Garry Gillard > Australasian Cinema > awards > Oscars > Oscars 2020—23 February

Oscars 2020

Inclusive list of possibilities for Academy awards

... in alphabetical order. At this early stage, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood and The Irishman are favourites.

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1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019) wr. Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns; Richard Madden, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay; release 25 December

Set against the backdrop of the last full year of the First World War.

Two young British soldiers during the First World War, are given an impossible mission: deliver a message, deep in enemy territory, that will stop their own men, and Blake's own brother, from walking straight into a deadly trap.

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Ad Astra

Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019) wr. James Gray and Ethan Gross; Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones; release 20 September

An astronaut travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of the planet.

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The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts (Tom Harper, 2019) wr. Jack Thorne; Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Phoebe Fox, Himesh Patel, Vincent Perez, Anne Reid; release 6 December

A pilot and scientist find themselves in an epic fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a hot air balloon.

beau day

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019) wr. Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster; Tom Hanks, Susan Kelechi Watson, Matthew Rhys; release 22 November

A jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers. Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.

Two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mr Rogers in a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

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Bombshell (Jay Roach, 2019) wr. Charles Randolph; Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Connie Britton; release 20 December; release 20 December

Several women decide to take on Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the toxic male culture he presided over.

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Cats (Tom Hooper, 2019) wr. Lee Hall; Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Rebel Wilson; release 20 December

A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.



Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu, 2019) Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Brooks; release 27 December

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

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Dark Waters

Dark Waters (Todd Haynes, 2019) wr. Matthew Carnaham, Mario Correra; Anne Hathaway, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Pullman, William Jackson Harper; release 22 November

A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

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Dolemite Is My Name

Dolemite Is My Name (Craig Brewer, 2019) wr. Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski; Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, T.I.; release 4 October, streaming 25 October

The story of Rudy Ray Moore, who transformed himself into a blaxploitation star during the 1970s.


Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey (Michael Engler, 2019) wr. Julian Fellowes; Michelle Dockery, Tuppence Middleton, Maggie Smith, Matthew Goode, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter; release 20 September

The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century.


The Farewell

The Farewell (Lulu Wang, 2019) Shuzhen Zhao, Awkwafina, X Mayo; release 12 July

A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Billi struggles with her family's decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.


Ford v. Ferrari

Ford v. Ferrari (James Mangold, 2019) wr. James Mangold, Jason Keller, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth; Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Remo Girone; release 15 November

The true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966.

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Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell (Sebastián Lelio, 2019) wr. Sebastián Lelio, Alice Johnson Boher; Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Sean Astin

A free-spirited woman in her 50s seeks out love at L.A. dance clubs.


The Good Liar

The Good Liar (Bill Condon, 2019) wr. Jeffrey Hatcher from the novel by Nicholas Searle; Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones; release 15 November

A seasoned conman finds himself growing to care for the woman he orchestrated his latest scheme against after meeting her online. Career con artist Roy Courtnay can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty opens her home and life to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.

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Harriet (Kasi Lemmons, 2019) wr. Kasi Lemmons, Gregory Allen Howard; Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn, Leslie Odom Jr.; release 1 November

The story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad.


A Hidden Life

A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019) wr. Terrence Malick; August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jürgen Prochnow, Bruno Ganz; release 13 December

A conscientious objector refuses to fight for the Nazis in the Second World War. The Austrian Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.


The Irishman

The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019) Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin; release 1 November; streaming 27 November

Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran is a man with a lot on his mind. The former labor union high official and hitman learned to kill serving in Italy during the Second World War. He now looks back on his life and the hits that defined his mob career, maintaining connections with the Bufalino crime family. In particular, the part he claims to have played in the disappearance of his life-long friend, Jimmy Hoffa, the former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who mysteriously vanished in late July 1975 at the age of 62.

Here's a long article you shouldn't read yet, published as early as September but already re-telling the whole story of the film in great detail in the context of all of Scorsese's work. It's by Eric Kohn, in IndieWire.


Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019) wr. Taika Waititi, from novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens; Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi; release 18 October

A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.



Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019) wr. Todd Phillips, Scott Silver; Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy; release 4 October

A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.

Don't read this long 'review'. It not only tells you the whole story in great detail, but also what to think about it - also in detail: David Ehrlich, in IndieWire. Even the title of the article gives away too much.



Judy (Rupert Goold, 2019) wr. Tom Edge; Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell, Finn Wittrock; release 27 September

Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.

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Just Mercy

Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019) wr. Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham; Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rob Morgan, Rafe Spall, Tim Blake Nelson; release 25 December

Civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson recounts his experiences and details the case of a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free.

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The King

The King (David Michôd, 2019) wr. David Michôd; Timothée Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton; release 11 October, streaming 1 November

Shakespeare’s Henry V; Netflix


Knives Out

Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019) wr. Rian Johnson; Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer; release 27 November

Modern murder mystery in a classic whodunit style. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan's dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan's untimely death.

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The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers, 2019) wr. Robert Eggers, Max Eggers; Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson

The hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

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Little Women

Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019) Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan; release 25 December

Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Based on the well-known novel by Louisa May Alcott.

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Lucy in the Sky

Lucy in the Sky (Noah Hawley, 2019) wr. Brian C. Brown, John-Henry Butterworth; Natalie Portman, Zazie Beetz, Jon Hamm; release 4 October

The story of a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a life-changing mission in space, begins to slowly unravel and lose touch with reality.

David Ehrlich's longish article in IndieWire.


Marriage Story

Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019) wr. Noah Baumbach; Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern; release 6 November, streaming 6 December

Noah Baumbach's incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

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Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn (Edward Norton, 2019) wr. Edward Norton, novel by Jonathan Lethem; Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann, Bobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin; release 1 November

A private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend in 1950s New York.


Once upon a Time ... in Hollywood

Once upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019) Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie; release 26 July

Quentin Tarantino's film visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as faded television actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age, as they make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age.

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Pain and Glory

Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019) wr. Pedro Almodóvar; Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia; release 4 October

A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.



Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019) wr. Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won; Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam; release 11 October

All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.

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The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield (Armando Iannucci, 2019) wr. Simon Blackwell; Dev Patel, Gwendoline Christie, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw

The story follows the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity.

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Queen and Slim

Queen and Slim (Melina Matsoukas, 2019) wr. James Frey, Lena Waithe; Daniel Kaluuya, Bokeem Woodbine, Jodie Turner-Smith; release 27 November

A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

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The Report

The Report (Scott Z. Burns, 2019) wr. Scott Z. Burns; Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm; release 15 November

A thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones's relentless pursuit of the truth leads to findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation's top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a shocking secret from the American public. The screenplay is written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, and the film also stars Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney.

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Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher, 2019) wr. Lee Hall; Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard; release 31 May

A musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.

Not to my taste. Egerton was cast because he looks like Reggie Dwyer (unfortunately for him). 'Uncensored' in the blurb means that Sir Elton is shown to have taken excessively almost every drug in MIMS — not, thank goodness, (shown) having sex.

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The Souvenir

The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019) wr. Joanna Hogg; Tilda Swinton, Honor Swinton-Byrne, Tom Burke, Richard Ayoade; release 17 May

A film student in the early 1980s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.

Tedious film about ugly boring people. I'm guessing the plain, listless Swinton-Byrne got the gig because her mother agreed to be in the film as well, giving her a start she doesn't deserve. Notice that the poster doesn't show her face at all, and only some of his.

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Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley, 2019) wr. Stephany Folsom; Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale; release 21 June

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.


The Two Popes

The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles, 2019) wr. Anthony McCarten; Jonathan Pryce, Anthony Hopkins ; release 27 November, streaming 20 December

The relationship and opposing visions between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, both of whom must address their own pasts and the demands of the modern world in order to move the church forward.

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Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019) wr. Josh and Benny Safdie and Ronald Bronstein; Adam Sandler, Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch, Eric Bogosian, Pom Klementieff; release 13 December

A jewellery store owner must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from his girlfriend.



Us (Jordan Peele, 2019) Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss; release 22 March

In order to get away from their busy lives, the Wilson family takes a vacation to Santa Cruz, California with the plan of spending time with their friends, the Tyler family. On a day at the beach, their young son Jason almost wanders off, causing his mother Adelaide to become protective of her family. That night, four mysterious people break into Adelaide's childhood home where they're staying. The family is shocked to find out that the intruders look like them, only with grotesque appearances.

A twist on a couple of familar genres which Peele's script successfully defamiliarizes brilliantly. In that regard, it's not inaccurate to see this as following logically on from Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017), which won Peele the screenplay Oscar - and three other nominations. This one ranges more widely, and in my opinion the ending sacrifices logic for intrigue, which I think will cause it to do less well than the earlier film. But I've already said too much.

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Waves (Trey Edward Shults, 2019) Taylor Russell, Kelvin Harrison, Alexa Demie; release 1 November

Two young couples navigate through the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 September 2019 | Now: 4 October, 2019