10 films that could win Oscars in 2025

1. Kinds of Kindness

Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most inspired directors working today, and also an Oscar magnet. His follow-up to Poor Things – which earned best picture, director and adapted screenplay nominations along with Emma Stone’s best actress win – is typically offbeat, an anthology of three contemporary fable-like stories. The details have been guarded so far, but darkly comic snippets in the trailer include Stone careening into a motel parking lot in a purple car, Willem Dafoe looking morose, and Margaret Qualley slapping Jesse Plemons, which already makes it one of the most intriguing projects of the year. Considering Olivia Colman’s best actress win for The Favourite (2018), any new Lanthimos film almost automatically lands on a potential Oscar list, and this one – rumoured to be premiering at Cannes ­ – may be good enough to overcome the unlikelihood of a triptych film making headway for awards. (CJ)

Released on 21 June in the US

2. Moana 2

Moana is one of Disney’s most beloved cartoons – so much so that a live-action remake is already in the works, starring most of the actors who were in the original voice cast. If that weren’t enough, an animated sequel is being released in November, which is just the right moment to catch Academy voters’ attention. Could Moana 2 snag the Oscar for best animated feature? No Disney cartoons were nominated in that category either this year or last year, so the company’s bosses must be praying to the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) that the ocean-loving Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) can turn the tide. (NB)

On general release from 27 November

3. Gladiator 2

In a year full of sequels, Ridley Scott’s return to the Colosseum in the follow-up to his 2000 best picture winner is already one of the most buzzed-about. Casting is a big part of that anticipation. Paul Mescal, known for poignant turns in dramas including Aftersun and All of Us Strangers, picks up a sword and puts on sandals as Lucius Verus, who in the original Gladiator was a child quite impressed with Russell Crowe’s Maximus. Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington also star, along with two actors returning from the original, Connie Nielsen as Lucius’s mother and Derek Jacobi as a senator. Scott, whose enduring movies include Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise, has received a rocky reception for his recent historical movies, The Last Duel (2021) and Napoleon (2023), but he’s on solid ground here. “You know, I haven’t gotten an Oscar yet,” Scott told The New Yorker last year. “If I ever get one, I’ll say ‘About feckin’ time!'” (CJ)

Released on 22 November

4. Queer

Luca Guadagnino is known for his gay coming-of-age romance, Call Me By Your Name, which won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 2018. The Italian director’s new film, Challengers, will be released in April, and it’s due to be followed later this year by Queer, an adaptation of the novel by William S Burroughs. Daniel Craig will star as an American who flees from New Orleans to Mexico City after a drug bust in the 1950s, and becomes obsessed by a former US Navy serviceman played by Drew Starkey. An overdue reminder that there is more to Craig than James Bond and Benoit Blanc, it could put him in the frame for a best actor Oscar. (NB)

Release date TBC

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