8 Oscar Hopefuls You Can Catch in San Antonio This Summer

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While summertime usually means big blockbusters from the movie studios, like the latest installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise, summer also has its share of potential Oscar contenders. In fact, several Best Picture winners have been released in the heat of summer including Forrest Gump (July 1994), Crash (May 2005), and The Hurt Locker (June 2009).

Here are a few potential Oscar contenders to catch this summer playing around San Antonio.

FRUITVALE STATION

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Fruitvale Station has already received a lot of praise for writer and director Ryan Coogler’s feature debut. Fruitvale Station recalls the tragic final day of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) whose life was ended at the age of 22 by a BART officer on New Year’s Day 2009. The horrifying death, all caught on cellphone video, shook the Bay Area to the core. Oscar buzz is building, not only for Coogler, but for Octavia Spencer, and Michael B. Jordan.

Fruitvale Station is currently playing all around town.

Related: Fruitvale Station Weaves Sublime Detail Into Oscar Grant Story

THE WAY WAY BACK

The Way Way Back is the follow up from the writing team of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who previously won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2012 for The Descendants. This movie takes a nostalgic look at that awkward time of self-discovery many of us experience as teens. Introverted, 14-year-old Duncan is the central character who is dragged to his mom’s boyfriend’s summer beach house and is forced to make the best of it. Along the way he befriends Water Wizz park manager Owen, who takes him under his wing, crushes on the next-door neighbor Susanna, and finally gets some self-confidence. The Way Way Back stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Liam James.

The Way Way Back is currently playing all around town.

Related: The Way Way Back a Bland Coming of Age Flick

ONLY GOD FORGIVES

The director that brought you cult hit Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, now brings you Only God Forgives, also starring Ryan Gosling. In this undertaking, Gosling’s character runs a drug smuggling operation in Bangkok and is tasked with tracking down and killing his brother’s murderer. At its premier in Cannes in May it received mixed reviews and even a chorus of boos. While it’s hard to believe anyone would ever have reason to boo Ryan Gosling, director Nicolas Winding Refn took it in stride responding, “You're going to get that. You know, great art–horrible thing to say–but art is meant to divide, because if it doesn't divide, it doesn't penetrate, and if it doesn't penetrate, you just consume it.”

Only God Forgives is playing exclusively at Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro in San Antonio.

RelatedRyan Gosling's Only God Forgives a Vapid, Bloody Mess

20 FEET FROM STARDOM

20 Feet From Stardom, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of the unsung background vocalists behind some of the biggest names in music. 20 Feet From Stardom shines the spotlight on background singers Merry Clatyon (The Rolling Stones), Darlene Love (Phil Spector), Claudia Lennear (The Rolling Stones), Lisa Fischer (Tina Turner), Tata Vega (Stevie Wonder), and Judith Hill (Michael Jackson, and "The Voice" contestant). Director Morgan Neville weaves together archival footage along with interviews of Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting, and Stevie Wonder in this must see for any music lover.

You can still catch 20 Feet From Stardom for a limited time at the Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro.

THE BUTLER

Lee Daniels’ (Precious) The Butler, which tells the real life accounts of Eugene Allen, played by Forrest Whittaker, who served as the White House butler for eight presidencies. Potential nominations could be given in director, writer and lead actor categories.

August 16

THE SPECTACULAR NOW

The Spectacular Now, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the team behind (500) Days Of Summer, could land their first Oscar nomination for screenplay.

August 2

BLUE JASMINE

Woody Allen is always a threat for a best screenplay nomination and that’s no different for the upcoming Blue Jasmine starring Cate Blanchet and Alec Baldwin, who could also receive nominations.

(Release TBD)

BLACKFISH

Blackfish presents a dark look into the devastating consequences of exploiting wild animals in captive, and oftentimes cruel, environments. Through never-before-seen, shocking footage and interviews, this documentary examines the tragic death of a Sea World trainer by Tilikum, an orca (often referred to as killer whales), who was also responsible for two previous deaths.

Opening August 9 at Santikos Bijou.

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