‘Wasn’t the scene with the bear harrowing?’ ‘Brie Larson’s performance is so understated.’ ‘George Miller did it again.’
No idea what we’re talking about? Don’t worry! We’re deep in to awards season with the Baftas and the Oscars looming but even if you haven’t seen a single scene from this year's nominated movies, we’ve prepared the ultimate blaggers guide so you can wax lyrical about all the big films and performances with the best of the buffs.
In short: Fur-trapper Hugh Glass is mauled by a bear, left for dead and goes on an epic trek through the wilderness to exact his revenge.
Even shorter: One man’s quest for a nice hot bath.
Big players: Leonardo (have I won the Oscar yet?) DiCaprio gives his most grueling performance to date. Notable mention to Tom Hardy who gives good baddie.
Notable scene: There is no central heating in the wilds of Montana so Leo has to burrow inside a dead horse for warmth on a particularly chilly night.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘Rising British star Will Poulter gives an impressive performance as the young and naïve Bridger.’
In short: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the child molestation scandal and cover-up within the Catholic Church.
Even shorter: Print journalism matters.
Big players: Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and many more.
Notable scene: Mark Ruffalo’s character Mike Rezendes gets really angry. It's a side of the usually mild mannered Ruffalo we don't usually see (except as the Hulk) and we like it. A lot.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘If you liked All The Presidents Men, you'll love this.'
The Big Short
In short: In 2008, a Wall Street guru and a group of savvy investors make a fortune from the impending economic collapse in America.
Even shorter: Greed is good?
Notable scene: Selena Gomez’s cameo as Selena Gomez during a particularly taxing scene of economic jargon.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘It’s Ryan Gosling’s first appearance in a film after announcing his ‘break’ from acting in March of 2013. Good to have to back, Ryan.’
Mad Max: Fury Road
In short: Years after the collapse of civilization, Max Rockatansky has to outrun a ruthless warlord and his henchmen in a deadly high-speed chase through the Wasteland.
Even shorter: The apocalypse after the apocalypse.
Notable scene: The full-throttle, high-octane car chase scene. (NB: This is every scene in the film)
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘The film is light on dialogue. Counting the opening voiceovers and discounting any grunts, Max Rockatansky has exactly 52 lines.’
In short: An astronaut is stranded on Mars after a sandstorm forces his crew to abort their mission and has to find creative ways to survive on the most inhospitable of planets.
Even shorter: Competence porn.
Big players: It’s the Matt Damon show.
Notable scene: Matt’s character Mark has to ‘science the sh*t’ out of a bad situation and goes all garden centre on the situation by growing potatos in his own feces. More entertaining than you might imagine.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘I read that the Mars exteriors were shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan, which has a red coloured desert.’
In short: Based on Colm Tóibín’s novel, an Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls in love with a local.
Even shorter: Gentle nostalgia.
Big players: Saoirse Ronan.
Notable scene: The kiss.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘Saoirse Ronan? It’s pronounced Sertia (like ‘inertia’)
In short: Based on Emma Donogue’s best-selling novel, the story of a mother and her son who is born and raised for the first five years of his life in a small, enclosed space.
Even shorter: Heartbreaking but uplifting drama.
Big players: Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay (who makes a stunning debut)
Notable scene: The scene at the end with the rug. People will know what you mean.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘Tremblay’s picture with Leo is the selfie of awards season.’
In short: Todd Haynes’ adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s story of an intense lesbian relationship in 1950’s Manhattan
Even shorter: A love story.
Notable scene: The heart-stopping moment in the closing scene when the story comes full circle.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘Costume designer Sandy Powell has exceeded herself with her recreation of 50’s style.’
The Danish Girl
In short: The story of artist Einar Wegener who underwent one of the first ever sex-change operations.
Even shorter: Trans continues to go mainstream.
Notable scene: The scene where Vikander’s character Gerda first paints Lili and you see the power of the transformation written all over Eddie’s face.
Drop this in to conversation to show you know your stuff: ‘You must read ELLE’s transgender columnist Rhyannon Styles’ take on the film.’