Get yourself set for the Oscars by learning more about the contenders.
By
SBS Movies

16 Feb 2015 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 20 Feb 2015 - 4:37 PM

American Sniper

Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan

Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman
What's it about?
The true story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), a then-U.S. Navy SEAL, whose pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield in Iraq. But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Read review
Watch scene clips

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Producers: Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole 

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone
What's it about?
An actor (Michael Keaton), who once found fame by playing an iconic superhero, attempts to reclaim his former success by mounting a Broadway play and must overcome his ego and family trouble in the process, dealing with his fresh-from-rehab daughter, his insecure co-stars, including his lover, and newly cast method actor Mike Shiner.

Read review
Watch scene clips

Boyhood

Producers: Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland

Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
What's it about?
Richard Linklater's ambitious experiment of following the ordinary dramas of seven-year-old Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) over a 12-year period.

Read review
Watch interview at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Producers: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson

Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Edward Norton
What's it about?
Adventures are in store for legendary concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), who works at a famous European hotel between the wars. His problems begin when one of the hotel's guests, with whom he has had a romantic encounter, suddenly dies and leaves him a valuable painting, much to the horror of her son.

Read review
Watch scene clips

The Imitation Game

Producers: Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman

Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
What's it about?
The true story of English mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), who helped the Allies by cracking the Enigma code during World War II, up to his fall from grace after war when he was convicted for his homosexuality.

Read review 
Watch scene clips

Selma

Producers: Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner 

Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson
What's it about?
Selma is the chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, who in 1965 organised a campaign to obtain equal voting rights for African-American people in the form of an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which led to one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. 

Read review
Watch scene clips

The Theory of Everything 

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten 

Director: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
What's it about?
The true story of how renowned English cosmologist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) met and fell in love with his wife Jane (Felicity Jones).

Read review

Whiplash

Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster

Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser
What's it about?
In New York, a young musician (Miles Teller) studying at a prestigious music conservatory practices tirelessly to become a top jazz drummer, but finds himself pushed to his limits by a ruthless and sadistic teacher (J.K Simmons), which will see him shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Read review
Watch scene clips

Full Oscars 2015 coverage

Oscar Ballot