Film’s biggest night of the year is coming up on the 13th of March. So we thought what better time than right now to ensure you have clocked as many of the nominees as possible? From exceptional dramas to spectacular documentaries, grab the popcorn and work your way through these seriously good movies in the lead-up to this year’s prestigious Academy Awards.
All Quiet on the Western Front
This anti-war epic is set in World War I and follows an idealistic young German soldier named Paul Bäume who, after enlisting in the German Army, is forced to face some harsh realities. Based on the 1929 literary masterpiece of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, this adaptation doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the terrifying truths about life on the battle field, and is a film that you are unlikely to forget.
The Banshees of Inisherin
Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, this award-winning film stars Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin and Brendan Gleeson as Colm Doherty, two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one (Doherty) decides to suddenly cut off the relationship. With the help of his sister Súilleabháin sets about trying to mend the rift, which leads to a few unexpected twists and turns, and a surprising ultimatum. Widely lauded as some of Farrell’s best work, this excellent tragicomedy is considered one of the best new films of the year. (It also just happened to win three major Golden Globes for Best Comedy or Musical Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Farrell’s performance.)
Everything Everywhere All at Once
In this spectacularly unique film, a Chinese immigrant is swept into an epic adventure in which she alone is tasked with saving the universe by confronting different versions of herself and her life across the multiverse. Having already won Golden Globes and SAG awards, this is definitely a top contender for Best Film at this year’s Academy Awards — and is one to watch immediately.
Directed by the great Steven Spielberg and based on his childhood and family growing up, this exceptional new semi-autobiographical work is one of the best new films of the year. The Fabelmans follows the story of young Sammy Fabelman who dreams of becoming a filmmaker after his parents take him to see ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ While his mother (played by Michelle Williams) supports his aspirations, it is only after he discovers a shattering family secret that he truly comes to understand the power of film to cut to the truth.
Triangle of Sadness
Offering wickedly funny commentary on privilege and the uber wealthy, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner, Triangle of Sadness has been widely tipped as one of the best films of the year. When two good-looking influencers are invited on a luxury cruise with a group of wealthy but out-of-touch individuals, things take a turn for the worse when a storm hits the boat.
From the producers of Moonlight and Nomadland (both previous Academy Award-winners) Women Talking is about a group of women in an isolated religious cult who must come together when it is unveiled that the men they live alongside have made a habit of drugging and raping them. Based on the best-selling book by Miriam Toews, this film is a powerful but sensitive film that will stay with you long after the final scene.
When a single mother from West Texas wins the lottery and a chance at a good life, it only takes a few years to blow through the money, leaving her to make some tough decisions in order to continue to be there for her son. The performance of Andrea Riseborough in the titular role has been praised as one of the best of this award season.
Brendan Fraser gives the performance of a lifetime in his role as a reclusive and unhealthy English teacher who is basically eating himself to death, desperate to reconnect with his daughter and gain chance at reception. Dark, raw and incredibly moving, this film has a way of getting under your skin, and will draw you in with its very real and visceral human tale.
Called one of the best debuts in British film history, Aftersun follows the story of a father (Calum) and daughter (Sophie), as the latter recalls her fond memories of times they spent together at a fading vacation resort, 20 years after their last holiday. Memories of adolescence and the complications that arose in their relationship as a result make this a particularly compelling twist on the classic coming-of-age tale, portrayed perfectly by its lead actors (including Paul Mescal).
Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a war veteran who returns from Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury, this Academy Award-nominated film offers an intimate portrait of a soldier struggling to adjust to a life she hasn’t known for so long. Eventually, she finds solace in a friendship with an unlikely stranger, as they navigate the journey from grief to healing together.
All That Breathes
This exquisite, meditative documentary about an Indian bird sanctuary is transformative. It follows the story of Delhi-based brothers Nadeem and Saud who have dedicated their lives to the conservation and protection of their city’s native birds, including the Black Kite — a bird of prey that is essential to its ecosystem and is filmed in such a thoughtful, artistic way that you will be mesmerised (and moved) from start to finish.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
An exploration of the life and work of photographer and activist Nan Goldin and the fall of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma, this stellar documentary premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, where it became only the second documentary ever to take home the Golden Lion. Widely touted as one of the most powerful and relevant documentaries of the last few years, and featuring in-depth commentary by Goldin herself, this film is a must-watch for anyone who cares about the world.
Fire of Love
This explosive documentary has garnered Academy Awards buzz for its fascinating story of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died doing the thing they loved most: unravelling the mysteries of volcanoes by studying them up close and capturing some of the most mind-blowing footage of nature in the process. This one will have your jaw on the floor.
A House Made of Splinters
Even as the war in Ukraine takes its toll, a small group of determined social workers create a special a kind of orphanage where children who have been abandoned or displaced due to abuse can find shelter, solace and safety — even in the middle of a warzone.