It’s not even Christmas and there’s already talk over which of the 2021 assortment of films will be up for an Oscars nomination when the Academy Awards roll around in March next year.
To be fair, it’s also been a surprisingly good year for film – from the original Twitter thread-inspired Zola to sci-fi epic Dune – coronavirus doesn’t seem to have stymied creativity.
While the last two years have seen new-release films enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, movie-goers are now rekindling their love for cinema after a long industry-wide pause, and it’s safe to say that film is hitting the ground running with epic new releases garnering serious Oscar credibility.
As such, we’ve curated a list of eight new Oscar-worthy films that you have to see this film awards season.
One of the most anticipated film releases of the last two years comes American author Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi adventure, Dune. Already fairing extremely well amongst critics and viewers alike, Dune sees Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. Expect a stellar cast, dramatic score by Hans Zimmer, and an edge-of-your-seat film experience.
The French Dispatch
The world loves a good film by Wes Anderson (so much so that there is a cult Instagram page dedicated and inspired by his work). His meticulous filmmaking incorporates symmetry like no other, setting up fictitious sets and landscapes that are iconic to his filmmaking style. The French Dispatch looks to follow in a similar vein to films like The Grand Budapest Hotel, that sees a world of adventure, mishap, drama and comedy come together in true Wes Anderson fashion.
This Guillermo del Toro drama is set in the 1940s and has serious Gatsby vibes about it. Starring everyone’s favourite leading man Bradley Cooper as Stanton Carlisle, a down and out clairvoyant looking to pave his way to success by swindling the elite and wealthy.
House of Gucci
When imagery first leaked of Lady Gaga and Adam Driver in full 1980s après-ski-style getup against the backdrop of the snowy Italian Alps, the internet went nuts. The film is set to unravel the tragic death of Gucci scion Maurizio Gucci (Driver), documenting one of the greatest downfalls of fashion’s greatest dynasties. The costumes in this Gucci drama are Oscar-worthy alone, so strap in for a wild ride.
Don’t Look Up
It’s safe to say that anything Leonardo DiCaprio features in will generate Oscar buzz, and Don’t Look Up is doing just that. This comedy stars DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence (amongst a plethora of actors like Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill) as two low-level astronomers attempting to warn mankind about an approaching comet that will destroy Earth. Also, Jonah Hill’s Hermès Birkin.
The Last Duel
Seeing the reunion of the award-winning screenplay/acting duo Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting), this film is a dark tale of betrayal and vengeance made in true Ridley Scott fashion. Believed to be inspired by true events, this drama is set in Medieval France where King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges (Damon) settle his dispute with his squire (Driver) by challenging him to a deadly duel for a crime he committed.
Kristen Stewart takes the lead in this new biographical psychological drama that presents a fictionalised account of Princess Diana’s decision to end her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles and leave the British Royal Family. Stewart’s appearance – and accent – as Lady Di is generating a great deal of acclaim, and comes as a timely release to mark 25 years since Princess Diana’s death.
As the title suggests, Kenneth Branagh’s new movie Belfast is an ode to his city, community and family set in the 1960s against the backdrop of Belfast. A personal film featuring an illustrious cast and rousing soundtrack by Van Morrison, Belfast is set to pull on the heart strings… and perhaps take home a few Oscars in the process.