Awards season is now fully upon us and it won't be long before nominations for the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) will take place.

Whilst a few films that are being talked about as being in contention were released in the early parts or middle of 2023, many often wait until the end of the year to be released.

As these sorts of award contenders tend to release towards the end of the year in the United States it can take a couple of months for them to arrive in UK cinemas.

Those anticipating these films in the UK can often have a frustrating wait as a result, but it does often mean a huge glut of them will arrive in cinemas in a very short space of time.

If you were looking to enjoy a critically-acclaimed film in the build-up to the Oscars taking place here are five you should go out and see in cinemas as soon as you can.

5 films with Oscars buzz that you should see in UK cinemas

The Holdovers

The Holdovers finally arrived in UK cinemas on Friday (January 19) despite being a Christmas film, but for many who have been waiting for it, it is better late than never.

Set in a New England boarding school in the early 1970s it follows curmudgeonly teacher Paul Hunham who has to look after a handful of students who have nowhere to go after the Christmas break.

He soon comes into major conflict with one of the students in Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa) whilst a bond forms between them and the head cook of the school Mary Lamb (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) who also stayed behind over the break.

The Holdovers as a whole is a hearkening back to the sort of comedy-drama films of old, with the period setting and choice to shoot on film deliberately evoking a more classic and mature sensibility.

Unlike many of the major contenders it has a universal appeal that almost anyone will likely be able to enjoy, whilst still taking time to explore personal tragedies and melancholy over what should be a happy time of the year.

In terms of what Oscars The Holdovers may be up for, Paul Giamatti is almost certain of a nomination for Best Actor whilst Da'Vine Joy Randolph is the clear favourite for Best Supporting Actress.

Dominic Sessa may hold an outside chance at Best Supporting Actor, whilst Best Film and Best Director nods for Alexander Payne may not be out of the question either.

Poor Things

Poor Things is another film that is already out in UK cinemas and will likely be a major contender at the Oscars.

It follows a woman called Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) who after being resurrected by an eccentric scientist seeks to explore the world and go on an odyssey of personal discovery.

Director Yorgos Lanthimos once again brings his unusual quirks and odd characters to the fore to craft a genuinely hilarious story which is accompanied by a beautiful visual scope you don't often see in modern-day cinema.

The performances all around are excellent, with Stone being a frontrunner for Best Actress, whilst a Best Picture nod is also very likely.

Supporting roles from a magnificent Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe could also be in contention for the Best Supporting Actor category and Lanthimos is likely to be among the Best Director contingent.

All of Us Strangers

The latest film from director Andrew Haigh in All of Us Strangers may be more of an outside bet with Oscars chances but will still definitely be worth seeking out.

It follows Adam (Andrew Scott) who starts to form a relationship with Harry (Paul Mescal) in his near-empty London apartment block.

Soon after Adam goes back to his childhood home and discovers his parents, who died in a car crash 30 years prior, are living there and are the same age as they were when the incident happened.

The dual narrative described here may bring up some questions of how this romantic fantasy all works, but the story at the core is one that critics have described as conjuring up some strong emotions.

Andrew Scott has also earned much praise for his central performance bringing the narrative together and could be an outside shot at earning a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars.

Additionally, All of Us Strangers was nominated heavily at the Baftas but it remains to be seen how much that translates over at the Academy.

The film arrives in UK cinemas on Friday, January 26.

Recommended reading:

American Fiction

For those looking for a more comedic Oscars contender, American Fiction from director Cord Jefferson will be released in UK cinemas on Friday, February 2.

It stars Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, a novelist who is frustrated by his lack of success and writes an outlandishly stereotypical "black" book as satire.

Despite this, the book gets published and receives high sales and much critical acclaim.

Offering a social commentary on the racial politics of our world, the film itself has received much praise, alongside Jeffrey Wright's measured performance.

Wright is very likely to be nominated for Best Actor whilst Cord Jefferson could well earn a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay as it is based on the book Erasure from Percival Everett.

The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest directed by Jonathan Glazer offers a different approach to a film concerning the Holocaust, but one that is still a sobering experience regardless.

It centres on Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife as they live a relatively normal family life right next to the concentration camp.

Rather than directly focusing on the horrors that took place there, it examines the ordinary lives of people who were complicit in the crimes that occurred.

The rather banal approach might be challenging for some, but it will be worth seeking out if it plays near you.

The Zone of Interest releases in UK cinemas on Friday, February 2 and will likely be a contender for Best Picture and Best Director.