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The Oscars: numerous possibilities from September, October set to be released

Usually films hoping to do well at the Academy Awards are released in November or December.

However, the fall movie season boasts a number of films by big name directors and subject matter that could score Oscar gold.

Perennial favorites Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese will both be releasing films within the next couple of months which could result in another Oscar showdown like in 2005.

Several other directors like Sofia Coppola, Michel Gondry and Anthony Mingella will also be releasing films that could win big. But with such a large group of promising films, it is hard to pick a clear favorite.

Brian De Palma, the director behind Scarface and The Untouchables,, will return on September 15 with his film, The Black Dahlia.

This is the true story of one of the most notorious murders in Hollywood history and stars Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. In the spirit of L.A. Confidential, this film could become an instant classic.

Banking on his success in the indie favorite, Garden State, actor Zach Braff returns to the screen in The Last Kiss.

Co-written by Paul Haggis, the Academy Award winning writer and director of Crash, this film follows Braff’s character as his pre-marriage anxieties get the best of him months before his wedding. The Last Kiss will hit screens on September 15.

On September 22, a remake of the 1949 Best Picture winner, All the King’s Men will be released and features an impressive ensemble cast. Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins have 14 Oscar nominations between them.

This crooked tale of political corruption in the South is poised to make a move not only at the box office but also at the Oscars.

Two small films with tremendous potential that will be released in mid September are The Science of Sleep and The Last King of Scotland.

Sleep will be brought to life by Michel Gondry, the visionary director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,, so expect a post-modern look into the metaphysical world of the human spirit.

The Last King of Scotland will be a harsh look at one of the world’s most brutal dictators, Idi Amin of Uganda.

Forest Whitaker is supposed to deliver the performance of a lifetime as this vicious ruler who claimed the lives of thousands during the 1970s. This film will be released on September 27.

Working with actor Leonardo DiCaprio for the third straight time, director Martin Scorsese returns emphatically with a highly anticipated film, The Departed.

A remake of the 2002 Chinese film, Infernal Affairs, the story follows a Boston police officer who infiltrates the Irish mafia and a mobster who infiltrates the police.

The film also stars Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson and will be released on October 6.

No stranger to Oscar buzz is director Anthony Mingella who guided The English Patient and Cold Mountain to success. Mingella reunites with Jude Law (Cold Mountain) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) in the new film, Breaking and Entering.

This story of redemption features a landscape architect who helps a young thief re-evaluate the direction of his life. Look for this on October 6.

Following her success with 2003’s Lost in Translation, Academy Award winner Sofia Coppola returns with Marie Antoinette.

With Kirsten Dunst as the leading lady and Jason Schwartzman as Louis XVI, this film should be an interesting look at the girl who became the leader of France at age 19. Antoinette will be released on October 20.

Finally, Clint Eastwood returns to the silver screen for his first movie since his Best Picture win for Million Dollar Baby. This two-time best director winner is at the helm of a huge World War II epic called Flags of Our Fathers.

This film, also produced by Steven Spielberg, chronicles the true story of the six men who helped raise the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

This will be the first of two Eastwood films that deal with Iwo Jima.

The second will be told from the Japanese point of view and will be released later on this year or early 2007. Flags will be released on October 20.

Of course there are always films that no one hears of that come out of nowhere and are surprisingly good. However, these films have fostered high expectations and should not disappoint.

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