Coming Soon: Oscar’s big hitters prepare for battle

For you and me, February’s Academy Awards might just be an opportunity to ogle some over-priced frocks, but Hollywood is utterly obsessed with them, judging by the shameless way it’s cramming all of its most Oscar-worthy releases into the next few weeks.

Unlike last year, there isn’t a film or a pair of films that’s bound to grab every award in sight, but there are some definite frontrunners in the Best Actor category. The shortlist will probably include Frank Langella, a toweringly monstrous yet gruffly human Richard Nixon in the film of Peter Morgan’s play, Frost/Nixon (23 Jan, pictured). Sean Penn is a contender, too, playing another real-life 1970s politician in Milk (23 Jan).

Mickey Rourke is a teeny bit typecast as a musclebound has-been with a wrecked face in Darren Aronofsky’s bittersweet The Wrestler (16 Jan). And Brad Pitt could get a nomination for David Fincher’s Forrest Gumpish epic The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (6 Feb). He’s a man who’s born old and ages backwards, so he should |really share any prizes he gets with the make-up and special-effects teams.

In the Best Actress category, Anne Hathaway leads the field with her abrasive portrayal of a recovering drug addict at her sister’s wedding in Rachel Getting Married (23 Jan). Revolutionary Road (30 Jan) could snag an Oscar for one or both of Titanic’s doomed lovers, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. They’re reunited in a drama directed by Sam Mendes (Mr Kate Winslet), this time as a husband and wife drowning in the conformity of 1950s suburbia. In the Foreign Language Film category, the smart money is on The Class (27 Feb), last year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes. It’s a brilliant dramatisation of writer/star François Bégaudeau’s stint as a teacher in inner city Paris.

Still, the weeks ahead aren’t just about Kate Winslet looking serious. There’s something fantastic about the fact that on the very day that Frost/Nixon is released, its co-star, Michael Sheen, can also be seen as a frequently shirtless werewolf in Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans |(23 Jan).

More enticingly, there’s Watchmen (6 Mar), the long-awaited adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ supremely brainy superhero graphic novel. Speaking of long-awaited, Woody Allen is back on form at last with Vicky Cristina Barcelona (6 Feb), starring Scarlett Johansson. It’s pointed, funny and sexy... and it may even get an Oscar nomination.

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living