This year had already given us some great movies before the coronavirus pandemic put an end to our weekly visits to the cinema. Life as not been the same after some of our highly awaited films were postponed indefinitely. While a few Hollywood films have announced a new release date, others are still on the fence. We can only hope that we recover from this pandemic soon so that we get to watch these cinematic gems on the big screen. But with the delay in so many releases, there were concerns on how the pandemic would impact the awards season next year. While the 93rd Oscars is still scheduled to take place on February 28, 2021, there are reports it might get pushed. The Academy hasn’t confirmed the news yet, but it did announce that films will no longer be required to have a theatrical run in order to compete. This means more OTT releases! Even though it is early to make predictions for next year’s Academy Awards, here are our top picks in the big categories, provided that they release this year.

TENET

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson

Nolan has been quite secretive with the plot of his next movie but we know that it revolves around international espionage, time travel, and evolution. Some film experts guess that the movie is about a man who tries to prevent World War III through time travel and rebirth. Needless to say, it is one of the most highly awaited movies of the year and is likely to bag several Oscar nominations.

THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan

Anderson’s latest is based on a story co-written by him, Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, and Jason Schwartzman. It revolves around a twentieth-century French foreign bureau of a fictional Kansas newspaper that brings to life a collection of stories published in ‘The French Dispatch Magazine’. With a brilliant cast and crew, this film is likely to be an Oscar favorite next year.

DUNE

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet

Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel of the same name revolves around the son of a noble family, who entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and the most vital element in the galaxy. It is the first of two parts and will focus on the first part of the book. The spectacular cast and crew are enough to get this film several nominations at the Oscars.

GREYHOUND

Director: Aaron Schneider
Cast: Tom Hanks

Set in early in World War II, Schneider’s war drama focusses on an inexperienced US Navy captain who is entrusted with the task to lead an Allied convoy that is being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks. We can already see this film snatching away plenty of nominations at the Oscars, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Actor for Hanks.

HILLBILLY ELEGY

Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Gabriel Basso, Amy Adams, Glenn Close

Based on the memoir of the same name by J. D. Vance, Howard’s upcoming film focusses on a man’s recollection of his life growing up in the Midwest with Appalachian values. The film is a modern exploration of the American Dream. Besides bagging several nominations for its performances, the film is also expected to grab the Best Original Score award for Hans Zimmer’s music.

WEST SIDE STORY

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Rita Moreno, Corey Stoll

Spielberg’s adaptation of the 1957 musical, which is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, explores forbidden love and the rivalry between two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds – the Jets and the Sharks. Even if the movie does not bag nominations in the big categories, we expect to see it nominated for Best Original Score and Best Song.

NO TIME TO DIE

Director: Cary Fukunaga
Cast: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas

Fukunaga’s action thriller brings back James Bond after he left active service. This film explores Bond’s adventures after an old friend from the CIA turns to him for help, leading the famous spy onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. Besides Craig being a favorite for the Best Actor award, Ana de Armas could also finally get her Oscar recognition for this film.

RESPECT

Director: Liesl Tommy
Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marc Maron

Based on the life of R&B singer Aretha Franklin, Tommy’s biographical drama will explore the legend’s glory years. The film will also recreate her music with the iconic voice of Hudson, who is most likely to bag nominations for Best Actress and Best Song, a category she is familiar with, while the movie itself is expected to grab top nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.

WONDER WOMAN 1984

Director: Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal

A sequel to one of the most popular female-led superhero films and the most successful DC film, Jenkins’ next venture with Wonder Woman takes Diana Prince back to 1984 when she comes into conflict with two formidable foes while also reuniting with her past love Steve Trevor. Even if the movie does not bag the big nominations, it is likely to be noticed for Best Visual Effects.

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