BFI Screens Oscar Hopefuls

In News by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

This February, to mark the upcoming 88th Academy Awards, London’s BFI Southbank will host screenings of all the films in the running for the following awards: Short Film – Animated, Live Action Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Documentary Features, Foreign Language Film, and Best Picture. Who will win Best Picture? You decide. It’s a doozy of a list.

Bridge Of Spies
WED 3 FEB 20:30 NFT1 / FRI 19 FEB 17:50 NFT1
During the Cold War, American lawyer James B Donovan (Hanks) is called on to defend Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Rylance) in court. At first criticised for keeping Abel from being sentenced to death, he is later recruited by the CIA to facilitate an exchange of prisoners in Berlin after a U2 spy plane pilot is captured in active duty.

TUE 23 FEB 20:20 NFT1 / MON 29 FEB 20:30 NFT1
Since he was born, five-year-old Jack has been living with his Ma in a room of 11-square-feet.  With a sudden chance to escape, he’s thrust into a new, outside, world.  Adapted by Emma Donoghue from her bestselling novel and directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank, What Richard Did), the film explores life in captivity, the resilience of young minds and the bonds of parenthood.

The Big Short
WED 24 FEB 20:15 NFT1 / FRI 26 FEB 20:40 NFT1
Based on Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book, and moving between drama and documentary throughout, McKay’s film dramatises the years leading up to the housing and credit crash of 2008.  It follows four men in the world of high-finance as they foresee the bubble’s collapse and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

Mad Max: Fury Road (3D)
TUE 16 FEB 20:50 NFT1 / SUN 28 FEB 20:40 NFT1
Set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, Imperator Furiosa (Theron) rebels against tyrant Immortan Joe, stealing a fuel truck to search for her homeland with a group of female prisoners under her care. Drifter Max (Hardy) is caught up with the group as he escapes from a psychotic warboy, aiding Furiosa in her drive to a better world.

WED 17 FEB 18:15 NFT1 / SUN 21 FEB 18:00 NFT1
In Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s best-selling post-WWII novel, Eilis (Ronan) faces a heart-rending choice. Emigrating from Ireland and establishing herself in New York, Eilis soon falls in love with adoring Italian-American Tony (Cohen). But when family tragedy brings about her return to Ireland, she attracts the attentions of Jim (Gleeson); should this be a permanent return home?

FRI 26 FEB 18:00 NFT1 / SAT 27 FEB 20:30 NFT1
Based on real events, McCarthy’s film charts the attempts made by various journalists at the Boston Globe to uncover the truth behind allegations of years of child abuse and cover-ups levelled against priests and other functionaries of the Catholic Church. Very much an ensemble piece, the film has been compared to earlier dramas about investigative journalism such as All the President’s Men.

The Revenant
SAT 13 FEB 19:45 NFT1 / SAT 27 FEB 17:45 NFT1
Inspired by the experiences of frontiersman Hugh Glass, who was left for dead by his colleagues on an 1820s fur-trading expedition, Iñarritu’s epic drama is a tale of suffering, determination and an overwhelming desire for vengeance. Shot in harsh conditions to create an atmosphere of authenticity, it evokes the vulnerability of humanity (and human values) when confronted by the power of nature.

The Martian (3D)
TUE 16 FEB 18:00 NFT1 / SUN 28 FEB 17:35 NFT1
While on Mars, Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead by his fellow astronauts after an accident during a storm; as they begin their long trip back to Earth, he comes to and realises he has to think and act quickly if he’s to survive on the paltry provisions he has left. A surprisingly light-hearted spectacular in praise of courage, hope and ingenuity.