1) The Theory of Everything
Were this not quite such a strong year for lead actors, Eddie Redmayne would be a sure thing for his miraculous, buckled portrayal of Stephen Hawking in this biopic based on the memoirs of his first wife, Jane. Felicity Jones takes her role, and handles it just as beautifully; James Marsh is as rigorous with the facts as he was on the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire. 2 January (all release dates below UK only).
Michael Keaton gives us a career best with his performance as Riggan, an actor who became rich and famous playing a superhero called Birdman but is now trying for artistic credibility by starring in his own self-produced Broadway play. As his personal and professional life unravels, Riggan is haunted by the derisive voice