OSCARS 2015: A Glimpse of Next Year’s Nominees

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Chris Luckett

This year’s Academy Awards may be over, but with Oscar-contender The Grand Budapest Hotel hitting theatres tomorrow, it’s never too early to look ahead to next year’s race. Here are some of the early contenders, based on previous nominations and early buzz.


When: fall/winter 2014
Pedigree: Oscar winner Christoph Waltz; Oscar nominees Tim Burton, Amy Adams, and Terence Stamp
Plot: A drama about painter Margaret Keane (Adams), who had huge success in the 1950s with paintings of wide-eyes children, and her husband Walter (Waltz), who claimed credit for her work.


When: late 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominees Alejandro González Iñárritu, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan, and Naomi Watts
Plot: The director of 21 Grams and Babel goes for a lighter tone with this comedic drama about an actor (Michael Keaton) famous for portraying a superhero who tries to reinvent himself on Broadway.


When: summer 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominees Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke
Plot: Linklater spent twelve years filming this movie, with Hawke as the father of a boy who grows from the age of 6 to 18 over the course of the film.


When: summer 2014
Pedigree: Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave; Oscar nominees Bennett Miller, Dan Futterman, and Mark Ruffalo
Plot: Miller’s last two movies (Capote and Moneyball) both scored Best Picture nominations, and his dramatization of John du Pont’s (Steve Carell) mental illness and eventual murder of friend and wrestler David Schultz could very well do the same.


When: August 1
Pedigree: Oscar winner Octavia Spencer; Oscar nominees Dan Aykroyd and Viola Davis
Plot: Tate Taylor (The Help) hopes to follow in the footsteps of Coal Miner’s Daughter, Ray, and Walk the Line with this biography of the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown.


When: October 3
Pedigree: Oscar winner Ben Affleck; Oscar nominee David Fincher
Plot: Based on Gillian Flynn’s wildly popular novel, Fincher’s adaptation casts Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) as a woman who goes missing and Affleck as her husband.


When: March 7
Pedigree: Oscar winners F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Fisher Stevens, and Tilda Swinton; Oscar nominees Wes Anderson, Bob Balaban, Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson
Plot: The writer-director of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom brings his quirky sensibilities to this madcap tale of a concierge (Fiennes) framed for murder and the lobby boy who is taken under his wing.


When: fall/winter 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominee Keira Knightley
Plot: Benedict Cumberbatch stars as cryptographer Alan Turing, father of theoretical computer sciences and a key figure in the cracking of the Enigma code in World War II.


When: December 12
Pedigree: Oscar winners Benicio Del Toro and Reese Witherspoon; Oscar nominees Paul Thomas Anderson, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Owen Wilson
Plot: An adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice follows a P.I. investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.


When: November 7
Pedigree: Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Ellen Burstyn, and Matt Damon; Oscar nominees Christopher Nolan, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and John Lithgow
Plot: Like many Nolan films, the details of Interstellar are being kept tightly under wraps for now. What is known is the film centers on the first team of astronauts to go through a wormhole. (Time travel and alternate dimensions may also be involved.)


When: December 25
Pedigree: Oscar winner Meryl Streep; Oscar nominees Rob Marshall, Johnny Depp, and Anna Kendrick
Plot: Marshall, who previously adapted Broadway musicals Chicago and Nine for the big screen, landed an all-star cast for his next spectacle, including Streep, Depp, Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and Chris Pine.


When: fall 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominees J.C. Chandor, Albert Brooks, Jessica Chastain, and Catalina Sandino Moreno
Plot: After stunning audiences and critics with the tense Margin Call and powerful All is Lost, Chandor centers his third film on a married couple (Oscar Isaac and Chastain) who immigrate to New York City in 1981 and make a life for themselves through extreme means.


When: late 2014
Pedigree: Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius; Oscar nominees Bérénice Bejo and Annette Bening
Plot: A remake of the 1948 movie about a young Auschwitz survivor searching for his mother, director Hazanavicius has shifted the setting to post-Chechen War Russia. After winning the Best Director Oscar for The Artist, eyes will be on Hazanavicius’s follow-up.


When: late 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominees Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas
Plot: An epic romance that aims to be the next Doctor Zhivago or The English Patient, Suite Française tells the story of a Frenchwoman who falls in love with a German soldier during the Nazis’ occupation of France.


When: fall 2014
Pedigree: Oscar nominees Stephen Daldry, Richard Curtis, and Rooney Mara
Plot: The writer of Love, Actually and the director of The Hours and The Reader team up to tell the tale of three orphans who live in a garbage dump and uncover a wallet that takes them on an incredible journey.


When: December 25
Pedigree: Oscar winners Angelina Jolie, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen; Oscar nominees Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson
Plot: Written by the Coen brothers, LaGravenese, and Nicholson, the latest movie directed by Angelina Jolie chronicles the life of Olympic athlete and World War II hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell).


When: fall/winter 2014
Pedigree: Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon; Oscar nominees Jean-Marc Vallée, Nick Hornby, and Laura Dern
Plot: Hot of the heels of his successful Dallas Buyers Club, director Vallée (teaming up with Hornby, author of High Fidelity and About a Boy) next tackles the 2012 memoir of Cheryl Strayed and her 1100-mile hike of self-discovery along the Pacific Coast Trail.