The Odyssey Awards: 2018 Retrospective

As everyone begins to wind down after Christmas, here at JUMPCUT we’re excitedly gearing up for 2019! Before we’re done with 2018 though, we have a few more treats up our sleeve for you, including our most anticipated films of 2019 list and some big news which we’ll be sharing in a few days!

The retrospective features just some of our favourite films this year* (sadly we couldn’t fit them all in!) including A Quiet Place, BlacKkKlansman, Blindspotting, Bumblebee, Hereditary, Widows, Annihilation, Avengers: Infinity War, Love, Simon, and First Man to name but a few.

We’re sure you’ll likely pick up some notable absences from our video, but we aimed to keep it less than 2 minutes long – so not all our choices made the final cut!

We’d love to hear what films you’ve enjoyed this year and if you’ve got your top 10 list firmly nailed, share it with us on Twitter!

 

*based on UK release dates

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It’s Time To Start A War In The First Trailer For ‘Sicario’ Sequel – ‘Soldado’

“FBI agent Matt Graver teams up with a former member of a Mexican drug cartel to kidnap a kingpin’s daughter.”

Directed By: Stefano Sollima

Cast: Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Donovan

Release Date: June 29th, 2018 (UK TBA)

Thanks For The Liebster Award Nomination

We’d like to say a big thank you to the lovely Alicja Johnson AKA Reel Red Reviews for nominating JumpCut UK for a Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is an online award passed on from blogger to blogger. By being a part of the Liebster Award process, bloggers can gain recognition for their own work, whilst discovering new and interesting bloggers. 

The rules are simple – answer the 11 questions set by the blogger who nominates you, and then nominate the bloggers you think deserve the award and pose them 11 questions of your own. 


Our editor-in-chief, Jakob, answers Alicja’s questions here:

1.What is your favorite movie from 2015? 
2015 actually turned out to be an amazing year for film releases, with ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Sicario’ really impressing me. The best release of 2015 though, was ‘Whiplash’.
2. What are your most anticipated movies for this year?
I’m incredibly excited for all the comic book movies set to be released in 2016, but ‘Batman v Superman’ is a momentous occasion for cinema. Later in the year, Star Wars spin-off ‘Rogue One’ should be amazing too.
3. Biggest Disappointment (movie or TV show) from 2015?
Simply because of my own huge expectations, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was kinda disappointing. It was still a decent film, but nowhere near what I had hoped for, and the titular villain was a real letdown.
4. What celebrity do you think you’d get along really well with – who could be your best friend?
There’s lots of people I would love to hang out with. It would be great to spend some time with Margot Robbie, for obvious reasons, but in terms of a best friend, Oscar Isaac seems like a cool guy.
5. Do you have a celebrity lookalike? If not, is there a celebrity you’ve always imagined yourself being like?
I don’t think I look like anyone in particular, but if I could be like anyone, it would have to be Batman. You should always aspire to be Batman.
6. Do you have a travel bucket list? What are the top three places you’d like to visit?
I’m desperate to go and see the Northern Lights, probably in Norway – that’s number one on the list. I would love to relax on a beach in Hawaii too, of course, and maybe somewhere in South America like Brazil.
7. Name your ideal comfort meal.

Pizza. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed with pizza.
8. If you could choose any epic movie death, which way would you go?
I reckon it would be cool to go out in a massive shootout, à la any Quentin Tarantino film.
9. Which fictional town (or school, like Hogwarts) would you choose to live in?
I would love to live in Gotham City and give Batman a helping hand. Plus, it would be cool to meet The Joker.
10. What’s the first movie you remember seeing?
The first movie I remember seeing, at the cinemas at least, was ‘Babe’. You know, the George Miller film about the talking pig. I loved that film when I was little.
11. How long have you been blogging for, and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging for just over a year now. I started writing in January 2015, simply as a way to express my thoughts after watching films, kinda like an online journal. The plan quickly changed though, and I decided to push JumpCut UK to become a much broader venture and put together a team of writers (who are all excellent by the way).

So, we nominate: 

The Movie Guy 14
HC Movie Reviews
The Craggus
Movieblort
Caz AKA Let’s Go To The Movies
Grog’s Movie Blog
The Watcher Blog
A Tale Of Two Dans
Film Carnage
Movierob
and Jay AKA Assholes Watching Movies

Now, please answer these questions for us guys:

1. Which actor would you pick to play the lead in a biopic of your life?
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
3. What’s the first ever film you remember watching?
4. Do you prefer watching films at home or at the cinema?
5. What is your favourite quote from a film?
6. Who is the coolest film character of all time?
7. Generally speaking, what is your favourite genre of film?
8. If you could interview any actor/actress/filmmaker, who would you pick?
9. Do you want to work in the film industry, and if so, in what capacity?
10. It seems that every film gets a sequel/remake these days, but which one film should never be messed around with?
11. Which 2016 film are you most excited about?

Thanks again to Alicja, and thanks in advance to all of our nominees for joining in and answering our questions. Peace y’all!

The JumpCut UK Film Awards Show

It’s been months in the making, but finally we can bring you the results and the full show of the first annual JumpCut UK Film Awards; an awards show put together by film fans, for film fans. If you’re tired of The Oscars, this is the perfect awards show for you.

The show is just a bit of fun, as you’ll see, but at the heart of it is an attempt to celebrate some of the films, filmmakers and performers who were perhaps overlooked by the big awards ceremonies. If you don’t fancy watching the show however, here is a quick rundown of the results. Stop reading now if you don’t want to spoil the surprise.

technical

Best Trailer: Star Wars The Force Awakens
The Guilty Pleasure Award: San Andreas
Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress: Alicia Vikander
Worst Acting Performance: Adam Sandler (Pixels)
Best Soundtrack/Score: Whiplash
Best Visual Effects: Star Wars The Force Awakens
Best Alternative Film: The Lobster
Worst Sequel/Reboot: Terminator Genisys
Best Support Actress: Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Best Support Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Horror: It Follows
Best Comedy: Spy
Best Sci-Fi: Ex Machina
Best Action: Mad Max Fury Road
Best Drama: Whiplash
Worst Film: Pixels
Best Editing: Birdman
Best Original Story: Ex Machina
Best Adaptation: The Martian
Best Cinematography: Sicario
Best Lead Actress: Charlize Theron (Mad Max Fury Road)
Best Lead Actor: Miles Teller (Whiplash)
Best Director: George Miller (Mad Max Fury Road)
The Best Film of 2015: Whiplash

Thanks to everyone who helped out, from the nomination process, to the final voting and of course to all the presenters. We’ll be back with an even better awards show for 2016 this time next year, but in the meantime, enjoy the show and let’s hope for some great films this year again!

The Best Documentaries Of 2015

Written by Mark Blakeway

As noted in my Top Films of 2015, the year for documentaries was especially strong. So much so that I have decided to give them their own list, and I urge you all to seek these out when possible.

In no particular order, here are my top documentaries of 2015…

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Alex Gibney delves deep into The Church of Scientology – looking at its links with the celebrities who openly endorse, support and fund it – and takes time to interview those who have left the church for a variety of reasons. As with most documentaries, it clearly has an agenda from the off, and treads a fine line between sensationalist and investigative, but in terms of a catch-all documentary about the church, this is as succinct as it gets.

Cartel Land

I haven’t put these in any order, but if there was going to be a number one spot, it would go to ‘Cartel Land’. Matthew Heineman puts himself in the heart of the action as he looks to showcase those taking on the Mexican drug cartels. This is grass-roots documentary making at its finest, quite often getting caught in the firing line, offering nothing but the most brutal and honest depiction of horrendous violence that takes place on a daily basis. ‘Narcos’ and ‘Sicario‘ may have caught your attention, but there is no substitute for the real thing.

Amy

I wasn’t hugely into Amy Winehouse’s music when she was alive, but you couldn’t deny her talent and originality when you heard it. She was an incredible presence, but the unfair treatment of her in the press was disgusting and sickening. I was lucky enough to see Asif Kapadia’s excellent documentary at Glastonbury last year and while ‘Amy’ was shrouded in contention upon release due to some unfavourable depictions of certain individuals, I feel that the Winehouse story is almost too personal to get completely right. This may be the closest thing we get to a definitive picture of Amy. Read my full review here.

Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson

Stumbling into the tent at Glastonbury to see ‘Amy’ nice and early to get a good position, meant that I caught this documentary too. A surprisingly upbeat tale of the super-talented guitarist from the band Dr. Feelgood, who, when diagnosed with terminal cancer, decides to ignore it. Johnson comes to terms with the eventuality before him and just gets on with his life the only way he knew how. It’s an extraordinary tale, impeccably produced and told in a truly unique style; as Johnson openly reflects on his impending death, spliced with archival footage and longing shots of his hometown of Canvey Island, it creates something immensely profound.

A Syrian Love Story

Sean McAllister’s documentary about a Syrian family, who struggle to keep everything together while fleeing the country they love is simply remarkable. Filmed over the course of five years, it’s difficult to think that the heartbreaking reality of Syria as we now know it could have been foreseen, and serves as a parallel for this refugee tale. This is a sympathetic project, although they would not want you to see it that way, because these particular refugees are not looking for handouts. They do not even want to leave, but for fear of their safety and their children’s safety, they have to. This was and still is, an incredibly important documentary.

The Look of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer’s ‘Act of Killing’ showed the mortifying reenactments of the executions of suspected communists that took place in 1960’s Indonesia. The people who carried out these horrific acts are celebrated heroes, feared in their local villages, and it’s within Oppenheimer’s ‘Act of Killing’ that we meet the people responsible as they carry out the reenactments. In ‘The Look of Silence’, an optician who has a direct link to the genocide through a deceased family member, is shown watching the first doc, then interviewing the men himself under the pretense of an eye exam. Probing personal questions add another layer of sheer disbelief to the previous installment, in this simple yet fascinating documentary.

The Jinx

In mid-2015, HBO did a ‘Making a Murderer’ before Netflix did it, and its name was ‘The Jinx’. Don’t be fooled by this story though, while it has similarities, it is for the most part, entirely different. Robert Durst was accused of murder in 1982, and again in 2000, and again in 2001 – each time for a different crime. The story was so enthralling that it was made into a film titled ‘All Good Things’ in 2010 by director Andrew Jarecki, the same director who is at the helm for this particular mini-series. Off the back of the film, Durst offers to be interviewed by Jarecki in what turns out to be a process over several years, and the results are jaw-dropping. It looks sharp, it’s well compiled, and the line of questioning is raw and intrusive; this is one of the most compelling documentaries you can watch.

The Wolfpack

It’s almost like an odd experiment, in which six young boys are locked away in an apartment in Manhattan with no access to the outside world for their whole lives. They’re not there by force, it’s just how they have been brought up by two parents who fear for their safety. The only knowledge they gain is the homeschooling from their mother, but also their continuous passion for movies. Nicknamed “The Wolfpack”, they don ‘Reservoir Dogs’ styled attire, talk with Italian-American gangster accents, and that’s when they’re not acting out their favourite movies in their entirety. There are a few unanswered questions, and it’s not shown in a chronological order for some odd reason, but it’s interesting. No doubt this won’t be the last time we see The Wolfpack.

He Named Me Malala

A young girl called Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban, but survived. The reasons for her shooting were simply that she wanted to speak out against the tyranny the Taliban were inflicting on the regions education for girls. The sheer fact that she is alive is incredible, but what trauma does that bring with it? Many would be too scared to continue to speak out for further fear of retaliation, but not Malala. This inspiring documentary showcases the unbelievable story of Malala very effectively, but in terms of a target audience this is better positioned for people with no prior knowledge of the story of Malala, as it offers little more than that – a story. For those that know her, this appears more like a 90-minute-long advert for Unicef; very high-level, avoiding any real hard-hitting questions. If you want something a bit more in-depth, I hear her book is fantastic.

Meru

‘Everest’ was a huge disappointment for me personally. It wasn’t nearly scary enough and it didn’t look or sound good. It was just an average film. Part of the reason I chose to watch it was that I wanted to be scared. Scared of the unpredictability of the elements, in awe of the achievements of the men who did it, and not knowing what on earth was going to happen next. Thankfully, ‘Meru’ stepped in to fill this void. A documentary about three elite climbers who try to tackle Mount Meru via the “Shark Fin” route; a route nobody has ever done before. Worrying, scary and gripping – and it doesn’t look half bad either.

Cobain: Montage of Heck

Prolific, inspiring and absolutely game-changing; Kurt Cobain’s life and influence is one that cannot be replicated easily, if at all. Director Brett Morgen’s ‘Montage of Heck’ puts the focus on the infamous Nirvana frontman, attempting to tell his story through home videos, clever transitional animations, recordings and interviews with surviving family members.  This feels truly fresh, and much like the Amy Winehouse documentary mentioned earlier, as close to a definitive film we will probably get.

Gascoigne

Paul, Gazza, Gascoigne – whether you are a fan of football or not, you will be familiar with this football icon. He has been the subject of intense media scrutiny over the years, from his early rise to fame to his eventual fall from grace; it seems a story all too familiar when the media are involved. Unfortunately it fails to really dig deeper into this aspect, perhaps he did not want to delve into it, maybe it was too much for him to do, and a mainly positive look back at his career might be the final confidence push he needed to not relapse. Avid football fans will enjoy this documentary; even if you were too young, seeing some context to that World Cup run, the Euro ’96 goal and that free kick, you will find plenty to love. It’s a remarkable story, and for nostalgia alone it’s worth a watch.

Oscars 2016: The Nominees

The second biggest awards show in the film calendar (after the JumpCut UK Film Awards, of course) is feeling a hell of a lot closer now, after the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards were announced this week. 

Not surprisingly, ‘The Revenant’, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s critically-acclaimed follow-up to his Best Picture win of last year (Birdman), leads the way with 12 nominations. The Academy also pleased film fans everywhere with a surprising 10 nominations for everyone’s favourite action film, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.

As usual, there’s plenty of controversy and public outcry, with scripts from Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight) and Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs) snubbed, and an apparent lack of diversity still plaguing the awards show. 

Will Leo finally win the Oscar? Can Iñárritu win back-to-back director gongs? Or will George Miller and his brainchild ‘Mad Max’ steal the show? Here’s all the nominees, plus a few predictions as to who might win on the night (although, if my earlier predictions of the Best Picture nominees are anything to go by, I wouldn’t pay much attention to my guesses).


BEST PICTURE
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant (our winner)
Room
Spotlight

BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (our winner)
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room (our winner)
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (our winner)
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol (our winner)
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

DIRECTING
Adam McKay – The Big Short
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road (our winner)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Anomalisa (our winner)
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

COSTUME DESIGN
Carol (our winner)
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Body Team
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

ORIGINAL SONG
“Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3” – Youth
“Til It Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre

ANIMATED SHORT
Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow (our winner)

SOUND EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (our winner)
The Martian
The Revenant

FILM EDITING
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant (our winner)
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul (our winner)
Theeb
A War

ORIGINAL SCORE
Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario (our winner)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian (our winner)
The Revenant

VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (our winner)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian (our winner)
Room

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina (our winner)
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario (our winner)

The JumpCut UK Film Awards 2015: The Nominees

After weeks of agonising over the films of 2015, our esteemed panel have finally submitted their picks for the first annual JumpCut UK Film Awards. The votes have been counted and the nominees are…


actors
Best Support Actress
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Kristen Stewart (Clouds Of Sils Maria)
Marion Cotillard (Macbeth)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Best Support Actor
Benicio del Toro (Sicario)
Idris Elba (Beasts Of No Nation)
JK Simmons (Whiplash)
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)
Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
Best Lead Actress
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Emily Blunt (Sicario)
Olivia Cooke (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Best Lead Actor
Abraham Attah (Beasts Of No Nation)
Jason Segel (The End Of The Tour)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Miles Teller (Whiplash)
Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress
Abraham Attah
Alicia Vikander
Daisy Ridley
O’Shea Jackson Jr
Taron Egerton
Worst Acting Performance
Adam Sandler (Pixels)
Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys)
Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Of Grey)
Johnny Depp (Mortdecai)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)

 

technical

Best Director
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
Denis Villeneuve (Sicario)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Best Original Story
Ex Machina
Inside Out
The Gift
The Lobster
Whiplash
Best Adaptation
American Sniper
Macbeth
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
Steve Jobs
The Martian
Best Cinematography
American Sniper
Macbeth
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
The Martian

 

Best Editing
Birdman
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Whiplash
Best Soundtrack/Score
Dope
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Whiplash
Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Martian

genre

Best Action Film
American Sniper
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Best Comedy Film
Inside Out
Spy
The Lobster
The Night Before
Trainwreck
Best Drama Film
Carol
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
Straight Outta Compton
Whiplash
White God
Best Horror Film
Crimson Peak
Insidious: Chapter 3
It Follows
The Gift
Best Sci-Fi Film
Ex Machina
Jurassic World
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Martian

 

Best Documentary, Foreign, Indie or Short Film
Cobain: Montage Of Heck
The End Of The Tour
Kung Fury
The Lobster
World Of Tomorrow
Worst Sequel/Reboot
Fantastic Four
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Taken 3
Terminator Genisys
Vacation
Worst Film
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Pan
Paul Blart 2
Pixels
Vacation
Best Film
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
The Martian
Whiplash

miscellaneous

The “Guilty Pleasure” Award
American Ultra
Focus
San Andreas
Ted 2
The Interview

 

 

 

 



So there you have it – 24 categories with lots of films and individuals to celebrate. We will be opening up the voting to the public for the following categories: Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress, Worst Film and Best Trailer, and you can cast your vote here (voting closes 31st December). The rest of the categories will be decided by the JumpCut UK team, our official partners and a handful of expert guests, with all the winners announced on our special YouTube Awards Show at the end of January. 

Oscars 2016: Best Picture Predictions

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

The approach of the winter months doesn’t just mean it’s time to go shopping for a new coat, because with the cold weather and shorter days comes a growing desire for people to discuss The Oscars. It may be more than four months until the 88th Academy Awards, but that doesn’t stop anyone speculating as to who the winners and losers will be on the big night. To be honest, I’ve been guessing since this year’s ceremony ended, and whilst guesses are all we have for now, The Academy certainly have a distinct pattern to their choices, hence the term “Oscar bait”. Here are the films that are likely to make the cut and be nominated in the Best Picture category.

And the nominees are…

Sicario
Arguably, this intense thriller from Denis Villeneuve (who directed the fantastic Prisoners) is the film which started the ball rolling with all this Oscars buzz. As one of the few films in this list that has actually been released in cinemas, I can offer my personal opinion of ‘Sicario’, and if it was up to me, this would be the winner. Whilst myself, and many others, love this gritty crime flick though, it’s unlikely that ‘Sicario’ will go further than a nomination.

Steve Jobs
Nothing gets The Academy’s attention like a biopic, and with the late founder of Apple taking centre stage in this Danny Boyle production, ‘Steve Jobs’ is about as relevant as they come. A fantastic cast, led by the very talented Michael Fassbender, and Academy favourite Kate Winslet in support, ‘Steve Jobs’ has been garnering praise from early viewings and could be the frontrunner for the Best Picture award.

Suffragette
If there’s anything The Academy loves more than a biopic, it’s controversy. A cast boasting some of the best actresses around – including Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter – should boost ‘Suffragette’ and allow the feminist movement to be represented next February. It also helps that various stars, including Meryl Streep herself, voiced their concerns over the lack of opportunities and equality for women at this year’s ceremony.

Bridge Of Spies
The man responsible for classics such as ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’, Steven Spielberg, is back, and has teamed up with legendary actor, Tom Hanks, for this cold war drama. Both of these men are probably sick of the sight of these trophies, but it is very likely that this winning recipe will earn them a few more nominations to add to their resumé.

The Revenant
One man who certainly wouldn’t mind getting hold of a golden statuette is Leonardo DiCaprio, and whilst we’re sure Tom Hanks could just lend him one for the weekend, we don’t think that would quite be the same. By hooking up with Tom Hardy, and last year’s big winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (director of Birdman), Leo may well have given  himself his best chance yet at grabbing a personal award and leading his film to glory. Could Iñárritu win back-to-back Best Picture awards?

Joy
Another winning team come together once again, to bring us ‘Joy’ this Christmas. Director David O Russell, who has received nominations for his last three films (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), joins forces with Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence, and familiar faces Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, in what could be a perfectly crafted, Oscar-bait picture. Whilst unlikely to win the top gong, it would be a surprise to see this one snubbed.

The Lobster
The film festival circuit isn’t just a fun way to spend your summer, it’s actually a breeding ground for hot productions hoping to catch the eye of The Academy. Pretty much every year there will be one or two films that thrive in the quirky world of film festivals and make it to the big stage for The Oscars. With an interesting plot, big name stars in Rachel Weisz and Colin Farrell, and plenty of hype from critics, ‘The Lobster’ could well crawl its way into the Best Picture category.

Carol
The big success story from the film festival circuit however, is undoubtedly ‘Carol’. This film, which sees Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara embark on a complicated lesbian relationship, has been lauded by critics all summer and will continue to be praised all the way through winter as it arrives in mainstream cinema theatres. It’s an outside shot, but this low-key, artistic offering could well beat the big names and steal the top prize next February.

So, with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ unlikely to get the nod from The Academy, in favour of something more stylistically brilliant (they don’t know what they’re missing), my money is on ‘Carol’ and ‘Steve Jobs’ to fight this one out.

Oscars 2016: Best Picture Predictions

Written by Chris Winterbottom

It may be early, but with awards season kicking off, I thought I would share my tips for who will be nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be held on the 28th February. Last year’s winner of the award for Best Picture, ‘Birdman’, was part of an eight-strong group vying for that prestigious gold statuette, but the category can have up to ten films nominated. With that in mind, I’m predicting a nine horse race, considering the amount of interesting films still to be released before the big night.

And the nominees are…

Steve Jobs

After making the hugely enjoyable ‘Trance’, Danny Boyle is back to courting the big awards with this biopic of the Apple genius Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender plays the titular character and with supporting actors in Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, early reviews have suggested this is the one to watch. Personally, I am looking forward to this immensely; Danny Boyle is one of my favourite filmmakers and with a script penned by Aaron Sorkin, whose other works include the wonderful ‘The Social Network’, this film looks set to be a huge success both financially and critically.

Suffragette

This recent release has seen much of its acclaim directed towards the acting performances; I am sure Carey Mulligan in particular will at least be nominated for Best Actress at the awards ceremony next February. I haven’t seen the film, but with Jennifer Lawrence’s recent essay on sexism in Hollywood, and the regular calls of discontent at the amount of roles for women and the pay they receive when they come along, I feel the Academy will include the film in the Best Picture category to acknowledge female filmmakers’ cries for equality, regardless of its quality.

Sicario

This Denis Villeneuve film is one of my favourites of the year so far. Currently, I would like ‘Sicario’ to win the award for Best Picture, but I haven’t seen the majority of the other potential nominees so it is too early to put fully commit. That said, the film is a brilliant piece of visceral, shocking and tense filmmaking. There may be nominations for its cast too, particularly for Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, and Roger Deakins is sure to win the Best Cinematography award for the first time. For now, ‘Sicario’ is an outsider, but we shall see what will happen in the coming months.

Inside Out

This may prove a controversial choice to some, considering no animated film has ever won Best Picture, but the amount of positive reviews for this Disney-Pixar effort may sway Academy voters. This is another film which I am yet to see, and I have to say that it is one of my big film regrets this year. I suspect that ‘Inside Out’ is the animated film most likely to pick up the Best Picture gong in February, but it still remains a big outsider. However, it was not so long ago that the majestic ‘Toy Story 3’ picked up the nomination for Best Picture, with ‘Up’ achieving this feat the year before.

Bridge Of Spies

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and The Cold War? I’m predicting this film will receive the most nominations of all at the 2016 Academy Awards. But I feel this movie will pull an ‘American Hustle’ – receive the most nominations, including Best Picture, but then fail to win anything. Whilst it has a chance in the Best Costume and Best Make Up categories, and maybe some of the technical categories, I just don’t feel like the ‘Bridge Of Spies’ campaign will gain enough momentum.

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s last two films, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (I know it’s spelled wrong) and ‘Django Unchained’ both received Best Picture nominations, and I am certain his latest effort will deliver him another. The film’s official release date is the 8th January 2016 in the USA, which would have made this ineligible, but with a limited release on Christmas Day, I’m confident that ‘The Hateful Eight’ will be nominated. The release date is telling; films with a release date around January and February here in the UK are often the big contenders when it comes to awards. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be Tarantino’s most financially successful film, even surpassing ‘Django Unchained’, but like his previous couple of movies, I don’t think it’ll win the Best Picture award.

The Revenant

Will Leonardo Di Caprio finally win the elusive Oscar for Best Actor? Many seem to think it’ll be his year, but I think the great man will have to wait at least another year. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu enjoyed big success at last year’s ceremony with ‘Birdman’, but I think he will receive something of a muted backlash for ‘The Revenant’, at least in terms of its critical reaction. However, The Academy love Inarritu and because of this, I believe the film will be competing for the Best Picture award. More likely though, I think we could see Emmanuel Lubezki pick up another statue for his cinematography work. For those that have seen the trailer, it already looks to be a visually stunning film.

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen Brothers are back with ‘Hail, Caesar!’, a musical-comedy satirising Hollywood. The film has a 1950’s setting, during Hollywood’s golden era, and features a fantastic cast including Scarlett Johansson. This film will be the main competition for Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’. It will certainly challenge in terms of the technical awards, like Best Editing, but in my opinion the film will most likely pick the Best Director(s) award. The Coen Brothers are no strangers to award nominations, after the receiving a whole spate of them for ‘No Country For Old Men’, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

The Danish Girl

I am a big admirer of Tom Hooper, particularly for his work on the underrated ‘The Damned United’. But his rise to the top, in terms of British filmmakers, has come off the back of ‘The Kings Speech’ and ‘Les Miserables’. You only have to look at the poster for this movie to know that this is an unashamed, Oscar-bait project. I don’t feel like this will be much of a success at the Oscars in February, but having said that I didn’t think ‘Gravity’ would either. Sometimes there are surprises, and I am sure Redmayne will receive another Best Actor nomination for his defiant, cross-dressing role, but my gut instinct is that the film will slip under the radar somewhat.

So there you have it – my predictions for the Best Picture category. Of course, this list may well be wrong and even if it is, it does not necessarily represent the year’s best films. I often find that The Academy is completely wrong in its choices; like Christopher Nolan being ignored twice, for ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’. We are talking about an awards ceremony which snubbed ‘Citizen Kane’, after all. But there is no getting around the fact that the Oscars are the most prestigious of awards ceremonies, and I think in 2016 we will see Danny Boyle and his film ‘Steve Jobs’ be the triumphant victor.