With an entire cinematic year in flux, if the Academy has an opportunity to choose from this year’s slate of winners, we could be afforded an inventive, inspired slate of filmmakers…or this could be business as usual. We’re also looking for some of the big #FilmTwitter and “fanboy” directors to have their shot at big gold like David Fincher (“Mank“), Christopher Nolan (“Tenet“), and more. We’re also waiting to see if overdue/newly minted favorites/very promising auteurs will be able to get their films in under the wire minus big-time festival buzz. i.e. Ridley Scott (“The Last Duel“), Taika Waititi (“Next Goal Wins“), or Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland“).
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:
A biopic about the life of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. Sources say the story will follow Mankiewicz's tumultuous development of the script for “Citizen Kane” — which would go on to be considered one of the best films of all time.
A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Based on on the bestselling memoir by J.D. Vance, the pic is a modern exploration of the American Dream and follows three generations of an Appalachian family as told by its youngest member, a Yale Law student forced to return to his hometown.
The staff of a European publication decides to publish a memorial edition highlighting the three best stories from the last decade: an artist sentenced to life imprisonment, student riots, and a kidnapping resolved by a chef.
OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS
An American oil-rig rough neck from Oklahoma travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter who is in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter. In the process, he develops a friendship with a local woman and her young daughter and embarks on a personal journey of discovery and a larger sense of belonging in the world.
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. She is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. Disguised as a man by the name of Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her innermost strength and embrace her true potential.
A first-time captain leads a convoy of allied ships carrying thousands of soldiers across the treacherous waters of the “Black Pit” to the front lines of WW2. With no air cover protection for 5 days, the captain and his convoy must battle the surrounding enemy Nazi U-boats in order to give the allies a chance to win the war.
Joe Gardner is a middle school teacher with a love for jazz music. After a successful gig at the Half Note Club, he suddenly gets into an accident that separates his soul from his body and is transported to the You Seminar, a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child. Joe must enlist help from the other souls-in-training, like 22, a soul who has spent eons in the You Seminar, in order to get back to Earth.
Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
"After Yang” centers on a father and daughter as they try to save the life of their robotic family member Yang in a world where robotic children are purchased as live-in-babysitters. In the story, Yang has been programmed to help his little sister learn about her cultural heritage.
A fresh and distinctive take on Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical masterpiece, The Personal History of David Copperfield, set in the 1840s, chronicles the life of its iconic title character as he navigates a chaotic world to find his elusive place within it. From his unhappy childhood to the discovery of his gift as a storyteller and writer, David’s journey is by turns hilarious and tragic, but always full of life, colour and humanity.
With this inventive portrait, director Kirsten Johnson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.
Teenager Emma wants to bring her girlfriend Alyssa to her school's big dance. Instead, they're banned from attending as a couple, prompting a cast of Broadway eccentrics to descend on the teen's small-town home to help fight injustice.
A former basketball all-star, who has lost his wife and family foundation in a struggle with addiction attempts to regain his soul and salvation by becoming the coach of a disparate ethnically mixed high school basketball team at his alma mater.
The story follows a newly married young woman who, upon arriving at her husband’s imposing family estate on a bleak English coast, finds herself battling the shadow of his deceased first wife, the mysterious Rebecca, whose legacy continues to haunt the house.