The major studio releases
Release date: March 22
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss
Director: Jordan Peele
Why it could be in contention: It would be thrilling to welcome 2018 winner Jordan Peele back to the Dolby stage for his Get Out follow up. Us appears to be more of a straight horror flick, so that could turn some voters off, but Nyong'o, also a former victor, looks terrifying as a matriarch besieged by her own doppelgänger.
Release date: May 24
Cast: Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: James Gray
Why it could be in contention: James Gray's last film -- The Lost City of Z -- was an under-appreciated masterpiece. It will be hard for is next one to fly below people's radars considering he's sending Brad Pitt into space.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release date: July 26
Cast: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Why it could be in contention: Quentin Tarantino does Charles Manson with Leo, Brad, and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Potentially problematic! Probably headed for the Oscars! Tarantino's last, The Hateful Eight, didn't have much luck in the contest, but Hollywood loves a story about itself and it will probably be powerless to resist this one from one of its favorite auteurs.
Release date: October 11
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright
Director: John Crowley
Why it could be in contention: One of the most highly anticipated literary adaptations in recent years comes from director John Crowley, who made Brooklyn, a movie that got a fair share of Oscar love. Donna Tartt's bildungsroman about a boy who steals a painting from the Met during a terrorist attack is sprawling and hard to pull off, but could be stunning if executed well. Perhaps this is the one that vaults Ansel Elgort into superstardom. If nothing else, a Supporting Actor nod seems in the cards for Jeffrey Wright as his eventual caretaker Hobie.