Big Screen Energy: Films To Watch Before Oscar Night

Looking for a movie to fill that Marriage Story-shaped hole? Read on

03.01.2020

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So, you’ve exhausted your Netflix film list. Caught Little Women, Knives Out and Star Wars on the big screen over Betwixmas (ah, those decadent, off-grid days between Christmas and New Year). You feel confident you’re well up-to-date with the Oscar-worthy dramas (Marriage Story, we’re looking at you). “I’m getting pretty good at this whole watching films business, if only I could go pro?” you ponder. Fear not, cinephiles: there’s still award contenders released this month you need to have on your radar. See below for some of our favourites, from absurdist comedies to stylish biopics.

THE EPIC

For fans of: Saving Private Ryan

You need to watch...1917

In Brief: A cinematic tour de force, Sam Mendes’ epic war film is made to look as though filmed in one single take. It is both technically brilliant, thanks to the masterful camera skills of Roger Deakins (who is to cinematography what Andy Warhol is to Pop Art: royalty) and profoundly moving. The story zones in on two British soldiers – played by up-and-comers George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman - who receive seemingly impossible orders during World War I. The mission: they must cross into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600. Unmissable.

When? Out in cinemas January 10th

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the biopic

For fans of…Factory Girl

You need to watch…Seberg

In Brief: She may be most famous for playing a teenage girl who wants to live forever with her vampire soulmate, but Kristen Stewart’s latest role sees her go back in time. Transforming into the 1960s style icon and poster girl of French New Wave cinema, Jean Seberg (famously known for her turn in Jean-Luc Godard's cult classic, Breathless). Warning: upon viewing you will likely want to invest much time in sourcing the perfect vintage shift dress and mastering an artfully smudged eye makeup look.

When? Out in cinemas January 10th

THE SATIRE

For fans of: Inglourious Basterds

You need to watch…Jojo Rabbit

In Brief: Billed as an ‘anti-hate satire’, this is one of those films you will find hard to describe post-watch. Set in Germany during World War II, this bizarre and darkly comic film follows the story of an awkward 10-year-old boy (played by the Golden Globe-nominated Roman Griffin Davis) who often turns to his imaginary (and completely idiotic) friend, Adolf Hitler. His blind nationalism is then tested when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. “It’s not that it takes the Holocaust lightly at all,” Johansson says. “It’s the perspective of the boy and the innocence with which he looks at the world. That’s why it can be handled with a sort of whimsy in a way.”

When? Out in cinemas January 3rd

THE EXPOSÉ

For fans of…The Morning Show

You need to watch…Bombshell

In Brief: When the first trailer dropped for this one, people had two questions: 1.) Is that really Charlize Theron (due to some impressive facial prosthetics, she is barely recognisable); 2.) What is the film actually about? (The main action over the course of 85 seconds sees Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman and Theron share a, deafeningly silent, lift together). Bombshell, for those who may not be aware, is the dramatisation of the accounts of several women at Fox News who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment in 2016. An urgent and necessary watch about the power divides between men and women in the workplace.

When? Out in cinemas January 17th

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