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Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Picture Contenders

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Picture Contenders

The star of “Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past” and the singer from 30 Seconds Of Mars are Oscar winners, “12 Years A Slave” beat “Gravity,” Adele Tazeem became the most famous non-existent person on the planet, and no one’s stopped talking about selfies for about 72 hours. The streets of L.A. are now full of discarded The Weinstein Company interns, who haven’t seen daylight for months and are only capable of saying the words “Everything you are and everything you have is ‘cos of that butler.” Yep, the 2013/2014 awards season has come to an end.

And that generally means one thing: the 2014/2015 awards season is getting underway. Like it or not, campaigns are being planned for the months to come, and distributors are ready to start the whole damn thing again. We’ll be doing our best to ignore it for as long as possible, but to put a cap on our awards coverage until the end of the summer, and as we’ve done the last few years, we’re going to pick out some of the films that look likely to dominate proceedings over the next 51 weeks.

Our track record isn’t too bad—if you exclude “Foxcatcher” and “Monuments Men,” whose release dates were delayed into this year, we called five of the nine Best Picture nominees correctly last February, and all five of the best Director nominees, which isn’t too shabby. Will we have the same luck this time? You can take a look at our Top 10 Best Picture picks and 5 That Could Surprise below, in rough order of likelihood, and stay tuned for our look at the acting categories next week. As ever, have your own say in the comments section below.

Our Top 10 Picks

Unbroken
A little under ten months from release, this true-life tale already looks like a potential heavyweight (even a frontrunner) on paper, and Universal has already started selling it as such, debuting the first-look at footage, which lays out the story, during the Winter Olympics. So why is this one already high on the list? For one, the film is directed by Oscar darling Angelina Jolie—two awards, including her humanitarian prize this year—it’s written by a team equally familiar with the Academy Awards stage (Richard LaGravenese, nominated for “The Fisher King“; William Nicholson, nominated for “Shadowlands” and “Gladiator“; and the Coen brothers, who have four Oscars and fourteen nominations between them), and it’s based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, who also provided the source material for Best Picture nominee “Seabiscuit.” For another, it tells the true story of Olympian Louis Zamperini, an athlete who fought in World War II and survived a plane crash and 47 days at sea before being held for three years in a POW camp. So, yeah, it has Oscar written all over it. (and it’s shot by Roger Deakins too.) It might be lacking in traditional star power, as it has relative newcomer Jack O’Connell in the lead, with Domhnall Gleeson, Garret Hedlund and Jai Courtney among the supporting cast. And while Jolie’s first film “In The Land Of Blood And Honey” failed to get much traction, that film was tougher (and in a foreign language), whereas this seems tailor-made for awards success as long as it’s halfway decent.

“Interstellar”
Christopher Nolan
has a spotty track record with the Oscars—several of his films have picked up major nominations and even wins, but only “Inception” managed a Best Picture slot, and the filmmaker himself has never picked up a Best Director nod. So most would agree that he’s due for further recognition at this point, and there’s a lot to suggest that “Interstellar” could be the one to provide it. From what we’ve seen in that brief teaser trailer, and from a flip-through of an early draft of a screenplay, it’s less action-heavy and closer to something like “2001,” “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” or even “Gravity” in its blend of sci-fi and some heavy emotional work. It has an awards-friendly cast, too: recent winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are the leads, with Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Ellen Burstyn among those supporting. It might be that its sci-fi origins prove a problem, but “Gravity” certainly helped to break down some of those barriers, and Nolan has managed to do pretty well with a movie about a man who dresses up as a giant flying rodent and a mind-bending sci-fi action film, so something more toned-down could be a potential juggernaut.

“Foxcatcher”
The most prominent rollover from last year (at least once it emerged that “Monuments Men” was, to put it as kindly as possible, not an awards contender), “Foxcatcher” was all set for a premiere at AFI Festival before hitting theaters in December, but was pulled relatively late in the game, allegedly because director Bennett Miller (“Capote,” “Moneyball“) needed more time to finish the picture. But if, as we suspect, it was more to get out of a crowded season, it was probably a smart move. The 2014 slate is looking less competitive, at least from a distance, and whereas it would have had to fight for a nomination last year, the film will be a safer bet this time around if it’s even vaguely good. And there’s every reason to think that it will be: Miller’s first two films, both Best Picture nominees, were excellent, and early teasers for the project—about schizophrenic millionaire John DuPont (Steve Carell) and his relationship with Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo)—were positively chilling. Plus it has the sole attentions of super-producer Megan Ellison, who has three Best Picture nominations in two years. It could be that the film, like “Monuments Men” was moved because it wasn’t living up to expectations, but with rumors of a Cannes bow in the works, we’re certainly still optimistic.

A Most Violent Year
Three years ago, it was a big surprise when first-time writer/director J.C. Chandor picked up an Oscar nod for the screenplay of “Margin Call.” He didn’t have as much luck with his well-received follow-up, “All Is Lost,” which was the better film, picking up only a single nom. However, the filmmaker is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with in years to come, and he could be back as soon as next year, because there’s already a fair bit of buzz around his third picture. “A Most Violent Year” is a 1981-set crime tale involving an immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) trying to create opportunities for their family during the most crime-ridden year in New York history. Chandor has assembled a superb cast alongside that central pair, with David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, Alessandro Nivola, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Christopher Abbott all on-board. It sounds like it’ll be dark and gritty, but the Academy’s taste have embraced that sort of thing to some degree recently, and in a year without many edgy choices, this could be nicely placed to step into that sort of slot. Chandor’s not quite far along to be considered “due,” and distributor A24 are newcomers to the Oscar game, but they’ve already made clear that they’ll be planning an awards run for the picture. And if it connects with audiences, it could well have a shot.

The Search
Anyone who says that they saw the awards success of “The Artist” coming a year in advance is a liar: even the filmmakers were probably a bit shocked it went as far as it did. So the follow-up from director Michel Hazanavicius, and star Bérénice Bejo, probably doesn’t have the same element of surprise on its side. But it does feel like a more traditionally Oscar-friendly picture in many ways. Seemingly leaving behind Hazanavicius’ comic background, it’s a loose remake of Fred Zinnemann‘s 1948 weepie of the same name (which itself won two Oscars and was nominated for three others), set after WWII, following a young boy trying to reunite with his mother with the help of an aid worker. Hazanavicius has updated the film to the aftermath of the Chechen war (potentially topical, given recent events in Russia), with Bejo as the NGO-worker and Annette Bening in support. It’s relatively common for foreign-language Best Picture nominees to be treated as novelties, and perhaps harder for the director’s follow-ups to get much traction, so there’s some reason to be skeptical. But “The Artist” was a massive success, and considering this one has been shooting under the radar, there is already a big curiosity factor around the movie. There’s no distributor yet, but let’s see who picks it up.

Inherent Vice
We’re of two minds about the Oscar prospects of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest. On one side, PTA broke through to the Academy establishment with “There Will Be Blood,” and though “The Master” missed out on a Best Picture nod in a competitive year (it was likely in the tenth or eleventh slot), it did pick up three acting nominations. His latest, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s novel, should, in theory, have more mainstream appeal given that it’s a sort of period comic noir picture, and it’s also the director’s first true-blue studio picture, with backing from Warner Bros. (who led the pack this year with “Gravity” and “Her“), and has already landed an awards-friendly December release date. Plus the cast is stacked with Oscar nominees and winners, with Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Benicio Del Toro all figuring in. All that said, “The Master” saw him moving in a more experimental direction that could well continue, given that he’s adapting Pynchon, and the stoner-noir feel, on paper at least, seems more like a blend of Altman‘s “The Long Goodbye” and “The Big Lebowski” more than something traditionally Academy-friendly (“There Will Be Blood” at least had echoes of John Ford and Stanley Kubrick in there). Still, with the Academy proving more auteur-friendly in recent years (with nods for “difficult” movies from Darren Aronofsky, Terrence Malick, Michael Haneke, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Spike Jonze, among others), we’re tentatively optimistic about its chances.

Gone Girl
With “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network” picking up braces of nominations without winning the big prizes, David Fincher certainly looks like he’s due at this point, and his latest film, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s “Gone Girl,” could be the film to get him there. The book, a thriller about a missing woman and the husband who falls under suspicion after her disappearance, was a pop-culture phenomenon and promises to deliver the right combination of mainstream thrills and artistry to put it into consideration. Conquering hero Ben Affleck takes the lead role (Rosamund Pike co-stars), and the picture has the October release date that proved so successful forArgo,” “Gravity” and “12 Years A Slave” in recent years. That said, many of those things were true of Fincher’s last picture, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” and that ultimately failed to get a Best Picture nod, and there are problematic elements here. Anyone who’s read the book will know that the central characters are difficult to love, and that’s the sort of thing that has the serious potential of putting off Academy voters. Short of absolutely stellar reviews, this might have a bit of a fight on its hands getting into the final line-up, though Fincher’s track record ensures it’ll be at least in the conversation.

“The Imitation Game”
A year in advance, “The Fifth Estate” looked like it could be a serious Oscar contender, featuring topical subject matter, an award-winning director, and a star fast on the rise. The film barely registered, and was one of the biggest financial disasters of 2013, but there are more than a few reasons to think that this year’s Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle, “The Imitation Game,” might have better luck. Based on a Black List-winning script once linked to Leonardo DiCaprio, it tells the potent story of Alan Turing, who helped to crack the Enigma code and invent the modern computer before being hounded by the British government for his homosexuality—it’s the stuff that Oscar glory is often made of. Cumberbatch has the lead role, with Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong among those in support, while “Headhunters” director Morten Tyldum, who should do a good job with the material, has the helm. And perhaps crucially, The Weinstein Company picked the project up a few months back for a hefty $7 million, suggesting that they’ll be putting it at the center of their awards efforts. But will it be their “The King’s Speech” or their “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” in 2014?

Trash
Few filmmakers have had as strong a track-record with the Academy as Stephen Daldry. The British theater legend has only made four films, but got Best Director nods for the first three, “Billy Elliot,” “The Hours” and “The Reader,” and Best Picture nods for the last three (with 2011’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close“). So while his new film, penned by Oscar nominee Richard Curtis from a novel by Andy Mulligan, is under the radar right now, it certainly shouldn’t be ignored. Not least because it has certain echoes of “Slumdog Millionaire
in its stories of three children in Rio De Janeiro who discover a
mysterious object in the rubbish mounds of the city. There’s a
sprinkling of star power in the shape of co-stars Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen, while Working Title Films, who’ve had success with “Les Misérables” and “Atonement,” among others, are backing the project, with Universal set to release. It may turn out that the film will be more like “Millions
than ‘Slumdog,’ and with Daldry’s last couple of movies proving
controversial in their nomination (due to them being extremely terrible) there’s the potential for a backlash from prognosticators and voters.
Plus it’s biggest downside might be that Universal is already so hot
and heavy about “Unbroken” that this one may not get due attention from the studio. But given
Daldry’s track record, you’d be unwise to bet against him.

Wild
Jean-Marc Vallée
might be one of the more under-appreciated directors in awards season. The French-Canadian helmer got three craft nominations for “The Young Victoria,” despite little buzz around the project, and took “Dallas Buyers Club” to a Best Picture nomination and three Oscars, including two for his actors, though he wasn’t really in the Best Director conversation. As such, we’re certainly keeping an eye on his latest, “Wild.” Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed (and adapted by “An Education” writer Nick Hornby), it stars comeback-courting Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon as a woman who, after the death of her mother and break-up of her marriage, decides to trek her way along 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. It promises the kind of mix of stunning landscapes and a powerful central performance that can be very awards-friendly, and after the success of ‘Dallas,’ there’s every reason to keep an eye on Vallée’s newest picture. “12 Years A Slave” distributor Fox Searchlight has the rights too, and it’s probably their most promising prospect at this stage. And if it can step into the realm of films like “127 Hours” and “Into The Wild,” it could pick up serious steam.

Five more movies that could surprise on the next page…..

5 That Could Surprise

“Suite Française”
After a few years on top, The Weinstein Company had a disappointing awards season in 2013. The studio had too many middling options, took a long time to get their weight behind one or the other, and ended up with only “Philomena” making much impact. The company won only one Oscar, for the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom.” But you can trust that Harvey won’t be letting that happen again, and one of his most promising prospects is “Suite Française.” Based on the posthumous novel by Irène Némirovsky, it’s an epic romance set during the Nazi occupation of France with a very prestigious cast: Michelle Williams takes the lead, with Kristin Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sam Riley, Margot Robbie and Ruth Wilson in support. The Weinsteins jumped on this one early, suggesting real faith in the project, and this sort of fare (particularly with such beloved literary source material) is always a potential threat. The relative unknown quantity is writer/director Saul Dibb, whose “The Duchess” won a costume Oscar, but made little awards impact otherwise. It does have to compete for attention with with the rest of Harvey’s slate, and it’ll need strong reviews to avoid the fate of “August: Osage County,” but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

“Get On Up”
It’s been a little while since one really clicked, but musical biopics, if done convincingly, can be a real awards player. “Get On Up,” a long-gestating Brian Grazer-produced retelling of the life of singer James Brown, has some precedent behind it. The film comes from director Tate Taylor, whose “The Help” proved an unexpected Oscar phenomenon a few years back. He’s brought his nominees Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer along for this one, while rising star Chadwick Boseman (“42“) takes the lead role, and Universal have already given the film the August release date that proved so wildly profitable for both “The Help” and “The Butler.” That said, it’s worth noting that the latter failed to pick up a single nomination despite early buzz, and Brown’s life (PCP-abuse, multiple domestic violence arrests late in life) is rife for the kind of controversy that can spike a potential nominee. All that said, the presence of “Fair Game” and “Edge Of Tomorrow” writer Jez Butterworth among the credited scribes gives us hope that this could be a cut above, and Boseman’s presence suggests that the film will focus more on Brown’s early life and career, rather than his later years.

“Beasts Of No Nation”
We’ll be honest, if we were absolutely sure that this was coming in 2014, we’d probably have it among our top tier of contenders. The last few weeks have seen filmmaker Cary Fukunaga pull off the impressive feat of gaining promotion to the A-list by making a TV series, so there’s no doubt people will be watching the “True Detective” helmer’s next move very closely. And that move is to be an adaptation of the powerful novel by Uzodinma Iweala about child soldiers in Africa. It’s material that threatens to be a difficult to watch, but prognosticators worrying about that sort of thing have been proven wrong more than once of late (nominations for “Amour,” “12 Years A Slave” winning), and a supporting role for Idris Elba should help bring in some eyes, plus this year’s race (so far) is rather lacking in “important fare.” But the movie isn’t due to go before cameras until later this month, which means Fukunaga will have a fast turnaround on what’s likely to be a complicated shoot. Plus it needs a distributor (Focus were linked at one point, but given the recent shake-up there, it’s unclear if that’s still the case), but regardless, to contend in 2014 it needs a tight turnaround. If it can be ready (and it’s not impossible—”American Hustle,” for instance, started shooting at a similar time), it could be a real force, if not, we might just have to wait.

Big Eyes
No Tim Burton movie has ever earned a Best Picture nomination, or indeed Best Director, but on paper, “Big Eyes” has perhaps the misfit director’s best chance yet. A much smaller, cheaper affair than what we’re used to from the helmer, it reunites him with the writers of “Ed Wood” (which did win two Oscars, for Supporting Actor and Makeup) for the true-life tale of Walter Keane, who became a celebrity for his paintings of large-eyed children, only for it to emerge that his wife Margaret was the real artist behind them. It’s the kind of quirky but powerful material that has real awards potential, but perhaps more importantly, has a lot of Oscar-friendly names involved including five-time nominee Amy Adams as Margaret and two-time winner Christoph Waltz as Walter (Jason Schwartzman, Krysten Ritter and Danny Huston are also involved). Plus, The Weinstein Company are backing it, and are clearly going to be targeting awards season for the picture. Burton’s Oscar track record (and, recently, quality track record) is so spotty that we still have reason to pause (“Big Fish” looked like a home-run on paper but picked up only a single nod), but with Harvey on board, this definitely feels like the best bet he’s ever had.

“Birdman”
Despite the incredible bleakness of some of his work, Alejandro González Iñárritu (thanked from the stage this year by Alfonso Cuarón) has always been fairly popular with the Academy. “Amores Perros” was a Foreign Language nominee, “21 Grams” got two acting nods, “Babel” managed seven in total, including Best Picture and Best Director, and even the relatively unloved “Biutiful” got acting and foreign-language shout-outs from Oscar. As such, Iñárritu moving into (nominally) lighter fare with his latest, “Birdman,” could see even greater awards success come his way. An oddball comedy-drama starring Michael Keaton as an actor best known for playing a cinematic superhero trying to revive his career on Broadway, the film co-stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan, and promises to be something of change of the pace for the director. “Inherent Vice” aside, it’s a rather dour-looking slate in 2014, which could work to the film’s advantage (it’s rare to have a year, since the expansion of the field, without at least one comedy-minded nominee), and making it about an actor always helps appeal to the largest voting block. The film is strongly rumored to premiere at Cannes, so we should find out if it’s a solid possibility relatively soon.

Also in the conversation: One we would have absolutely included if we thought there was any chance it would be ready in time is Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes picture, which finally got before cameras last week. With some other directors, it’d be possible for them to make that date, but Beatty spent two years in the editing room on “Reds,” so a fast turnaround is unlikely. Other strong possibilities to look out for are “Suffragette” with Carey Mulligan and Meryl StreepStephen Hawking biopic “Theory Of Everything,” Ed Zwick‘s Bobby Fischer vs. the USSR tale “Pawn Sacrifice” with Tobey MaguireTommy Lee Jones‘ western “The Homesman,” Ridley Scott‘s Biblical epic “Exodus,” Clint Eastwood‘s Broadway adaptation “Jersey Boys” and the Jeremy Renner-starring “Kill The Messenger.”

They’re some way off, but we could also end up seeing Rupert Wyatt‘s ’70s remake “The Gambler” with Mark WahlbergJason Reitman‘s “Men, Women & Children,” “Macbeth” with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, Todd Haynes‘ “Carol,” Mike Leigh‘s “Mr. Turner,” or even Terrence Malick‘s “Knight Of Cups” (or his other one, depending on if they’re done of course) in the conversation. We were more divided on “Into The Woods,” the fairy tale musical from “Chicago” director Rob Marshall. On paper, the combination of a Sondheim classic and an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp is a home run, but people said that about “Nine” as well, and this is decidedly more difficult material (the show has a very tricky structure), so we’re reserving judgement. “Serena” is also a more questionable one—any film starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence would seem to be a dead certainty these days, but there’s been some questionable buzz around Susanne Bier‘s period drama, especially given how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. Woody Allen‘s “Magic In The Moonlight” is always viable, but history suggests you don’t get two decent Woody Allen movies in a row, and there may still be blowback from some of his recent controversy.

If any blockbusters beside “Interstellar” were to make the cut, “Godzilla” and “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” seem from a distance are the most promising, but even if they turn out to be great they’re both very unlikely. Ditto to “The Lego Movie,” despite the great reviews. But more mainstream-friendly pictures that could surprise include Brad Pitt-starring WWII tank drama “Fury,” Cameron Crowe‘s untitled latest, the “Annie” remake, Robert Downey Jr. vehicle “The Judge,” Kevin Costner‘s sports drama “McFarland,” delayed Cannes-opener “Grace Of Monaco” with Nicole Kidman, Shawn Levy‘s “This Is Where I Leave You” with Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Adam Driver, and Helen Mirren and Lasse Hallström teaming for the “Chocolat“-ish “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

As for films that have been seen already, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has long shot at a nomination, it’s less awards-friendly than “Moonrise Kingdom” (which wasn’t nominated), and would need to keep up the momentum for literally 51 weeks. Don’t count on it. From Sundance, Richard Linklater‘s “Boyhood,” a huge critics’ favorite, would appear to be the best bet, but IFC is distributing it, and they’re generally unable to afford to throw money behind Oscar campaigns (they’re also releasing it this spring which generally isn’t the best time for contention). “Calvary” has Fox Searchlight on its side, but if they push it, it’s likely to be for Brendan Gleeson‘s performance rather than the movie as a whole.

Finally, for rather more under-the-radar choices, there’s feminist western “Jane Got A Gun” with Natalie Portman, true story “True Story” with James Franco and Jonah Hill with “12 Years A Slave” Oscar-winner Brad Pitt producing, Hardy adaptation “Far From The Madding Crowd” directed by “The Hunt” helmer Thomas Vinterberg and starring Carey Mulligan, Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy” with Paul Dano and John CusackTom McCarthy‘s “The Cobbler” with Adam Sandler, Soviet-thriller “Child 44” with Tom Hardy, Jeff Nichols‘ sci-fi adventure “Midnight Special,” Noah Baumbach‘s “While We’re Young,” Alan Rickman‘s “A Little Chaos” starring Kate WinsletJon Stewart‘s Iranian drama “Rosewater” with Gael García BernalLone Scherfig‘s stage adaptation “Posh,” and Fox Searchlight’s period drama “Belle.”

Anything you’re putting the chips on? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read all our premature prediction pieces here

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Comments

Ken Guidry

wow man, you got one right!

ruh

transformers 4. by far the best movie ever made

Regular guy that loves movies

Top 4 No Order
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel ( great movie kinda underrated)
2.Boyhood
3. Mr Turner
4. Foxcatcher

This just of what I have seen

BOO

Mr. Turner has become a lock

todd

The Reader is terrible?

Brett

Judging by the two trailers, I believe the new X Men movie is possible

AND

TOP 15 (No Order):
– Inherent Vice
– Interstellar
– Unbroken
– The Grand Budapest Hotel
– Gone Girl
– Foxcatcher
– The Imitation Game
– Fury
– Boyhood
– Exodus
– Noah
– A Most Wanted Man
– A Most Violent Year
– Big Eyes
– Birdman

ben

weinsteins are arrogant

FDR

No love for Chef?? I think Jon Favreau managed to make a pretty great film

Brett

I wish the Academy expanded the acting, writing, and directing categories like they did for Best Picture

Brett

For some reason, MTV is talking about Guardians of the Galaxy as one of the possible contenders…why? Yeah it looks like something Marvel hasn't done but it doesn't look Oscar worthy, if any superhero movie this year should be nominated it's X-Men Days of Future Past, that looks like the Dark Knight of Marvel movies

Max

My Early Predictions:

Exodus
Foxcatcher
Fury
Gone Girl
Inherent Vice
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Kill the Messenger
A Most Violent Year
Unbroken

Bielsa Widow

Don't know if it'll be ready in time but Pablo Larrain's Neruda biopic would seem to have the right mix of topic and pedigree to crossover.

GASTINKS

I'll be the first to put it out there

there are 2 movies on Yves Saint Laurent;one produced by Harvey W and the other one by Luc Besson.The one produced by Harvey is directed by actor turned producer Jalil Lespert and stars Cesar winners Pierre Niney (YSL) and Guillaume Gallienne as Saint Laurent's partner Pierre Berge
On the other hand the other YSL movie is directed by 2011 Cannes Film Festival winner Bertrand Bonello;script writer is Golden globe,BAFTA,SAG nominee and Cannes winner Thomas Bidegain for Rust and Bone (Marion Cotillard) and A Prophet(Jacques Audiard) and stars Cannes Film Festival Palme D'Or winner for Blue Is The Warmest Color Léa Seydoux as Saint Laurent's best friend and jewelry designer Loulou de la Falaise, Cesar winners Gaspard Ulliel as YSL ,louis Garrel as YSL boyfriend Jacques de Bascher and Jeremie Renier as Pierre Berge.Possible role for Catherine Deneuve as herself,possibly Willem Dafoe as Andy Warhol;it also includes Amira Casar as Anne-Marie Munoz,Jasmine Trinca as Talitah Getty.

These 2 movies in France have been THE topic since last year news came out of 2 movies on Yves Saint Laurent and when Berge threatened to sue Bonello from making his version because he didn't ask Berge for approval.Remember Saint Laurent died in 2008.Berge gave Lespert his approval for this version.

Lespert's Yves Saint Laurent came out in France this January to good reviews especially for Niney and Gallienne but the French movie business,critics and foreign critics are all waiting for Bonello's and I saw Lespert's movie 2 weeks ago and it was nice,superb acting by the leading men but the rest of the cast was weak and the movie itself lacked and was it was obvious that Pierre Berge was all over this movie.Sad for the actors

so my $ is on Pierre Niney (Lead Actor),Guillaume Gallienne (Best Supporting Actor) and Gapard Ulliel(Lead Actor) getting Oscar nominations and Léa Seydoux (Lead or Best Supporting Actress) as well in 2015

buddy

What's with the morbid fascination with the Oscars? After putting us thru months of speculation and rumours and then a week of obnoxiously detailed coverage and analysis, you're already starting up with next year? I thought this site was called 'Indiewire'? Instead of celebrating independent films because they're good and worthwhile- full stop-, you're perpetuating the toxic myth that the be-all and end-all for all films is the elusive recognition by some paid-off dinosaurs and a night of empty pageantry.

Bradley

What about Stephen Frears' Lance Armstrong film? Great cast/writer/crew and y'know, Philomena didn't direct itself, despite what all these awards bodies might say.

You'd almost think actors and crew just turn up and make a film without anyone guiding the ship.

jervaise brooke hamster

The Oscars are a ludicrously out-moded and embarrassing joke, do you really think anyone gives a hoot-in-hell anymore about who wins those laughable and pathetic little statuettes, the entire ceremony is a tiresome and unwatchable fiasco that should`ve been flushed down the toilet years ago ! ! !.

Chris

I wanna say Magic in the Moonlight is going to be nominated for something.

BRIAN

How about Scott Frank's "A Walk Among the Tombstones" starring Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens?

1974

C'mon Playlist, we want more premature oscar predictions- acting categories!

Greg

Why wouldn't There and back again be a shoe in? With the 3rd LOTR move winning. I though the 3rd hobbit would win hands down?

Terry

What do people think about THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY? Steven Spielberg and Oprah are producing, Helen Mirren starring, screenplay by Stephen Knight. Feels like an Academy friendly story but flying a bit under the radar.

Tyler

I came out of sundance this year seeing a great amount of solid Oscar-worthy films. Boyhood was already mentioned but WHIPLASH, THE DOUBLE, THE SKELETON TWINS, KUMMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER, and INFINITLY POLAR BEAR were all phenomenal narrative films that caught my attention (I'll be VERY surprised if Ruffalo doesn't at least pick up an ISA nomination for Polar Bear).

Brett

Best Picture:
Gone Girl
X-Men Days of Future Past
The Cobbler
Interstellar
Noah
Exodus
Jersey Boys
Boyhood
Rob the Mob
Inherent Vice
The Hundred-Foot Journey
If I Stay
Get on Up
Birdman
Draft Day
McFarland
Million Dollar Arm
Hobbit 3
Child 44
Into the Woods
Annie
Paddington
Big Eyes
The Giver
The Search
A Most Violent Year
A Most Wanted Man
Unbroken
Foxcatcher
Fury
True Story
Knight of Cups
Imagine
Far From the Madding Crowd
The Fault in our Stars
Love is Strange
The Judge
Grace of Monaco
Veronica Mars
The Immigrant
Serena
The Good Lie
Wild
The Drop
When the Game Stands Tall
Trash
Transcendence

Best Actor:
Adam Sandler (The Cobbler/Men Women and Children)
Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar)
Christian Bale (Exodus)
Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher)
Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice)
Russell Crowe (Noah)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Maggie)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Tom Hardy (The Drop/Child 44)
Tobey Maguire (Pawn Sacrifice)
Michael Pitt (Rob the Mob)
Jack O'Connell (Unbroken)
John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys)
Chadewick Boseman (Get on Up)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Colin Firth (The Railway Man)
Jeff Bridges (The Giver)
Kevin Costner (Draft Day/McFarland)
Jon Hamm (Million Dollar Arm)
Brad Pitt (Fury)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (A Most Wanted Man)
Al Pacino (Imagine)
Alfred Molina (Love is Strange)
Robert Downey Jr (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Bradley Cooper (Serena)
Jim Caviezel (When the Game Stands Tall)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Johnny Depp (Transcendence)

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Jennifer Lawrence (Serena)
Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
Chloe Grace Moretz (If I Stay)
Quvenzhanai Wallis (Annie)
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild/The Good Lie)
Rooney Mara (Trash)
Natalie Portman (Jane Got a Gun)
Melissa McCarthy (Tammy)
Helen Mirren (The Hundred Foot Journey)
Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Halle Berry (Frankie and Alice
Shailene Woodley (The Fault in our Stars)
Rachel McCadams (A Most Wanted Man)
Emma Stone (Magic in the Moonlight)
Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
Mila Kunis (Jupiter Ascending)
Berenice Bejo (The Search)
Marrion Cottiliard (The Immigrant)

Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Walken (Jersey Boys)
Gary Oldman (Child 44)
Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
Joel Edgerton (Exodus)
Owen Wilson (Inherent Vice)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Shia Labeouf (Fury)
Aaron Paul (Exodus)
Garrett Hedlund (Unbroken)
Johnny Depp (Into the Woods)
Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)
Willem Dafoe (A Most Wanted Man)
John Lithgow (Love is Strange)
Nat Wolff (The Fault in our Stars)
Ray Romano (Rob the Mob)
Alan Arkin (Million Dollar Arm)
Frank Langella (Draft Day/Grace of Monaco)
Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice)
Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher)
Mark Ruffallo (Foxcatcher)
Michael Sheen (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Dustin Hoffman (Imagine)
Martin Sheen (Trash)
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Jamie Foxx (Annie)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Immigrant

Best Supporting Actress:
Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods)
Jennifer Garner (Draft Day)
Laura Dern (When the Game Stands Tall)
Viola Davis (Get on Up)
Noomi Rapace (The Drop/Child 44)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Vera Farmiga (The Judge)
Melissa Leo (The Judge)
Maria Bello (McFarland)
Sigourney Weaver (Exodus)
Cameron Diaz (Annie)
Emma Watson (Noah)

Best Director:
Michel Hazanaviscious (The Search)
Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys)
Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
David Fincher (Gone Girl)
Ridley Scott (Exodus)
Darren Aronofsky (Noah)
Bryan Singer (X-Men Days of Future Past)
Peter Jackson (Hobbit 3)
J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year)
Stephen Daldry (Trash)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
James Grey (The Immigrant)
Angelina Jolie (Unbroken)
Tim Burton (Big Eyes)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Terrence Mallick (Knight of Cups)
Rob Marshall (Into the Woods)
Will Gluck (Annie)
David Ayer (Fury)
David Dobkin (The Judge)

Best Original Screenplay:
Magic in the Moonlight
The Judge
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
The Cobbler
Knight of Cups
Fury
The Good Lie
Draft Day
Tammy
Men, Women, and Children
Birdman
St. Vincent De Van Nuys
The Search

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Unbroken
Paddington
Hobbit 3
X-Men Days of Future Past
Get on Up
Jersey Boys
Gone Girl
Into the Woods
Annie
Million Dollar Arm
Noah
Exodus
McFarland
The Giver
The Hundred Foot Journey
Foxcatcher
Big Eyes
A Most Violent Year

Best Animated Feature:
The Lego Movie
Home
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
How to Train your Dragon 2
The Legend of Oz: Dorothy's Return
The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6
more obscure animated movies

Paolo

Aronofsky's 'Noah'?

Brett

What about Maggie starring Arnie? Yeah it doesn't sound Best Picture worthy, but it's different from Arnold's other movies, it could get him a Best Actor nomination

Parker

Oh, two upcoming Witherspoon movies are on the list – where is Poya?:D

Go, Reese, both IV and Wild look like unique projects.

I hope she will get an other nomination, but that's true – amazing performances from actresses here or there – Adams absolutely deserves an Oscar award.

Leonardo

Maybe i'm just burn out because the awards were just 4 days ago, but i can't think of any other "left-field" choices for this, maybe "Locke", "Enemy", "The Voices", and "The Double" but only for Acting and some Technical categories.

Andre

I have a strong feeling that Cumberbatch and Amy Adams gonna win as best actor and actress next year

cirkusfolk

I may have missed it but did u guys mention Cameron Crowe's untitled film? It had a December 25th release date and stars the two time in a row nominee, Bradley Cooper. I know his last film, We Bought a Zoo, had the same Christmas release but got ignored (unjustly IMO). Still I think he can score another Jerry Maguire type hit.

lee

Is it such a good thing that the Oscars have become so predictable you can guess the nominations in February? I'm hoping the studios wise up and realise that there's money to be had releasing quality movies throughout the year; The Godfather was released in March, Annie Hall April, Chinatown January, Silence of the Lambs in February.

Vince

WHIPLASH?

JK Simmons for best supporting actor?

dan

Can see interstellar, A Most Violent Year, Foxcatcher and Big Eyes being big players. And i hope they will be, Steve Carell in Foxcatcher is going to be very interesting to see. J C Chandor is on a roll and I hope AMVY is going to be great, maybe some nods for Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. interstellar might be the one this year, I'm just a bit more sceptical about Nolan's films than most people (Memento is still my favourite). Big Eyes i think will get Amy Adams an Oscar, I hate the notion that someone is "owed" an Oscar but it will really be her time if she's nominated and she'll deserve it.

i can't see inherent vice challenging, except maybe acting nominations because that's the only part of The Master that the Academy had to admit was incredible. Vice is just going to be too weird for the Oscars.

I'd also love Jeff Nichol's Midnight Special (if that comes out in 2014) to get attention, but Nichols seems to go under the radar all the time, despite having made the incredible Take Shelter and Mud.

Also maybe Boyhood has a good chance this year? I think Richard Linklater is owed some love.

That Kid

Gosh, I totally forgot about "Carol" but that's probably the safest bet in acting nominations. "Foxcatcher" is my early favorite thanks to Bennett Miller.

Marko

Remember last year when you guys thought Man of Steel could be a contender?

JCS

Also Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby has probably good chances for few noms

Josh

Trash isn't an awards play. It's much more of a genre film and it is opening early in the year.

benutty

The Homesman is going to destroy.

C

It's Adele Dazeem. With a D. Do you all ever fact check anything?

NewYorker

awesome list. my early best picture predictions are
Big Eyes(oscars love the weinsteins)
Foxcatcher
Gone Girl
Inherent Vice
Intersteller
Into The Woods
Men, Women, Children(maybe it will makeup for Young Adult & Labor Day for getting snub)
Wild(just because dallas buyer's club & 127 hours were nominated for best picture)
Unbroken

lookfar

What about the immigrant?

ek

no…ye called four of the best pictures

Meh.

The Rover? David Michôd's Animal Kingdom was pretty much a masterpiece and from the looks of it, a reinvented Pattinson and the ever brilliant Guy Pearce are likely to make for a pretty terrific ride.

shark

I'm not sure why you've sort of discounted Fury. All indications are that the studio wants it to be an Oscar play, and I've heard the script is quite good.

AClown

"Guessing about next year's award ceremonies without seeing the films: Because Hollywood awards really are that shallow!"

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