Early 2015 Oscar Contenders
'The Grand Budapest Hotel' (Fox Searchlight)
We've spent the last six months debating whether it would be "12 Years a Slave" or "Gravity" that would bring home the gold come Oscar night. (In the end, it was … both!)
Now that the Academy Awards honoring 2013's best are history, why not get started on looking at which of this year's films will be contenders?
Keep an eye out for these buzzy 2014 releases so you don't have to play catch-up come nomination time next winter.
1. "Grand Budapest Hotel"
Release Date: March 7
The Early Buzz: Wes Anderson is at the peak of his game, following the Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom" with this candy-colored, magically realized comedy set in a grand European hotel. In a comic role, Ralph Fiennes leads an international cast including Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Saoirse Ronan.
[Related: Critic's Pick: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel']
2. "Can a Song Save Your Life?"
Release Date: July 4
The Early Buzz: Keira Knightley charms as half of an English couple that comes to New York when her partner (People's "Sexiest Man Alive," Adam Levine) scores a record deal. After he dumps her, she mooches about until meeting a down-on-his-luck record producer (an irresistible Mark Ruffalo), and they rescue each other through music and a mutual love affair with New York City. From the folks behind "Once."
3. "Get on Up"
Release Date: Aug. 1
The Early Buzz: Director Tate Taylor follows up 2011's Oscar contender "The Help" with the rags-to-riches musical biopic of soul singer and eminent Southerner James Brown ("42" star Chadwick Boseman). Oscar nominee Viola Davis, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, Dan Aykroyd and Jill Scott co-star in a film distributor Universal hopes will make the similar impact on the awards race to its 2004 biopic "Ray."
'Get On Up' (Universal Pictures)
4. "The Giver"
Release Date: Aug. 15
The Early Buzz: Alexander Skarsgaard, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Jeff Bridges, and Katie Holmes star in a literary adaptation based on Lois Lowry's classic utopian novel directed by Phillip Noyce. Could this lead to Aussie vet Noyce's first nomination?