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News18 » Movies
3-min read

'The Revenant', 'Room', 'Carol': 10 films you must watch before tuning in to the Oscars 2016

Which of these will turn out to be this years' 'Birdman' and 'Whiplash', and which look more like 'Unbroken' and 'Big Eyes'

IBNLive.com

Updated:January 31, 2016, 1:33 PM IST
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Winters in Hollywood means – time to dust off those statuettes and start lobbying. Awards season has started with Golden Globes and Crtics Choice and we have a sense of the Oscars' frontrunners of this year's. Which of these will turn out to be this years' 'Birdman' and 'Whiplash', and which look more like 'Unbroken' and 'Big Eyes'. Let us take a look at all 2016’s most talked about films.

Carol

Premiering at Cannes this year to rapturous praise and multiple standing ovations, Todd Haynes's period romance is already one of the year's most acclaimed releases. Based on Patricia Highsmith's long-banned novel of the same name, Carol stars Cate Blanchett as a mysterious married woman who enchants Rooney Mara's lonely young shop assistant.

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Steve Jobs

Two years on from the best-forgotten Ashton Kutcher biopic, the life of Steve Jobs has been adapted once again in a much more promising form. Danny Boyle directs Michael Fassbender in the role of Jobs, from a script written by Aaron Sorkin which – much like Sorkin's Oscar-winning script for The Social Network – weaves together multiple timelines in its portrait of Jobs backstage at three iconic product launches.

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The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne may have won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking last year, but he's making a strong run at round two with the role of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery. Directed by Tom Hooper – no stranger to the Academy after The King's Speech and Les Mis – the film also stars Alicia Vikander as Elbe's wife, who plays a central role in her husband's gradual self-discovery.

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Joy

If you felt like there was something missing at last year's Oscars, it was probably because Jennifer Lawrence wasn't nominated for a David O Russell movie, following her two-year hot streak with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. But she and O Russell are back in contention for 2016 with Joy, a biopic starring Lawrence as a struggling single mother who went on to invent the Miracle Mop.

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Suffragette

Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep lead the cast of this impressive period piece, which tracks the early years of the British women's suffragette movement. Written by Abi Morgan, who has enjoyed prior Oscar success with The Iron Lady and Shame, this is a long overdue historical portrait that's sure to be recognised.

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The Revenant

Coming off Birdman's unexpected sweep in the major categories last year, director Alejandro González Iñárritu hasn't been resting on his laurels. His upcoming drama stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a rugged fur-trapper in the 1820s Rocky Mountains, who's left for dead by his companions after a bear attack. Having survived the mauling, he sets out to wreak vengeance on the friends who abandoned him (Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson). Could this finally be the year Leo breaks his Oscar curse?

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Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg's latest historical picture follows an American lawyer (Tom Hanks) who is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War, to help them negotiate the release of a pilot imprisoned in the Soviet Union. Co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film will premiere at this month's New York Film Festival, but is already attracting a lot of early awards buzz.

‘Bridge of Spies’ has been nominated for Original Score category for this years Oscars.

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino's long-delayed Western follows a group of bounty hunters who are caught up in a treacherous plot, after being forced to take shelter together during a blizzard. There are several intriguing possibilities for comeback performances among the cast – the central plot sees Kurt Russell's "The Hangman" escorting Jennifer Jason Leigh's "The Prisoner" to face justice for a murder – and the leaked script drama has only heightened anticipation for the finished product.

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Trumbo

Having deservedly won all of the Emmys for his career-redefining performance as Breaking Bad's Walter White, Bryan Cranston could now be in line for an Oscar nomination. He plays 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose career came to an abrupt and painful end after he – along with other scribes – was blacklisted as a communist. Previous years have borne out the idea that the Academy loves a Hollywood insider story, and the story of Trumbo's fight against government officials and studio bosses alike could well strike a particular chord.

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Room

Abrahamson gets extra points for the degree of difficulty involved in filming an intimate drama, half of which takes place in a 10-by-10 room, with just two performers, relative newcomer Larson and kid actor Jacob Tremblay.

The film stars Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy.

Other films: Spotlight, Brooklyn, The Walk, Freeheld, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Black Mass, Genius, The Martian, Inside Out.

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