The Oscars are rarely a place that celebrates sequels or films that go beyond their usual comfort zone. However, they can sometimes be a place to celebrate a good comeback story (see Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler and Michael Keaton in Birdman, despite their eventual losses). When it comes to this year’s Oscar race, it’s both a surprise and a no-brainer that some films are gearing up to be in contention for big prizes.
In 2015, we saw Rocky Balboa come back onto the scene, but not into the ring, as Apollo Creed’s son took center stage. We saw Pixar drop not one, but two films, and one of them is a lock for Best Animated Feature.
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Elsewhere, we saw Ridley Scott go back to his roots and make everyone believe that, while no one can hear you scream in space, you can still achieve the impossible. We also saw George Miller return to his chaotic desert wasteland to be the surprise critics’ pick of the year. And on Friday, millions will finally see what J.J. Abrams does with a galaxy far, far away.
As great as all of these films are though, will any of them ultimately walk away victorious at the Academy Awards? Possibly, but if there are any movies that deserve some Oscar sentimentality this year, it’s these five.