It’s now November and to many people that means brown leaves, colder and Thanksgiving. To me, it means something else: the beginning of my beloved Oscar season. With the recent releases of several Oscar contenders, it is officially time to look forward to this year’s remaining big release dates and other important dates before the Oscars arrive on February 24.
First off, if you missed the release of BlackKklansman back in August, make sure you check that out before the Oscars. BlackKklansman is directed by Spike Lee and is based on the true story of an African-American man who infiltrated the KKK. A very funny movie, it is also incredibly poignant and socially relevant and has Best Picture written all over it. It also seems pretty likely for a Best Director nod to Spike Lee as well as potential for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for John David Washington and Adam Driver respectively.
A Star is Born and First Man both came out in the early October and will be in theaters for a while. A Star is Born has its eyes on Best Actress for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper has potential to be nominated for both his directing and his acting. First Man stars Ryan Gosling, who should always be in the Best Actor conversation, and also could land a directing nomination for Damien Chazelle. First Man is also a technically great movie, so also look for it in the editing and sound awards.
The other big October release date to take note of was October 19, when Can You Ever Forgive Me? hit theaters. Based on a true story, this movie stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel who, after struggling to find success as an author, turned to forging letters from dead literary figures. This movie could see Melissa McCarthy back to Oscars for the first time since 2011’s Bridesmaids, this time in a much more serious role. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is also likely to be in consideration for Best Supporting Actor with Richard E. Grant and for Best Adapted Screenplay.
November 2nd saw the release of two big films: Bohemian Rhapsody and Boy Erased. Bohemian Rhapsody is a bit of a long shot, but this Queen biopic could get Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury into the Oscar conversation if it’s popular enough. Boy Erased, on the other hand, seems like a pretty surefire Oscar hit. This gay conversation therapy drama could see up to three acting nominations with Lucas Hedges in lead and Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe in supporting roles. It’s powerful story could get it a Best Picture nomination as well.
Next is Widows from director Steve McQueen. This is one to look out for as McQueen’s last effort was Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave. Widows features a largely female cast including a possible 2019 Best Actress nominee and Oscar regular Viola Davis, as a group of women resort to crime after their husbands are killed. This one should surely be in Best Picture talks and could potentially have a best supporting actor nomination for Daniel Kaluuya.
Late November is huge for Oscar releases with three major Oscar contenders coming out. First, there is Green Book, which has lots of momentum after it’s People’s Choice win at Toronto International Film Festival. Green Book could see acting nominations for Viggo Mortensen in lead and Mahershala Ali in supporting.
Next is The Favourite. This film takes place in the early 18th century and features the competing friendship between Queen Anne and several other women. This should be full of great acting, with Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone all in serious consideration for the acting categories. It could also see director Yorgos Lanthimos get nominated.
Finally, November is rounded out by If Beale Street Could Talk, director Barry Jenkins’ next film after his Best Picture win with Moonlight two awards seasons ago. The film is based off a James Baldwin novel and centers around a woman trying to clear her husband’s name after he is arrested for a crime he did not commit. This one could easily see wins for its score, leading actor for Stephan James, supporting actress for Regina King and of course Barry Jenkins for director.
The year wraps up with Vice and ROMA in December. Vice is the story of the most influential Vice President in American history: Dick Cheney. Christian Bale stars as Cheney and is accompanied by Sam Rockwell as President George W. Bush, Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney. All of these stars are in the running for some form of acting nomination, as is director Adam McKay for his direction.
ROMA is a foreign language film from Alfonso Cuarón that is semi-autobiographical, taking place in 1970’s Mexico. This could be a huge candidate for Best Picture, as well as Best Director for Cuarón. This also could be a historic movie as it is a Netflix release and could be the first Netflix release to be nominated for Best Picture.
A few other movies to keep an eye on that might not be seen as front-runners are Beautiful Boy, On the Basis of Sex and Black Panther.
Some other big events to watch include the Gotham Independent Film Award nominations on 11/26, Golden Globe nominations on 12/6 and the Screen Actors Guild nominations 12/12. These other awards (SAG in particular) can be used with precedent of previous years to get a good idea of what the Oscars could be.
It may be a lot of dates, but there still is a lot of time left. Oscar nominations will be announced January 22 and the 91st Academy Awards will take place February 24.