Oscar-bait: London Film Festival’s most likely


With the London Film Festival on the horizon (Oct 8-19), we’ve picked out a few of the films showing at the festival that we think are most likely to win Oscars next year.

See the films in a few weeks time and then decide whether or not you agree with us!

1. Mr Turner (Mike Leigh)

Oft left out of the Oscars race, Mike Leigh’s biopic of impressionist painter J.M.W Turner has already stolen some media attention at Cannes, where it won a Best Actor award for Timothy Spall.

2. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)

Having already scooped the Best Director award at Cannes, Foxcatcher will no doubt go on to feature in the 2015 Oscars, most probably gaining a nod for Steve Carell’s performance.

3. The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum)

The Imitation Game recently won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, signalling that it could be a big player to win awards in London when it screens (it’s a British story and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly, among others). With a few festival wins, it’s touted for Oscar nominations too.

4. The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones)

Oscar-award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones writes, directs, stars and produces this western, with Hilary Swank in the leading role as a woman escorting three insane women across America. It’s a shoo-in.

5. Men, Women and Childen (Jason Reitman)

After making a strong impression in Toronto, Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) moves to London with his latest film, which takes a look at the sexual frustrations of young people and adults in the modern age.

6. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)

The recipient of the Grand Jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival would usually come last in the Oscar race, but with festival play in Toronto, London, Vancouver and New York, this film could still achieve some traction. There’s all to play for.

7. Wild (Jean-Marc Vallee)

After his Oscar success with The Dallas Buyers Club last year, Jean-Marc Vallee returns to the festival circuit with Wild, chronicling one woman’s 1,100 mile hike. Reese Witherspoon leads. Could be a serious contender.

8. Fury (David Ayer)

Closing the London Film Festival is this war epic from Training Day director David Ayer. Brad Pitt stars as the leader of a squadron heading towards enemy lines in the final months of WW2.

9. The Judge (David Dobkin)

The director of such highly-acclaimed films as The Change-Up and Wedding Crashers (we joke), now stands a change at pocketing an Oscar with his latest, starring Robert Downey Jr as a lawyer who must defend his father on a murder charge. With a lot of star power (Billy Bob Thornton, Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall), The Judge could be one of the most commercially viable Oscar contenders at LFF.

10. Love is Strange (Ira Sachs)

Although he hasn’t won any Oscars so far, Ira Sach’s works are consistently critically acclaimed and win awards the world over, so there’s hope. This sweet New York set love story follows gay couple John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as they finally get married and then find they are out of work and forced to live apart.

See these 10 at the London Film Festival and you’ll be all set to start guessing who’ll win the Academy Awards next March. You can book tickets here.

Flossie Topping is the former Editor-in-Chief of Critics Associated (2013-2015). She has an MA in Film Theory and an MA in Online Journalism. She has written for Screen International, Grolsch Film Works, Universal Film Magazine, The London Film Review, Best for Film, Next Projection, Metropolitan, Don't Panic and The Ealing Gazette.