With Toronto and Venice out the way we're officially at the start of awards season, and already contenders are beginning to emerge for the 2018 gongs. We've put our heads together to bring you our hot tickets for next year's Oscars. Quick, get down the bookies now!
So far, this is the movie to beat. Christopher Nolan's immersive tale of the Dunkirk evacuation during World War 2 is highly emotional, based on real events, looks amazing and boasts a quality cast including previous Oscar winner Mark Rylance.
It's got a great shot at Best Picture and Best Director as well as some technical awards. Could possibly get a Best Supporting Actor nod, though it's such an evenly split ensemble that to single out any one performance feels wrong. The only thing that might hold it back is a lack of diversity in a year where race and gender issues are at the forefront for the Academy.
2. The Beguiled
Sofia Coppola won best director at Cannes for her beautiful, playful and brutal tale of women in an all-female school who take in a wounded soldier during the American Civil War. Has standout performances from Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, though again, it's an ensemble.
Coppola will hopefully get at least a Best Director nod, and could possibly win (if she does, she'll only be the second woman ever to do so), but controversy over omission of the racial issues that appear in the book could harm her, as well as the fact that it's had a summer release – not traditionally a good time for Oscar contenders.
Kathryn Bigelow is so far the only woman to have won a Best Picture Oscar, for her previous collaboration with Mark Boal. Detroit – a relevant and highly depressing story of police brutality and murder during the 1967 Detroit race riots – is based on a true story and sticks rigorously to the facts.
Another ensemble, it might possibly attract Supporting Actor nods for Will Poulter or John Boyega. This also has a summer release though, and the highly upsetting and unrelenting nature of the story might put voters off this for the big prizes.
4. The Post
Steven Spielberg + Meryl Streep + Tom Hanks + true life story = the Oscar-baitiest film of the year. We haven't seen this yet, but the pedigree and subject matter – a cover-up that spanned four US Presidents pushing the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalism and government – puts this very high on the radar.
Darren Aronofsky's latest generated buzz from festival and critic screenings but did not please audiences AT ALL, securing itself the worst possible rating from crowds on its opening weekend.
It's a horror allegory starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem who are both already Oscar winners, though Aronofsky has only been nominated and never won. We think it's unlikely to be his year, though we could imagine a nod for J-Law and a production design nom.
6. Get Out
A very left field choice this one – it's a horror comedy from a first-time director, all of which makes it a massive outsider. It wouldn't even make the list were it not for the resounding critical (and commercial) success it's had and the fact that it deals with race issues in a very current way that hasn't been explored in mainstream film.
We don't expect it to win anything but it could get a nomination. More likely though it'll be ignored, causing a mahoosive backlash.
7. Phantom Thread
Paul Thomas Anderson's new one is shrouded in secrecy – but its December release date in the US (February in the UK) lands it smack in the middle of awards territory.
It stars three-time Best Actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis in what's reported to be his very last performance ever, too – he could very easily go for the fourth win for this '50s-set story of a fashion designer hired to clothe high society and royalty in London.
Another long shot – comic book movies never win the main Oscars – but Logan could possibly grab a Best Picture nom. After all, Mad Max: Fury Road made the long list. Best Director is almost certainly off the table, Best Actor for Hugh Jackman and Supporting for Sir Patrick Stewart are possible but not especially likely. It might have to settle for technicals instead.
9. Darkest Hour
A historical drama about Churchill during World War II, directed by Joe Wright who made Atonement, this has a shot in the King's Speech slot. At the very least, we'd expect a nomination (and probably a win) for Gary Oldman. Barely recognisable here as Churchill, Oldman's shockingly never won an Oscar (with only a single nomination), despite being a well-loved actor.
10. The Shape Of Water
Guillermo del Toro's merman fantasy romance has already won the Golden Lion at Venice, and gained almost unanimously positive reviews making it a front runner for the big ones. Best picture, best director and best original screenplay are all likely, as well as costume and production design, while Sally Hawkins is likely to get a best actress nom for her portrayal of a mute cleaning lady working in a high security facility.
11. The Disaster Artist
We'd very much like to see some Oscar success for this incredibly odd-looking true-life comedy about the making of 'The Worst Movie Ever' The Room, with James Franco playing Tommy Wiseau.
Its SXSW premiere (as opposed to Cannes, Toronto, Venice or Berlin) suggests it's not Oscar fodder, but its December release date makes us think, "Oh, Hai Mark."
12. Battle Of the Sexes
A feel good true life story about an American sporting legend (Billie-Jean King) who made massive in roads in fighting gender pay inequality, this could be a strong contender for a best picture nom. Emma Stone and Steve Carell are both excellent (though we're not touted either of them for best acting, mainly because Carell's role is comedic and it's a very strong year in the women's category) though former Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy could get a nod for his screenplay.
13. Molly's Game
Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut is as rapid-fire and dynamic as you would expect, telling the amazing true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), the 'Poker Princess' fighting a legal battle with help from good guy lawyer Idris Elba for her freedom and integrity. She's an unexpected inspiration, and Chastain's a strong contender for best actress. And if Sorkin doesn't win for Best Adapted screen play we'll eat our hats.
14. I, Tonya
Another amazing true life story - this is the tale of Tonya Harding best known as the US ice dancer who nobbled her team mate ahead of the Olympics. The trailers make this movie look like a dark comedy, but the reality is much harder. It's a story of a very talented woman, abused her whole life, who was hampered in her sport because her face didn't fit. Margot Robbie is extraordinary in the title role play Harding from a teenager into middle age - she deserves a nomination, though whether negative feeling toward Harding will hold her back remains to be seen. Alison Janey as her monstrous mother, though, is our current favourite for Best Supporting.
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