So whilst we're all looking forward to films like Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Rogue One, I thought I'd preview some of the smaller, more Oscar-centric films from the next four months that I'm excited for.
Which spring flicks are you pumped to see? Let me know in the comments section down below!
Sully (dir. Clint Eastwood)
Sully is latest in a long line of biopics from director Clint Eastwood, and whilst his recent track record has been mixed (Thumbs up for American Sniper and Invictus, thumbs down for J Edgar and Jersey Boys), all things point towards Sully being more angled towards the former.
The film tells the story of Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), an aircraft captain who is forced to make an emergency landing onto the Hudson River in 2009. Even though he is initially heralded as a hero, an investigation into the incident threatens to ruin his career and reputation. The trailer does a fantastic job of selling the aftermath drama that engulfs Hanks' character; playing supporting roles are Anna Gunn, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney.
Sully could be an outside shot for accolades this awards season; the Academy sure does love Eastwood and even though it won't dominate the box office in the same way that American Sniper did, you can be certain that it will enthral audiences looking for something more straightforward and character-driven.
Sully opens in cinemas across Australia on September 8
Snowden (dir. Oliver Stone)
Regardless of your viewpoints on the man, you have to admit; Edward Snowden is a defining figure of the 21st Century so far. His actions have driven conversation and controversy, so it's no surprise that a biopic about his life (so far) has been fast-tracked through Hollywood.
Originally scheduled to release in February this year, Oliver Stone's Snowden has been pushed back to September to coincide with awards season. The film sees Joseph Gordon-Levitt play the titular hacker/fugitive/traitor/hero who decides to blow the whistle on something suss he discovers whilst contracted by the NSA and the CIA. Plus, there is a huge supporting cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Rhys Ifans, Timothy Olyphant and Nicholas Cage.
While it probably won't recieve the same level of acclaim that was heaped on Citizenfour, the Oscar-winning doco that followed Snowden a few years back, I'm still really excited to see where Stone has gone with this biopic. The trailer really pushes that sense of tension and high stakes, all whilst reminding you that it all really happened (and that we continue to feel those repercussions today).
Snowden opens in cinemas across Australia on September 22
The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor)
Could The Girl on the Train be the 2016 version of Gone Girl? Much like David Fincher's excellent missing persons drama/marriage horror from a few years back, The Girl on the Train is adapted from one of those pulpy thriller novels that seems to take the world by storm. You've probably already read it or at least overhead someone chatting about that twist by the water cooler at work. Either way, it's been hard to elude.
The film, which was actually penned in tandem with the novel, is about Rachel (Emily Blunt), a drunk and depressed divorcee who finds herself sucked into a police investigation after the disappearance of a young woman called Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett). Having seen something (?) from the window of her usual commute one night after work, Rachel becomes wrapped up in the case after she begins to put the pieces together for herself. But will anyone believe her unreliable side of events?
Director Tate Taylor isn't known for thrillers, but his past work on The Help and Get on Up has been well received. Whilst I don't expect it'll get far come awards season, I'm excited to see how the adaptation stacks up nonetheless. The supporting cast brings Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow and Justin Theroux into the fold too.
The Girl on the Train opens in cinemas across Australia on October 6
Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
So even though I've never seen (or heard) of anything from director David Mackenzie before, I can't wait to check this one out. It sounds like a hard-boiled, grimy drama that dishes out everything you'd want - including Jeff Bridges! Did I mention Jeff Bridges is in this? If you weren't sold before, you definitely are now...
Hell or High Water opens in cinemas across Australia on October 27
Arrival (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
Is Denis Villeneuve the busiest (and best) director in Hollywood? With the release of Arrival this October, the Canadian filmmaker is now onto his fourth film in as many years (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario) with another (Blade Runner 2) set to arrive in 2017.
If you haven't heard of Arrival, that's because it's been kept underwraps until fairly recently. In fact, until the trailer arrived a few weeks back, the film had been gestating under the working title 'The Story of Your Life' for over a year.
But anyway, Arrival pairs Villeneuve with Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker in an eerie sci-fi thriller that focuses on how we would communicate with extraterrestrial beings if they arrived on this Earth. The buzz surrounding this one has been amazing since it received its premiere at the Venice Film Festival the other day, so it's time to get excited. Not convinced? Well, Renner has commented that the film melds Stanley Kubrick with Steven Spielberg, and if that doesn't get your heart pumping a little faster I suggest you close this blog and reflect on your life priorities.
Arrival opens in cinemas across Australia on November 10
The Light Between Oceans (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
Set in Western Australia and starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, The Light Between Oceans in the latest film from Derek Cianfrance, the man behind the camera on Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. The film is a period piece that sees Fassbender and Vikander play infatuated lovers who decide to adopt a baby that they find abandoned in a boat along with a dead body.
Cianfrance is a filmmaker renowned for conveying raw emotion and extracting compelling chemistry from his leads; in a recent interview on the Schmoes Know Show, he discussed how the entire film crew basically lived on this isolated peninsula in New Zealand until the film was completed, surrounded by battering winds and stunning vistas. Also, Fassbender and Vikander began dating during the production of this film which tells you a lot about how that chemistry will come across onscreen.
The Light Between Oceans opens in cinemas across Australia on Boxing Day
La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle)
La La Land also debuted at the Venice Film Festival this week just gone - and the first impressions have been glowing to say the least. Directed by Whiplash's Damien Chazelle, the film sees Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play a struggling jazz musician and an aspiring actress in 1950s Los Angeles.
A magical teaser trailer that gives us glimpses at starry musical pieces and luscious cinematography saw this film skyrocket to the top of my 'most anticipated' list. Gosling and Stone are a perfect coupling and after the euphoric Whiplash, I'm down for whatever dreamlike period musical
At the time of writing, I couldn't pinpoint a release date for La La Land - hopefully it'll arrive at some point towards the end of December, but knowing Australia we'll probably see it pushed into January and February and closer to the Oscar ceremony. Still, I'm including it on here because it looks amazing and with any luck I'll catch a preview before the year is up.
La La Land doesn't currently have an Australian release date listed on IMDB
What films, blockbuster or otherwise, are you looking forward to towards the end of 2016? Let me know in the comments down below!