The Oscar season starts when October 1st hits around. For those who are not familiar with the awards season, most studios and distributors will hold some of their precious gold until the last 3 months of the year, so that award voters will see films that will still resonate with them when they have to vote. That is why most quality films come out during this fall season, and there are usually a higher concentration of great works of art during the last two months. With so many movies coming out sooner or later (depending on where you live and your access to indie films), here are five films you need to be on the lookout.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Based off the novel written by John Le Carre, this all star cast that includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch (coolest name ever), this spy-espionage thriller has gotten rave reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. I mean, all you have to do is watch this trailer and you’ll be hooked. It’s coming out in limited release so be patient cause it will definitely be worth the wait.
Release Date: December 9th, 2011
Based on the beautiful island of Hawaii, this comedy-drama entails George Clooney as a father who is trying to reconnect with his two young daughters after his wife is involved in a serious accident and is in a coma. George Clooney has always been a top notch actor, but my one complaint with him is that he plays roles that fit his persona. He’s somewhat type casted, but news has come out that George Clooney is his best with doing his most diverse work. And coming from Alexander Payne, who both co-wrote and directed, this is definitely one of the most anticipated fall films of 2011.
Release Date: November 18th, 2011
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Another film that is has been adapted for the big screen, this is centered around a married couple (John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton), who have a son that is, at the least, troubled. The mother and son relationship is sour from a young age, and eventually, the hate for his mother increases to a point where Kevin plans and acts out a horrific act. Though the material may be too dark and disturbing for the Oscars, there is no doubt the screenplay and the performance of Tilda Swinton is getting rave reviews.
Release Date: December 9th, 2011 (Limited) & January 27th, 2012 (Wide)
Steven Spielberg. Even though that could be all Oscar voters need to hear considering Spielberg’s name is Oscar bait, this film is yelling out Oscar contention. Based off the Broadway play with the same title, this transition to the big screen follows a horse, Joey, and his friendship with his young teenage owner, and their unfortunate separation in light of World War I and the attempt to reunite. Steven Spielberg doing a war film is his bread & butter. And then you add the film’s protagonist as a beloved animal? Yeah… the Academy is going to soak this one up real good.
Release Date: December 25th, 2011
A famous Hollywood actor in the silent films era finds a woman who he falls in love with, only to see her career rise into his level of fame while his falls to an eventual bottom. A pretty generic story, until you add the aspect that this film too, is also a silent film. What?! Yes, and the buzz around this film is that it is too charming, too genius and too good to lose. This is a homage to Hollywood’s past, and this is one of those “Oscar films” that always seem to come up every year, a la Th Th Th The King’s Speech. Will it win? If I had to make a bet right now, I would put my money on The Artist…for now.
Release Date: TBD (November 23rd, 2011 most likely)
Other Honorable Mentions:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Material is not Oscar bait & Fincher hates the Academy)
Carnage (High hopes, big expectations, but most likely will fall flat)
Hugo (Martin Scorsese is always a contender, but not his usual film. Could be big though…insert Penn State joke)