Following on from Moneyball, here’s another true-life sports tale from director Bennett Miller. A more downbeat but nonetheless compelling affair, it stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as wrestling brothers, and a hard-to-recognise Steve Carell as their Monty Burns-like moneybags backer.
Meryl Streep notched up her 19th Oscar nomination for this fantasy spectacular. In a role that can only be described as spellbinding, she plays a witch cursed with craggy looks who strikes a bargain with a childless couple. Based on the Stephen Sondheim Broadway hit, this pick-and-mix of popular fairy tales will enchant older kids and adults alike.
The seemingly ubiquitous Oscar Isaac stars here as a businessman in early-1980s New York whose belief in making an honest buck is compromised by the rottenness eating away at the Big Apple. Director JC Chandor doesn’t seem capable of making a duff film, and this compelling crime drama is a worthy successor to his equally brilliant Margin Call and All Is Lost.
With the likes of MASH and Nashville, director Robert Altman created his own, distinct filmic language during the New Hollywood era. This documentary charts the highs and lows of this singular movie-maker, taking in his 1970s glory days, box-office bomb Popeye (1980) and 2001 Oscar winner Gosford Park, the template for TV’s Downton Abbey.