You’re busy, we get it. But nobody wants to get to the day after the Oscars and not have anything to say in the morning Zoom with colleagues. Not another Parasite! So here’s a crib sheet, all the films that look like they might be awards season material.
Here’s what you do, rather than watching approximately 50 hours of movie reel like you’re Tarantino on a day off, all you need to give you a smattering of knowledge suitable for an off-hand bluff is watch the trailer. So here they all are. You’ll be done in the hour. If you still can’t be arsed, there’s a synopsis of the synopsis for each…
Promising Young Woman
Synopsis of the synopsis: Carey Mulligan, this time without the Saxon Longboat but with multiple personalities. None of them Ralph Fiennes.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Aravind Adiga’s brilliant book turned into a movie. Sort of Slumdog meets Collateral with a hint of Driving Miss Daisy.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Starring Benedict Cumberbatch with an incredibly low voice, we dice with America’s post 9/11 conundrums. Not to be confused with the Manchurian Candidate. Or the Mandalorian.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Synopsis of the synopsis: From Cumberbatch post 9/11 to another legal drama based on another dubiously legal war, the fate of the Chicago 7. A genuinely impressive cast.
One Night in Miami
Synopsis of the synopsis: Legends Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Muhammed Ali and Sam Cooke in a room together. Also that rarest of rarities, a female director getting the recognition she’s due in awards season.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Not seen Hamilton at the theatre? Now you have.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Fossils and forbidden love in Victorian Dorset with Kate Winslet.
Da 5 Bloods
Synopsis of the synopsis: Five veterans revisit Vietnam decades after the war. A reunion but also a treasure hunt.
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
Synopsis of the synopsis: Two Sacha Baron Cohen vehicles gearing up for awards seasons (he also stars in The Trial Of The Chicago 7), but it’s Maria Bakalova who is rumoured to be up for best supporting actress as Borat’s daughter.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Frances McDormand hits the road as a campervan dwelling nomad.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Four Danish school teachers start boozing to see what happens… (answer, they get drunk)
The United States vs Billie Holiday
Synopsis of the synopsis: Billie Holiday biopic and American civil rights struggle.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Is it 2021 or 1934? Oldman by name and nature, the world’s second most famous Gary after Linnekar has a fascinating Citizen Kane evoking film here.
Malcolm & Marie
Synopsis of the synopsis: Still in black and white, and another film about film, but otherwise a million miles from Mank, exploring a couple’s relationship.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Another Korean film, this time examining the American dream. The trailer made me well up, not sure why.
Synopsis of the synopsis: You can’t keep Olivia Colman away from awards season, and joined with Anthony Hopkins in this film about progressive memory loss, that looks like a good thing.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Hope and despair in redneck country…
Judas And The Black Messiah
Synopsis of the synopsis: The Black Panthers and the FBI’s efforts to infiltrate it. Feels a bit more real this year.
Synopsis of the synopsis: Kooky but rather beautiful Pixar movie. Supporting cast includes Graham Norton and Richard Ayoade! It seems weird that someone must’ve seen Norton in Will Farrell’s Eurovision and said ‘get me that guy’…