The next seven weeks promise to keep cinephiles and avid awards-show addicts plenty busy at the theaters.
Here’s a peek at some of the likeliest candidates to show up on Oscar and Golden Globes nomination mornings; catch them early to get in the awards-season groove:
Premise: Intimate portrait of iconic president in epic production.
Promise: Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” follow-up figures to get out of the gate faster and enjoy a stronger finish. Nominations likely across the board, with stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and writer Tony Kushner enjoying the highest profile.
Premise: Tolstoy classic boiled down to a love triangle between the title character, aristocrat husband and the cavalry officer who comes between them.
Promise: Joe Wright’s stylized adaptation split audiences at Toronto. Star Keira Knightley remains in play.
‘Silver Linings Playbook’
Premise: Man moves in with parents after leaving mental hospital and strikes up an unusual friendship with a young widow.
Promise: Toronto audience winner likely to score nods for picture, director David O. Russell, lead Jennifer Lawrence and the great support turn by Robert De Niro. Bradley Cooper a revelation, as well.
‘Life of Pi’
Premise: After a shipwreck, a young man struggles to survive on board a lifeboat alongside a hungry Bengal tiger.
Promise: Ang Lee’s CGI-heavy film won some ardent fans after the N.Y. Film Fest premiere. A possible powerhouse if it catches on commercially.
Premise: Anthony Hopkins portrays the Master of Suspense, depicted while making “Psycho.”
Promise: Hopkins, certainly. With its inside Hollywood story line, the film could resonate strongly with academy members.
‘Rust and Bone’
Premise: An orca whale trainer hooks up with a lunkhead street fighter after losing her leg in an accident.
Promise: Marion Cotillard again in the running for lead actress.
‘Hyde Park on Hudson’
Premise: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) meets King George VI on the eve of World War II.
Promise: The picture is not winning raves, but Murray’s FDR still is a prime attraction.
Premise: An elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) cares for his wife (Emmanuelle Riva) as her life comes to an end.
Promise: Michael Haneke’s intimate drama is a foreign-language shoo-in. Nominations for picture, director and its leads are strong possibilities.
‘Zero Dark Thirty’
Premise: “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow chronicles the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Promise: The immediacy of this historical tale could separate it from other epics.
Premise: The real-life story of a family swept apart by a tsunami struggles to reunite.
Promise: Naomi Watts’ wrenching turn as a mother won raves at Toronto.
Premise: A freed slave partners with a bounty hunter to get medieval on assorted evildoers, including the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) holding Django’s wife.
Promise: Who’s to say academy voters won’t go for this spaghetti western from Quentin Tarantino? DiCaprio looks goofy-great in the trailer.
Premise: Revolution! Redemption! The popular musical finally comes to the screen!
Promise: If Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper delivers, it could easily score multiple nominations, including nods for leads Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.
Premise: Retired opera singers reunite in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut.
Promise: Maggie Smith might be singing lead.
Premise: Corporate salespeople try to persuade small-town residents to sign over drilling rights in an issue-oriented drama from Gus Van Sant.
Promise: When Van Sant (“Milk,” “Good Will Hunting”) plays it down the middle, voters have responded.
Newcomer Suraj Sharma takes the title role in “Life of Pi.”×
Keira Knightley stars as Anna in director Joe Wright’s bolANNA KARENINA, a release.×
Anthony Hopkins in “Hitchcock”×
Bill Murray as Franklin D. Rooseveltin “Hyde Park on Hudson.”×
Anne Hathaway as Fantine in “Les Miserables.”×
Russell Crowe stars as Javert in “Les Miserables.”×
In this undated photo released in New York, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007, by Sotheby's, an ""Oscar"" which was presented to Grace Kelly before she became ""Princess Grace"" is shown. The statue that Kelly won for her performance in ""The Country Girl,"" will be part of a free exhibit of the late Princess Grace's gowns, jewelry, photos and letters at Sotheby's Auction House in New York City from Oct. 15-26. (AP Photo/Sotheby's) **NO SALES**×
In the darkest hour of the night, elite Navy Seals raid Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Columbia Pictures’ “Zero Dark Thirty.”×
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