2015 has flown by fast, and we’re somehow already half-way through the year, which means it’s time to start thinking about that most hallowed of Hollywood traditions: the Academy Awards. The latter half of the year is sure to be dominated by what is referred to as “Oscar bait,” from prestige period dramas about individuals who challenged the conventions of their eras (that’s The Danish Girl, Suffragette and Joy this fall) to thrilling adventure-dramas about individuals battling against the odds in order to survive (The Revenant, In the Heart of the Sea).
But the first six months of the year haven’t just featured superhero blockbusters and gag-worthy BDSM romances (though it has mostly just been those two things). And so, I’m looking back on the titles from January through June that could stand a real chance of finding success come Oscar season. These titles, terrific though they are, will be fighting an uphill battle, given that the glut of studio-touted, award-tipped dramas is exceptionally huge this November and December, but we live in a world where The Grand Budapest Hotel, released way back in March of 2013, was able to triumph over the competition to earn a whopping nine Oscar nominations and take home four. So, no matter how unlikely some of these contenders may seem, stranger things have already happened.
Here are my picks for the ten films from the first half of 2015 that could pop up on next year’s Oscar ballots. (I’m not counting the more technical contenders here, but Cinderella, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Furious 7 and San Andreas will certainly duke it out there.)
Read on, and add your own picks below.