Five Films To Watch This Oscar Season

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Five Films To Watch This Oscar Season

By Alexander Penn

Summer’s flown by, and as we reach closer to Autumn, the Academy Awards 2015 will grow larger in the movie-goers’ conscious. We’re at the awkward stage of the year, where the last of the year’s blockbusters mix with the annual dawn of the auteurs.  Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ has already caused a stir for an early Best Picture shout, but September is when the real business gets going. It’s far too early for us to start making predictions, but there are certainly a bunch of movies we can’t wait to get stuck in to in the coming months. Here’s five of them.


  1. Magic in the Moonlight (

Release Date: 19th September

Director: Woody Allen

Stars: Colin Firth, Emma Stone

Woody Allen, likely the finest screenwriter to ever live, hasn’t let age slow him down. He’s made at least one film a year for about 40 years – extraordinary. Some of them fall flat, some of them are masterpieces, Blue Jasmine being the most recent. Magic in the Moonlight follows English Gentleman-cum-globally-known-illusionist, Stanley (Colin Firth), as he’s sworn in to interrogate a supposed clairvoyant (Emma Stone). Reviews suggest that this rom-com may not hit the heights of Blue Jasmine, but we’re confident this will remain a sharp and witty addition to Allen’s library. May even get a cheeky Best Original Screenplay nod as well.


2) Inherent Vice (

Release Date: 30th January

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: Josh Brolin, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon

Those who remember Joaquin Phoenix being ground down to tears by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the exceedingly powerful, The Master, will know Inherent Vice can’t be missed. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of cinema’s most exciting auteurs – combining gritty themes with weird and wonderful techniques, that occasionally drift into Kubrick territory. Two years after The Master, Anderson’s gunning to conquer the neo-noir sub-genre. The 1970-set Inherent Vice follows a drug-addled detective (Joaquin Phoenix) investigating the disappearance of a former girlfriend. If Phoenix pulls off the role with the same ardour as he did in The Master, we can’t look beyond a strong Best Actor shout.


3) Gone Girl (

Release Date: 3rd October

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

Not to be confused with Ben Affleck’s spookily-similar 2007 drama ‘Gone Baby Gone’, Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ could be the year’s best melodrama. Fincher’s been an excellent servant to Hollywood, directing such staples as Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. His less-is-more style may be the most useful in this kidnap drama-cum-mystery. Ben Affleck plays a man mourning the disappearance of his wife, and soon enough, faces questions over his own innocence. Since the runaway success of Argo, Ben Affleck’s been fairly quiet. This may be his chance to get some serious acclaim for his work in front of the camera, rather than behind it.


4) Interstellar (

Release Date: 7th November

Director: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

With its all-star cast and big-budget effects, this may be confused for a summer blockbuster that’s lost its way on the calendar. However, Nolan’s aiming big with this hotly original space picture. When humans discover a wormhole in space (a theoretical portal into another realm of space-time), explorers (McConaughey included) unite to make a journey through it, into the unknown. The only film to do cosmic traversal justice is quite possibly the greatest of them all: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nolan’s got the ambition to match Kubrick’s masterpiece, and judging by the trailer, this could be glorious.


5) American Sniper (

Release Date: 16th January

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes

How Clint Eastwood continues to make movies at the age of 84 is anyone’s guess. This elder statesman of American cinema may be an inconsistent director, but he’s due a hit out of the park after a couple of relative disappointments. American Sniper is a biographical action flick that follows a NAVY Seal’ recounting his military career, consisting of nearly 150 confirmed kills. So, this has all the making for an interesting, and violent, war-time panorama. Bradley Cooper’s proved himself as a very able actor to take the lead, and could be a dark horse for a Best Actor nomination.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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