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2015 Oscar Contenders, The Season's & The Year's Best Films

Winter 2015-16 Oscar contendersLeft to right, top to bottom, 2015's front-running Oscar contenders: Spotlight, The Martian, Room; Son of Saul, Bridge of Spies, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road; Joy, Brooklyn, Steve Jobs; The Danish Girl, Carol, Inside Out, and Youth.

As is the case each year, the chill weather of late autumn and early winter brings on the year's most prestigious films, an opportunity for Hollywood to prove that it's not just all about the sanguinity of the bottom line, but that from studio heads through to directors, actors, producers, screenwriters, cinematographers, and all the other 'crafts' who pour their lifeblood into making films, cinema is more about celebrating the rousing, transformative filmic experience, over the more prosaic concerns of the fiscal imperative.

Tom O'Neil's Gold Derby website, surveying you and the critics, predicts the Oscar award winnersTom O'Neil's Gold Derby surveys you & the critics to predict the Oscar award winners

Each autumn for more than a decade, from mid-autumn through until the evening of the Oscar ceremony, David Poland — the founder of the film news "blog", MovieCityNews — sets about, weekly, to survey the informed opinions of Hollywood's top Oscar prognosticators, from recent U.S. Weekly film critic Thelma Adams, to Hitfix's Gregory Ellwood, The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg, the Toronto Star's Peter Howell, Fandango's Dave Karger, and IndieWire's Anne Thompson, among a host of others, on what films, and which directors and actors have emerged, in any given week, as the odds-on favourites to make the final cut when — in 2016, on Thursday, January 14th — the Oscar nominations are announced, and on February 28th, 2016, Oscars are awarded to the previous year's best films, performances, screenplays, producers & craft work of outstanding calibre.

Oscar prognostication, an art in the world of identifying the year's best filmsHollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells predicts the Oscar nominees in his Oscar Balloon

For those who do not follow the perambulations of the "Oscar race" (for us, it is not dissimilar to following & commenting on an "election race" — with much less on the line, of course), VanRamblings will be here each weekend to update you on which films are worthy of your time, providing as well early insight into the potential career-altering & enhancing Oscar winners.

MovieCityNews' Gurus of Gold Oscar predictions for the week of November 8, 2015
An amalgam of Gurus of Gold film critics predict the Best Picture Oscar nominees.

This week, Poland's Gurus of Gold Oscar panel has highlighted the riveting journalistic thriller Spotlight (opening in Vancouver next weekend) as their runaway number one film of the year, followed by Ridley Scott's humanistic science fiction film, The Martian (which has garnered box office gold in its first five weeks of release, its international and domestic take currently sitting at a pristine $458 million), the independently-financed Canadian-
Irish co-production of Emma Donaghue's gripping New York Times best-seller, Room, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hank's Bridge of Spies, the upcoming Christmas Day release films, The Revenant (directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio), as well as Joy (the latest film from the irascible David O. Russell, starring Jennifer Lawrence in a certain-to-be-nominated Oscar performance), the wonderful and incredibly moving Saoirse Ronan-starrer, Brooklyn, and rounding out their top 10, the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs, Cannes' Best Actress winner (for Rooney Mara) Carol, and Disney's animated classic, Inside Out.

Gold Derby film critics predict the 2015 Oscar nomineesSix of the Gold Derby film critics weigh in on probable Best Picture Oscar nominees

Todd Haynes' Carol will open in Vancouver on Friday, December 11th, and as indicated above, both David O. Russell's Joy and Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant will open Christmas Day across Metro Vancouver, with Spotlight opening in Vancouver this coming weekend, and Inside Out already available on DVD or On Demand for your home theatre system.

The spectacularly affecting Brooklyn (VanRamblings' favourite film this year) opens in Vancouver on November 20th, while Room, Bridge of Spies, Steve Jobs, and The Martian are currently screening at cineplexes across Metro Vancouver. Lots of time left for you to see the very best Hollywood has to offer, all in preparation for the gala, gala "do" that is the annual dressed-to-the-nines, "look how gorgeous her gown is" end of February Oscar ceremony. Bring on the buttered popcorn and Oscar party snacks!

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at November 8, 2015 12:01 AM in Cinema


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