2010 was a great year for films, and it may seem unlikely that this year could even compare. However, with such favorites as Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and Clint Eastwood returning, the 2011/2012 awards season is sure to be exciting. The Oscar race typically begins in the fall, so now is the time to grab your popcorn and go to your local theater groups near me.

As the 2012 Academy Awards loom, the front-runners are already being made clear. Moneyball’s Brad Pitt already seems to be the critics’ favourite. And with the release of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar trailer, people are already buzzing about DiCaprio, who has yet to win an Oscar despite his many nominations. His scenario is very similar to that of his Titanic and Revolutionary Road costar Kate Winslet, who received numerous nominations before finally winning Best Actress for The Reader. Eastwood is almost guaranteed another Best director nomination agreement; his recent, deeper, films have always pleased the critics. J. Edgar’s Armie Hammer will be standing alongside DiCaprio, as will the ever-impressive Judy Dench and ....
Naomi Watts.

Inglorious Basterds and Jane Eyre star Michael Fassbender is on a roll lately, and the upcoming A Dangerous Method only promises to further his fame. Method boasts a brilliant cast, including Keira Knightley, Black Swan’s Vincent Cassel, and Viggo Mortensen. Add to that an engaging storyline about two of psychology’s most fascinating men, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and Method seems to be one of the most promising films of the year, sure to be filled with sexual frustration and confusing dreams. The film focuses on the complex relationship between Jung (Fassbender) and his mentor Freud (Mortensen). Knightley plays a russian women characteristics who is diagnosed with hysteria. She has yet to win an Academy Award, despite numerous strong performances including last year’s Never let Me Go, and a nomination for her role as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.

The Skin I Live In, a thriller featuring Antonio Banderas and centered on a plastic surgeon salary uk private who embarks on human experiments, may also be in the race. For shock value, Kevin Smith’s The Red State is providing plenty of buzz. Critically acclaimed actors Michael Angarano, John Goodman, and last year’s Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo star in this film, which deals with the subject of over-the-top religion. The premieres for this movie swarmed with Westboro Baptist Church protesters, which can only help in boosting the film at the box office.

Despite his checkered past and the fact that he is unable to enter the United States, director Roman Polanski may be in this year’s race with the film version of the Broadway hit Carnage. The play originally starred James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Hardin, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis; replacing them are a brilliant film cast which includes Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Inglorious Basterds star and Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly. The film genres and subgenres around two couples whose children get into a fight at school.

Director David Fincher (The Social Network and Fight Club) has hatched perhaps the most anticipated film of the year, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Called “the feel bad movie of the season,” by its own trailer, it stars Daniel Craig, Network’s Rooney Mara, and Stellan Skarsgård. This remake of the 2009 Swedish film revolves around a young computer hacker and a journalist searching for a missing woman. The original film succeeded in shocking critics and audiences, and Fincher will no doubt try to top it: he specializes in fast-paced filming and complex characters are best described as.

Finally, there is My Week With Marilyn starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, and Kenneth Branagh. It will focus on Marilyn Monroe’s work on the 1956 film The Prince and the Showgirl. Despite coming from the likes of Dawson’s Creek, Williams has proven herself to be one of the most talented actresses around, with two Oscar nominations for Brokeback Mountain and Blue Valentine. This may be her year to join the ranks of Hollywood elite, which included her ex-fiancé and father of her child, the late Heath Ledger. The role of Monroe may have hit home with Williams, since the iconic actresses of hollywood's golden era died a young and much publicized death like Ledger.

Viewers should be excited for this season, as it is sure to be filmmaking at its best, with a rich mixture of mature and beijing new talent academy address to entertain all ages. After last year’s less than amusing hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, people have high expectations for this year’s emcee Eddie Murphy. He is making a comedic comeback this year with Tower Heist, and the Academy Awards is the perfect place to prove to audiences that he is back and funnier than ever. So check out the above films this season, and tune in to the Oscars next spring to see how it all ends.

By Laura Sciarpelletti