5 films destined for Oscar nominations

5 must-see films destined for the Oscars

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And that means Hollywood's finest are contending for coveted nominations. There are a lot of great films in the running, and we've gathered five in particular that are almost sure to be nominees, if not winners.

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Already a strong favorite among critics and the festival circuit, this film is based on legendary physicist Stephen Hawking and his relationship with his ex-wife, Jane Wilde Hawking.

With an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Theory of Everything is being praised for its performances and screenplay. Eddie Redmayne's visceral portrayal of Hawking has been compared to roles like Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot. Expect Redmayne to be in the race for best actor.

Photo: Focus Features

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician and logician who helped crack a code that was crucial for defeating the Nazis in World War II.

This has all the makings of Oscar bait: a star-studded cast, warm festival reception, a period setting, and a strong leading man playing a character who was prosecuted for homosexuality. Best picture, director, actor, screenplay, and supporting actress nominations are probable.

Photo: The Weinstein Company

Directed by Bennett Miller of Capote and Moneyball fame, Foxcatcher is sure to receive a slew of nominations and probably a few wins.

It's hard to imagine anyone winning best supporting actor over Steve Carell's chilling performance as the wealthy wresting coach and paranoid schizophrenic John Eleuthère du Pont. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo also give stellar performances.

The story itself is portrayed in such a way that grips you from beginning to shockingly tragic end. Nominations for best picture, director, screenplay, actor, supporting actor, editing, makeup, and maybe even sound design are all very possible.

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

How can a film that literally shows a boy growing up not receive Oscar attention? Boyhood was shot intermittently over an eleven-year period, which is a feat in and of itself that will place it in film studies textbooks.

The scope of such a project is mind blowing, and critics have been overwhelming favorable with a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition," reads the critical consensus. What more of a recommendation do you need?

Photo: IFC Films

Michael Keaton's Birdman is the rogue, weird, unrelentingly indie contender that hasn't stopped gaining momentum. Keaton's portrayal of a washed-up actor who once played a famous superhero (cough) is being called his best work in years. Then there's the incredible supporting cast: Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts.

Besides its witty dialogue and fascinating characters, Birdman soars on the talented wings of Gravity and Children of Men cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who effortlessly follows the story with what feels like one continuous, epic shot. Birdman is worth watching for the way it looks alone, and it's hard to imagine it not winning best cinematography.

Photo: Fox Searchlight