We’ve met the first class as well as the first Avenger, the apes have risen, and Harry Potter has ended. The summer movie season is over. So I thought it would be a good time to look forward to the rest of the year. The next few months tend to be jam-packed with the big holiday releases and every prestige film under the sun. It can be quite a logjam. Many films will soon be premiering at the many upcoming festivals (Venice, Toronto, Telluride) while others won’t be projected to the masses until Christmas. I thought I’d offer up a list of movies I anticipate most.
The following are the 25 films I am most looking forward to for the rest of the year, in order. I’m sure some of these will suck. I’m sure some I won’t even see. I’m also sure there will be some movies not on this list that come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. But all that will have to wait. Right now, this is what I most want to see and what I think everyone should be looking out for.
25. We Bought A Zoo
Thomas Haden Church
Why: Based on Benjamin Mee’s memoir, the film is about a family that buys a broken down zoo, and I’m assuming grow closer and learn some life lessons. While that sounds like a bad Lifetime movie, I have hope that this will be a return to form for writer/director Crowe (Almost Famous, Say Anything) after his last two misfires (Elizabethtown, Vanilla Sky). The cast is strong, and as a nice bonus the music is being written by Sigur Ros front man Jonsi.
Why: This is a recent addition as it was only just announced by Fox Searchlight that it would be released at all. I know little of what the film is about, something about a bus crash and post-9/11 themes, but it makes this list out of sheer curiosity. It was shot way back in 2005 and has been in post-production hell ever since. There have been lawsuits and multiple editors and lots more drama plaguing the film. Some thought Lonergan’s follow-up to the lovely You Can Count On Me would never be seen. So even though there is no trailer or poster, and the director isn’t a favorite, I am quite keen to see if all that time has created a masterpiece or a total fiasco, because now it would seem like no other outcome could be possible. Plus, more Matt Damon!
John C. Reilly
Why: This is a school shooting movie, but it will focus more on the reluctant mother, played by the never dull Tilda Swinton. Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, this adaptation already premiered to positive reviews at Cannes. This type of story is always intriguing to me because I want to see how the filmmakers will handle the volatile subject matter. Also, I am always (as this list is proving) curious about directors after a long hiatus, and Ramsay’s last film was 2002’s Morvern Callar.
Release Date: 12/21
Why: It is certainly hard to get excited about the fourth film of any series, and the spy-genre seems a bit tapped out at the moment. However, my interest in this is basically, Brad Bird, Brad Bird, and Brad Bird. The man behind The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille has earned more than a little of my faith. One can only hope his talent in animation transfers into the live-action realm. Plus, the fantastic cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood) is on board and apparently shot some sequences in IMAX.
Release Date: 10/7
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen
Why: A Sundance award-winner, this film has been building buzz since January. Then the trailer hit the web and it is a stellar piece of marketing. The story has something to do with cults and a girl who escapes from one. I’ve read that it is told in a fractured psychological kind of way that really sucks you in. Color me intrigued about this debut film from writer/director Sean Durkin.
Check back tomorrow for five more films I’m excited about seeing. And stay tuned all week to get the full list.