The Summer blockbuster season is over, and with the announcement that Eddie Murphy will be hosting next year, the race to the Oscars has begun.
Daniel & I are looking forward to a lot of films coming out in the next few months, and thought we’d share our individual top ten anticipated films with you.
Feel free to agree, disagree, and share your own top ten in the comments below.
DANIEL’S MOST ANTICIPATED
10. J. Edgar
Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen. The list of directors he has worked with reads like an All-Star Hollywood lineup — Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese, to name a few. Now he has a new name to add to his resume: Clint Eastwood. Eastwood showed he had a skilled hand for historical drama in 2008’s Changeling. With Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) on board for his latest work, we could be looking at another fine film from one of the greats.
We haven’t had a great baseball movie since The Rookie. The sad truth is that baseball movies are few and far between these days, but Moneyball looks to be a winner. Co-written by Aron Sorkin (The Social Network), the movie tells the story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane and his radical decision to use computers to draft baseball players. Co-starring Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, and the always reliable Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar buzz for this movie seems inevitable.
8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
I’ve never been the biggest fan of motion capture animation, but after seeing the trailer for Spielberg’s first animated feature, I was sold. The Adventures of Tintin is something I don’t want to miss. Every frame is alive with spirited energy and overflowing with vibrant life. It’s always exciting to see directors pushing the medium forward. Who knows, maybe Spielberg will do for motion capture what Cameron did for 3D.
After his terrific performance in Blue Valentine last year, Ryan Gosling seems to be getting more and more roles. His latest is a man simply known as Driver, a professional Hollywood stunt driver who drives getaway cars in his spare time. After a heist goes wrong, he finds himself targeted by powerful men. Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Vahalla Rising) took home top honors for his direction on the film at Cannes and will continue to receive such praise as we head into Oscar season.
Screenwriter Will Reiser tells the story of his personal diagnosis with cancer and the effect it has on himself and those close to him. With an incredible cast featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas Howard, this mix of comedy and drama is sure to be one of the year’s best.
5. The Ides of March
George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck remains one of the best films of the last decade, and I’m very excited to see what he brings to the table in this year’s Ides of March. Loosely based on Howard Dean’s failed presidential campaign back in 2004, the movie explores dirty politics in a presidential campaign. Boasting one of the best ensemble casts of the year (Clooney, Gosling, Tomei, Giamatti, and more), The Ides of March is bound to be a key player in this year’s Oscar race.
4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Gary Oldman is garnering quite a bit of Oscar buzz for his role as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, an all-star thriller set during the Cold War. Oldman may be getting most of the buzz, but it’s the cast as a whole (Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong to name a few) that has me really excited for this movie. After learning that a Soviet agent has embedded himself deep inside MI6, Smiley comes out of retirement to find the traitor. I don’t know much about the original novel or the British television series it inspired, but I know I’m going to see this as soon as I can.
3. The Artist
The Artist promises to be one of the most unique movie experiences this year. The year is 1927, and the arrival of talking pictures is right around the corner. This poses a problem for George Valentin, one of the kings of silent cinema. While he deals with the changes that Hollywood is embracing, he must also confront his interest in a young dancer by the name of Peppy Miller. The movie was a huge success at Cannes, and it looks to be a personal instant favorite. The biggest attraction to this movie is that it’s filmed like a silent film, the kind that we would have seen back in Valentin’s day.
Is there any genre Martin Scorsese won’t tackle? He’s done biblical drama, period pieces, romances, concert movies, documentaries, and more. Hugo, based on the beloved children’s book by Brian Selznick, is the great director’s first family-oriented film. Scorsese transports us to 1930s Paris, where we follow a young boy named Hugo and his quest to discover the mysteries left behind by his father.
I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have in the director’s chair for a proper adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. David Fincher’s work on films like Seven and Fight Club are perfect examples of why he is the right man for the job. I enjoyed the Swedish adaptation of the popular novel, but it suffered from budget constraints. I can’t wait to see what Fincher does with the material and a more appropriate budget. Its dark and haunting story might be too much for Oscar voters to handle, but it’s bound to be one of the year’s best.
JOSEPH’S MOST ANTICIPATED
10. Albert Nobbs
2011 is definitely a good year for strong female leads, even with Glen Close playing a woman character who dresses as a man. I’m really looking forward to her performance, which in my mind, is a follow-up to Steven Spielberg’s Hook. (Don’t believe me?)
9. My Week with Marilyn
Michelle Williams takes on the titular role of the celibritous Marilyn Monroe. Kenneth Branagh also stars, in a role envied by many a British actor, as Sir Laurence Olivier. Emma Watson, fresh off of the Harry Potter train, joins the cast as well.
8. The Rum Diary
I will admit that I haven’t seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (also based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel), but I have heard about this adaptation for many years. The hype has slowly been building in the back of my mind, and with the recently revealed trailer, it looks like this film has actually been filmed.
Reminding me of the genre-bending present in Hanna, Ryan Gosling stars in a film that, on paper, sounds like a knock-off of the Jason Statham vehicle, The Transporter. With that preconception in mind, the positive buzz from Cannes was confusing. The trailer for the film shows that yes, it shares the same concept, but is something else entirely (Apologies to Martin Scorsese for bumping Hugo from the list at the last minute). Also, I need to watch Bronson now.
6. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
I have fond memories of reading the American versions of The Adventures of TinTin, a comic book series by Belgian artist Herge. I had worries about it being translated to the big screen, but I think it’s in good hands with director Steven Spielberg. They seem to have a grasp on the overall tone and atmosphere that makes the series the period/modern/future swashbuckler that it is.
5. The Iron Lady
The theme today is performances, and The Iron Lady is no exception. I’d watch a movie starring Meryl Streep playing a woman who watches paint dry. (Paging Gus Van Sant) Streep stars as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and as usual, chameleons her character well. I’m interested to see how Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) does directing a period film.
4. J. Edgar
Leonardo DiCaprio has an impressive track record for quality acting, and has been busy for the last several years. His latest performance, as J. Edgar Hoover, teams him up with director Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) and writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk). If this isn’t a recipe for a road to the Oscars, I don’t know what is.
I love a good game of baseball, but as a spectator sport, I’d rather watch golf. So why, out of all the films coming out this year, would I want to watch this? Director Bennett Miller, writer Aaron Sorkin, and actors Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman (woefully absent from the trailers), and Jonah Hill (hoping he does well in a non-comedic role).
2. War Horse
While at times sounding more like Lassy than Gone With the Wind, I’m excited about the latest from Steven Spielberg. (I loved Munich and enjoyed Crystal Skull) The story sounds moving, epic, and judging from the trailer, looks gorgeous. It stars David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, and newcomer Jeremy Irvine in the lead role.
1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
This movie looks fantastic, plain and simple. Tomas Alfredson, who directed the magnificent Let the Right One In in 2008, returns with a film set during the Cole War. Alfredson has proved his skill in subtlety and atmosphere, and has surrounded himself with a steller cast, including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Cieran Hinds…the list goes on. Watch out for this one.