Whether you’re looking for some diversion to help you cope with the Christmas come down, or a committed cinephile, the first months of 2016 are a true treat for movie lovers. With awards season coming up, the biggest and best blockbusters (not to mention niche hits) of 2015/16 are coming to the fore, hitting cinema screens in serious style. Which films will scoop the biggest accolades? Will Steven Spielberg beat the Oscar-winning world record? Which movies will be criminally overlooked? Formulate your opinions before the fun begins by checking out our pick of awards season at a cinema near you…

1. The Danish Girl – 1st January

A big winner at Cannes in 2015, this moving fictionalised account of the first transgender woman to ever undergo sex reassignment surgery is completely transporting, taking viewers to the 1930s Danish world of Lili Elbe and her wife. Emotional, troubling and inspiring – The Danish Girl is a tour de force for lead actor Eddie Redmayne.

2. Bridge of Spies – Out Now

Will Bridge of Spies earn director Steven Spielberg his world record beating Oscar? Commentators and movie buffs certainly seem to think so. Hailed as one of Spielberg’s finest films to date, Bridge of Spies follows the Cold War story of a US pilot captured by Soviet Russia – and one lawyer’s fight to secure his release, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.

3. JOY – 1st January

The story of a self-made business woman struggling against the times she was born in to succeed and thrive. Set across multiple decades, actress Jennifer Lawrence does a splendid job of seeing her complex character through a huge range of contexts, mindsets and emotions.

4. Room – 15th January 2016

The poignant and sensitively told story of a mother and son freed after years of captivity after being held prisoner in one small room. Born inside the room, the young son believes his small world is the entire universe, until an opportunity to escape arises, blasting open his horizons. This is a masterpiece in storytelling with impressive performances by the lead cast – a film which more than deserves recognition this season.

5. Black Mass – Out Now

Some critics believe Black Mass is a long-awaited return to form for Johnny Depp, as he takes the lead as notorious US gangster Whitey Bulger. Others have been less impressed, calling the film “flat”. What’s your take?

6. The Hateful Eight – 8th January

Time for some gratuitously violent fun courtesy of, you guessed it, the incomparable Quentin Tarantino. This time eight ne’er do wells and strangers find themselves stranded in a remote stagecoach station in the aftermath of the Civil War, as a blizzard brings them together – with predictably bloody consequences.
Which films are you most excited to see this season? Which flicks and actors do you think deserve to clean up at this year’s awards ceremonies? And which films do you think don’t deserve the hype? Have your say on the Base London Facebook group.