Oscars 2018: Sony Pictures Classics contenders include Watergate drama ‘Felt’ and character study ‘Novitiate’

Last year Sony Pictures Classics earned four Oscar nominations with one for each of these four films: “Elle,” “Land of Mine,” “The Red Turtle” and “Toni Erdmann.” This year the specialized film division of Sony is celebrating its silver anniversary and could well pan for gold with its slate of celebrated fare from award-winning directors and talent.

Below, detailed listings of each of these Oscar contenders, including release dates, creative types, cast lists, running times, plot summaries,  and receptions both critical and commercial.

“Call Me By Your Name” – Nov. 24
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writers: Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, Walter Fasano (based on the novel by Andre Aciman)
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar
Reception: Rotten Tomatoes – 100; MetaCritic – 98

Summary: In the 1980s, the Italian teenager Elio (Chalamet) falls in love with Oliver (Hammer), a 24-year-old academic who has come to stay at his parents’ villa.

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” – Sept. 29
Director: Peter Landesman
Writer: Peter Landesman
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Maika Monroe, Michael C. Hall, Tony Goldwyn, Kate Walsh, Bruce Greenwood, Josh Lucas, Tom Sizemore, Noah Wylie

Summary: This biographical drama from Peter Landesman tells the story of Mark Felt (Liam Neeson), who under the name of “Deep Throat” helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal of 1973.

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“Happy End” – Dec. 22
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Kassovitz, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Fantine Harduin

Summary: Michael Haneke follows up his Oscar-winning “Amour” (2012) with this domestic drama about a family in Calais dealing with the European refugee crisis.

“Maudie” – June 16
Director: Aisling Walsh
Writer: Sherry White
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke
Reception: Rotten Tomatoes – 91; MetaCritic – 63

Summary: Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (Hawkins) overcomes physical adversity to find fame as a painter and love with fisherman Everett Lewis (Hawke).

Novitiate” – Oct. 27
Director: Margaret Betts
Writer: Margaret Betts
Cast: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Morgan Saylor, Dianna Agron, Julianne Nicholson, Liana Liberato, Denis O’Hare, Maddie Hasson

Summary: This Sundance sensation is the compelling story of a young woman (Qualley) who starts to question her faith as she trains to become a nun.

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