I’ve added four titles to my 2015 Oscar Balloon list of Ambitious X-Factor films — Tom Hooper‘s The Danish Girl, John Crowley‘s Brooklyn, Bill Pohlad‘s Love and Mercy and Stephen FrearsIcon — for a total of 28. Add these to HE’s list of quality-calibre commercial films, which number 10, and you’re obviously looking at 38. And that’s not even counting my list of 13 hopefully or presumably high-grade popcorn flicks, which of course takes it to 51. 2015 is going to be a great year, and yet I wonder which of the 38 will be ready to screen in Cannes, or whether their reps or distributors will be interested in screening them there?

(l. to r.) director Alejandro G, Inaritu, Leonardo DiCaprio, dp Emmanuel Lubezki on the set of The Revenant.

The bottom line, as per custom each and every year, is that the majority of these presumed heavy-hitters won’t begin to peek out until the late August to mid September festivals in Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Probably a good 30 or so will be crammed into a twelve-to-fourteen-week release period. With the usual lean pickings between now and then. I don’t mean it’ll be awful but you know what I mean. The usual March and April-level releases over the next two months, and then the summer crap begins in early May and continues until late August. The Cannes interlude is always a blessing but we’re mainly looking at six months of theatrical deprivation between March 1st and fall festival time.

2015 X-Factor, Ambitious, Semi-Fresh, Social Undercurrent, Something More (28): A Bigger Splash, Black Mass, Brooklyn, By The Sea, Carol, Concussion, The Danish Girl, Demolition, Everest, Hail Caesar!, Icon, Irrational Man, Joy, Money Monster, Our Brand Is Crisis, The Revenant, St. James Place, Sea of Trees, Silence, Snowden, Spotlight, Steve Jobs, That’s What I’m Talking About, Trumbo, Truth, Untitled Warren Beatty/Howard Hughes Drama, The Walk. 2015 Quality-Grade Commercial (10): The Hateful Eight, In the Heart of the Sea, The Last Face, Legend, Midnight Special, Regression, Ricki and the Flash, Tomorrowland, Trainwreck.