sure to be a critical darling and box office hit.

3. Carol– While it’s buzz is fading slightly following it’s Cannes triumph, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this Todd Haynes directed romance. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara should be safe for nominations, as long as Blanchett’s chances aren’t ruined by the success of her other film, Truth, and as long as Mara stays in Supporting, which she could easily win.

4. The Hateful Eight– Early test screenings has brought good word of mouth for this Tarantino western. Expect nominations for Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but Tarantino may just miss out in Best Director. He has a better shot in Original Screenplay.

5. Bridge of Spies– If there’s any film that ticks all of the Academy’s boxes, it’s Bridge of Spies. It has it’s premiere in a couple of days at NYFF and, if it doesn’t tank, it’s surely in contention. Good reviews and it will surely be a frontrunner, and Spielberg and Hanks may get their returns to the Oscars.

6. Joy– There’s nothing that the Academy loves more than David O. Russell. Following a successful test screening yesterday, fears of Joy being underwhelming has gone away slightly and, with the news that Edgar Ramirez is going t be pushed into Lead Actor, it could mean that a Russell film scores nominations in all 4 acting categories for the 3rd successive time. It’s a long shot, as I only have Jennifer Lawrence in my predictions, but I do think that Russell could win Best Director.

7. The Revenant– This is a film that I’m very unsure of as, if it’s good, it could easily win but, if it underwhelms with mixed reviews, it could be this year’s Unbroken. I’ve only got it getting two other major nominations, with Inarritu and DiCaprio currently filling last place in their respective categories. It’s a tricky one, but it should just be good enough to get a nod, it’s just may not be the treat that everyone thinks.

8. Inside Out– A stand out from the first half of the year, I honestly think that Inside Out has the legs to go on and receive a nomination for Best Picture, following in the footsteps of Up and Toy Story 3, the only Pixar films to do so. It has an awful lot of Supporters, with a stunning 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it will surely be the most widely seen of the contenders. If you don’t think it has people backing it for Best Picture, you should listen to Mark Kermode talk about the film.

9. The Danish Girl– While it has all the ingredients of a Best Picture nominee, The Danish Girl could suffer due to it’s controversial casting of Eddie Redmayne in the lead role, even though it will surely earn him a second successive Best Actor nomination. It currently holds a 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a higher score than Focus Feature’s Oscar hit last year, The Theory of Everything and it should just have enough to score a nomination. It will be the British film that scores the most nominations, following Suffragette’s middling reviews.

10. Room– The winner of the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, Room has risen into Oscar contention with it’s excellent reviews at both Telluride and Toronto. Brie Larson is currently my pick to win Best Actress and it has a good chance at Best Original Screenplay, but does it have the mainstream appeal to beat off strong competition vying for a Best Picture slot.

Also in Contention: Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy, Son of Saul, starring Geza Rohrig.

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