Oscar Balloon

Likeliest 2017 Best Picture Contenders (6): Kathryn Bigelow‘s Untitled 1967 Detroit Riots Docudrama, written by Mark Boal; Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing (Paramount, 12.22); Terrence Malick‘s Radegund, a World War II drama about an Austrian conscientious objector who was executed by the Nazis, starring August Diehl and Valerie Pachner (shot last summer but you know Malick — it might not be released until ’18 or even ’19); Paul Thomas Anderson Anderson‘s semi-fictionalized biopic about legendary egomaniacal fashion designer Charles James; Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma; Chris Nolan‘s Dunkirk (Warner Bros., 7.19).

Pick of the Litter, Brand-Name Directors, Made For Intelligent, Review-Reading, Over-35 Types (23) Olivier AssayasPersonal Shopper w/ Kristen Stewart (IFC Films, 3.10.17); Steven Spielberg‘s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Montara; Darren Aronofsky‘s Mother; Todd HaynesWonderstruck (Amazon); Steven Soderbergh‘s Logan Lucky; Matt ReevesWar For The Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox, 7.14.17); John Curran‘s Chappaquiddick; Richard Linklater‘s Last Flag Flying; Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight); David Gordon Green‘s Stronger (Summit); David Michod‘s War Machine (Netflix); George Clooney‘s Suburbicon (Paramount); Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Shape of Water; Dan Gilroy‘s Inner City; Jacques Audiard‘s The Sisters Brothers; Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Mektoub Is Mektoub; Yorgos LanthimosThe Killing of A Sacred Deer; Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘s Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight); Jason Reitman‘s Tully; Doug Liman‘s American Made (Universal, 9.29.17); Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria; Adam McKay‘s Untitled Dick Cheney Drama (Paramount); Hany Abu Assad‘s The Mountain Between Us.

Expensive Fantasy-Thriller-Galactic Smart Brands (3)Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros., 10.6.17); Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII (12.15.17); Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant (20th Century Fox, 5.19).

Other 2017 Films of Interest (25): Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics); Roman Polanski‘s Based On A True Story;
Woody Allen‘s
latest, a period piece set in a 1950s amusement park and being shot by Vittorio Storaro; Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky‘s The Polka King; Wim WendersSubmergence; Destin Daniel Creton‘s The Glass Castle; Jason Hall‘s Thank You For Your Service; Alex Garland‘s Annihilation; Kenneth Branagh‘s Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox, 11.22.17); Loveless by Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev; Lucrecia Martel‘s Zama; Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird; Brady Corbet‘s Vox Lux; Dominic Cooke‘s On Chesil Beach; Micheal Mayer and Anton Chekhov‘s The Seagull; Michael Haneke‘s Happy Ending; Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver (TriStar, 8.11); Oren Moverman‘s The Dinner (The Orchard, 5.5.17); Daniel Espinosa‘s Life (Columbia, 3.24.17); Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War (Weinstein Co.); Andrew Haigh‘s Lean on Pete (A24); Arnaud Desplechin‘s Ismael’s Ghosts (Magnolia); Andrew Dosunmu‘s Where Is Kyra?; Scott Cooper‘s Hostiles; Doug Liman‘s The Wall (Amazon/Roadside, 3.10).

Plus: Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game, Danny Boyle‘s T2 Trainspotting, Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Sofia Coppola‘s The Beguiled. (5)

And Let’s Not Forget: Terrence Malick‘s Weightless (a.k.a. Wait List). Costarring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Clifton Collins Jr., Benicio del Toro and Michael Fassbender. (1)