Judging strictly by certain vague and misty auras (promise, potential), the most intriguing films of 2021 seem to be In The Heights, House of Gucci, Canterbury Glass, Annette, Cyrano, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Cry Macho, Soggy Bottom, Being The Ricardos, The Card Counter, Don’t Look Up, West Side Story, The Many Saints of Newark, The French Dispatch (13).

The ’21 and early ’22 Oscar season begins four months hence. Roughly 40 films to keep an eye on, give or take. The order is random. Bring on the corrections!

1. Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Soggy Bottom

2. Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos

3. Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth

4. Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch

5. Guillermo del Toro‘s Nightmare Alley

6. Andrew Dominik‘s Blonde

7. David O’Russell‘s Canterbury Glass

8. Adam McKay‘s Don’t Look Up

9. Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune

10. Sean Baker‘s Red Rocket

11. Edgar Wright‘s Last Night in Soho

12. Robert EggersThe Northman

13. Leos Carax‘s Annette

14. Joe Wright‘s Cyrano

15. James Gray‘s Armageddon Time

16. Jane Campion‘s The Power of the Dog

17. Ridley Scott‘s The Last Duel

18. Terrence Malick‘s The Way Of The Wind

19. Paul Schrader‘s The Card Counter

20. Clint Eastwood‘s Cry Macho

21. Paul Verhoeven‘s Benedetta

22. Mike MillsC’mon C’mon

23. Taika Waititi‘s Next Goal Wins

24. Celine Sciamma‘s Petite Maman

25. Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story

26. Mia Hansen-Løve‘s Bergman Island

27. Tom McCarthy‘s Stillwater

28. Alan Taylor‘s The Many Saints of Newark

29. Jeremy Saulnier‘s Rebel Ridge

30. Kogonada‘s After Yang

31. Ruben Ostlund‘s Triangle of Sadness

32. Steven Soderbergh‘s No Sudden Move

33. Ridley Scott‘s House of Gucci

34. Jon Chu‘s In The Heights

35. Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick…Boom!

36. Pablo Larrain‘s Spencer

37. Joe Wright‘s Cyrano

38. Olivia Wilde‘s Don’t Worry, Darling

39. Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s The Lost Daughter

40. Steve Chbosky‘s Dear Evan Hansen