The race to the Best Picture Oscar appears to be wide open this year, with dozens of films battling for a nomination to validate their efforts. Alongside the usual glossy biopics made by prestige filmmakers, there are also intriguing historical romances, gritty thrillers and an animated gem in the mix for one of the ten nods. It's going to be no mean feat for the movie industry's biggest awards body to decide on the shortlist, let alone plucking a worthy winner from the field. Last year, it was predicted that 2015 would be remembered as the biggest year in the history of the cinematic blockbuster. Given the extraordinary success of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Spectre, it's certainly true that the biggest films of the year have been several magnitudes larger than at previous times. However, what's truly remarkable is the depth and variety of the Oscar hopefuls, ensuring that the year ends on a high. Awards watchers have usually picked their winners by this time, but they have been notably silent and unwilling to make bold picks this time around. Until the nominations start flooding in, it's going to be tough to decide who will be leaving the Dolby Theater in February wielding the coveted statuette.
Freelance film journalist and fan of professional wrestling. Usually found in a darkened screening room looking for an aisle seat and telling people to put away their mobile phones. Also known to do a bit of stand-up comedy, so I'm used to the occasional heckle.