It may still be a ways off in the distance, but now that the summer blockbuster movie season is over—and 2015 was one of the biggest of all time—our focus naturally turns to the end of the year awards that are rapidly approaching. With the big fall film festivals either in full swing or on the way—the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival are in progress, while the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off later this week, followed by New York and AFI—a number of awards contenders are making their public debuts and the discussion about who will walk away with the biggies, specifically Oscar, is beginning in earnest.

With this in mind, no matter how far in advance it may seem, we put together a handy dandy list of some titles that may very well be in the Oscar race come the end of the year, and when you’ll have the chance to see them. A number of them are rolling out at the fall festivals, and because most of us aren’t fortunate enough to attend those shindigs, we’ll let you know when they’re slated to get a limited and wide release, at least if such things are scheduled—as these aren’t blockbusters, wide releases haven’t been set in stone for many of them. So take a look and let us know what you think will be competing for Oscar glory in the comments below, or if we missed some obvious choices (I already feel like I’m going to get yelled at for not including The Hateful Eight).

Danish Girl
The Danish Girl
When It Premieres : September 5, 2015, Venice Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: November 27, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

Though it just premiered, last year’s Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne is already winning praise for his role in Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) The Danish Girl. He plays Lili Elbe, a Danish artist who was the first known recipient of gender reassignment surgery. With an important, timely topic, and supporting cast that includes Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Mathias Schoenaerts, this is certainly one you’ll be hearing more about.
Bridge of spies
Bridge Of Spies
When It Premieres: New York Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: October 16, 2016

With Steven Spielberg at the helm, Tom Hanks in the starring role, and a script from Joel and Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies has Oscar-bait written all over it. Based on a true story, the action follows an American lawyer during the height of the Cold War, as he is recruited by the CIA to arrange a trade for a captured pilot and gets into far more trouble than he ever could have imagined.
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
When It Premieres: September 5, 2015, Telluride Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: October 9, 2015

Oscar loves a good biopic, and from the early word, Michael Fassbender is absolutely transformative as Apple founder and cultural touchstone Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle’s latest offering, simply titled Steve Jobs. Working on a whip-cracking script from Aaron Sorkin (The Social NetworK), the film follows Jobs at three key career points, using them to launch deeper into his life and personality.
Black Mass
Black Mass
When It Premieres: September 5, 2015 Venice Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: September 18, 2015

Though his recent output hasn’t always been stellar, Black Mass looks to be a return to form for Johnny Depp as he dives deep to become the notorious Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger. Barely recognizable under vampiric makeup, Depp is joined by an all star cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, and too many to name.
The Walk
The Walk
When It Premieres: September 26, 2015 New York Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: September 30, 2015 (IMAX)

When It Goes Wide: October 9, 2015

Director Robert Zemeckis knows a thing or two about mixing it up with Oscar, and his Joseph Gordon-Levitt-starring The Walk could put him back in contention again this year. The film follows French high-wire artist Philippe Petit as he prepares to cross a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. If nothing, this promises to be breathtaking and dizzying to watch in IMAX.
Carol
Carol
When It Premieres: May 17, 2015, Cannes Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: November 20, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, Carol takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of a young store clerk (Rooney Mara) with big dreams who fall in love with an older, married, high-society woman (Cate Blanchett). After debuting at Cannes, Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine) latest film has gained notice for its deep love story and high marks for his searing performances from both leads.
Revenant
The Revenant
When It Premieres: N/A

When It Starts Playing In Limited: December 25, 2015

When It Goes Wide: January 8, 2016

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman was an awards season juggernaut last year, and this year his The Revenant will likely follow suit. Gorgeously filmed, the story of a frontiersman on a quest for revenge stars Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, and Domhnall Gleeson, and though most of us won’t see it until the tail end of the year, it’s hard not to think of this in terms of Oscar gold just because of who is involved.
Snowden
Snowden
When It Premieres: N/A

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: December 25, 2015

A legendary director making a film based on one of the most important political stories in recent memory, Oliver Stone’s Snowden had big hopes and a high ceiling from word one. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who looks to have a big few months coming up, the story follows CIA employee Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents about NSA surveillance programs to the mainstream press and the fallout that created.
Beasts
Beasts Of No Nation
When It Premieres: September 3, 2015, Venice Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: October 16, 2015 (Theatrical)

When It Goes Wide: October 16, 2015 (Netflix)

If you’ve watched the trailer for Cary Joji Fukunaga’s upcoming Beasts of No Nation, you know to expect a brutal gut-punch of a movie. The narrative follows a young boy who, after his entire family is slaughtered in front of him, becomes a child soldier in a vicious civil war in an unnamed African country. Led by Idris Elba, this will get a limited theatrical release the same time as it becomes available on Netflix.
Joy
Joy
When It Premieres: N/A

When It Starts Playing In Limited: December 25, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

At this point, it would be more notable if a David O. Russell collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t in the Oscar discussion, and they’re back at it this year with Joy. The generations-spanning story revolves around a young single mother of three (Lawrence) as she raises her children and starts a business empire based on a "Miracle Mop." As we’ve seen, when Lawrence, Russell, and Bradley Cooper get together, remarkable things happen.
Trumbo
Trumbo
When It Premieres: September 12, 2015, Toronto International Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: November 6, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

Oscar loves movies about movies, as well as movies with beloved actors playing radical historical figures. With Trumbo, they have both as Bryan Cranston plays blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. A successful writer who was kicked out of Hollywood for being a Communist, the film looks to have a fast pace and razor wit as it tells the tale of his battle with the studio heads and the United States government.
Miles Ahead
Miles Ahead
When It Premieres: October 10, 2015, New York Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: N/A

True-life stories about troubled geniuses are the kind of thing that make Academy voters drool. Directed by and starring Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead explores the life and music of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis. There aren’t a ton of details available for this at the moment, but given Davis’ status as an innovator of the genre and his enduring legacy, there is plenty to mine here.
I Saw The Light
I Saw the Light
When It Premieres: September 11, 2015, Toronto International Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: November 27, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

Yet another biopic of a famous musician, this time Thor’s Loki, Tom Hiddleston, plays Hank Williams in Marc Abraham’s I Saw the Light. Hiddleston has actually performed live as the legendary country troubadour, and between that and the first few looks we’ve had at him in character, he nails the characterization, and this could be one to watch when the end of the year rolls around.
Concussion
Concussion
When It Premieres: N/A

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: December 25, 2015

With a hot-button topic and a big star giving what looks like a potentially career best performance, Concussion will take the multi-billion dollar-earning National Football League to task for its treatment, or lack there of, of the repetitive head trauma inherent in the game. Will Smith stars as the first doctor to recognize football related brain injuries in a former NFL player, and the league’s subsequent attempts to cover up this discovery.
Everest
Everest
When It Premieres: September 2, 2015, Venice Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: September 25, 2015

On the level of sheer, unadulterated spectacle, films don’t get much bigger or more breathtaking than Everest. Baltasar Kormákur’s latest tells the story of a group of climbers trying to summit the world’s tallest peak, and trying survive the journey. A fantastic cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, and more try to bring the ill-fated real life journey to IMAX screens everywhere.
Spotlight
Spotlight
When It Premieres: September 3, 2015, Venice Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: November 6, 2015

When It Goes Wide: N/A

Director Tom McCarthy’s follow up to the Adam Sandler fantasy The Cobbler, Spotlight, takes on the real life story of how a team of reporters at the Boston Globe uncovered an epidemic of child molestation in the Catholic Church, the ensuing cover up, and the scandal that followed. Starring Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Liev Schreiber, this promises to be a weighty biographical drama.
By the Sea
By The Sea
When It Premieres: November 5, 2015, AFI Fest

When It Starts Playing In Limited: N/A

When It Goes Wide: November 13, 2015

Directed by Angelina Jolie, and starring the Academy Award-winning actress and hubby Brad Pitt, By the Sea looks like a stone cold bummer. A gorgeous film to be sure, but a bummer nonetheless. Set in France in the 1970s, the film tells the story of the gradual crumbling and dissolution of a marriage. Jolie also wrote the script, and if this one lives up to the potential, perhaps this is the one that wins the actor-turned-director awards acclaim behind the camera as well.
Truth
Truth
When It Premieres: September 12, 2015, Toronto International Film Festival

When It Starts Playing In Limited: October 16, 2015

When It Goes Wide: October 30, 2015

When anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes ran a report on CBS News calling George W. Bush’s military service during the Vietnam War into question, the ensuing backlash cost them both their careers. Director James Vanderbilt’s Truth dramatizes this controversy, with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in the leads. With a supporting cast that includes Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid, and more, this is the kind of weighty political drama that end of the year awards voters love.

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