New Movies -
Old Movies -
I figured it would be interesting to list my top ten most anticipated movies for the New Year… Here are the my choices (I ignored stuff like Wong’s 2046, Tarrantino’s Kill Bill, and von Trier’s Dogville that I don’t expect to be out by the end of the year, even if I’m frothing at the mouth for them.) It will be interesting to see how this pans out at the end of the year. It will probably look horrible in retrospect, since most of these decisions are based on the reputations people earned for other films more than subject matter for the new ones.
Ten Runners Up: About Schmidt , The Bourne
Identity , Confessions of a Dangerous Mind , Daddy & Them , Gerry , Minority
Report , The Panic Room , Simone , Spider Man , Trouble Every Day
10. Adaptation – Spike Jonez’s directorial
follow-up to the almost excellent Being John Malkovich supposedly has a
superb and unique script by the prolific oddball Charlie Kaufman. The casting of
Meryl Streep and Nic Cage (does any other actor as obviously alternate one for
art and one for money as Cage does?) goes a long way toward making this look
like a more attractive prospect.
9. Frida – Also known as the movie that saved us
from a J. Lo Kahlo biopic. I thought Julie Taymour’s Titus was nearly
great. Good enough to make me eagerly anticipate anything else she puts out. The
cast of this film (Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Ed Norton, Ashley
Judd, Antonio Banderas) seems reasonably well picked, and certainly the subject
matter has the potential to be great. Mostly, I would imagine, it hinges on
8. Baby’s in Black – I think the might be called
something else now (IMDB lists it as Goodbye
Hello), and that title change
suggests it might not be superb, but I thought Brad Silberling’s City of Angels was almost
astonishingly good for a Meg Ryan movie. Here’s to hoping that wasn’t a
fluke and this might be the emergence of a great new talent. Certainly, the
film’s attracted a good cast (Dustin Hoffman, Holly Hunter, and Susan Sarandon),
but so did Stepmom…
7. The Lord of the Rings 2 – The first LOTR movie
finished just outside my top ten for 2001, so the prospect of another
Jackson-helmed epic naturally has me excited. Since there’s a bit more action
in the second book in Tolkien’s trilogy, it would stand to reason that the
second movie in the trilogy would be a bit more exciting. An extra year of
editing can’t hurt, either.
6. Cremaster 3 – Mathew Barney’s three-hour
magnum opus arrives in May to show us all what a real art film is. I’m sure
it’s too obtuse for most, but I expect it will be right up my alley.
5. PTA’s untitled Sandler thing – So, I must
assume PT had a good reason for casting Sandler, though my feeble mind can’t
think of it. Rumored to be a musical about a pudding cup contest or something,
I’m sure it’s going to be odd. Still, it will be a great litmus test to see
whether or not its director is a flash in the pan or not. Emily Watson and
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s contributions should be appreciated no matter what
the end result.
4. The Hours – I thought Stephen Daldry’s Billy
Elliot was merely passable, but the casting of three of our absolute best
actresses (Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman) as the leads in this
adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s fantastic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is
enough to put this on my list. I wonder if Daldry will manage to convey the
interior complexity of the novel, but those three actresses make me think it
might not all depend on him.
3. Gangs of New York – Ah, yes. Martin
Scorsese’s epic. Frankly, this would be topping my list if it wasn’t for the
very public bad treatment that it’s been getting from Miramax. Originally
supposed to be a December release, this gritty drama was moved back to the
summer, because “it’s really a summer movie”. Huh? More likely, it was put
there because it cost a bundle, its distributor didn’t know how to sell it,
and hoped for a big opening weekend. I’m hoping that the thing won’t be too
truncated, and that Daniel Day-Lewis’s return to screen after a five-year
“retirement” will be worth the wait.
2. The Piano Teacher – Yes, this is directed by
Michael Haneke, who directed my best picture of 2001, Code: Unknown. It
won three awards at Cannes last year (though this is the same jury that gave the
wretched The Son’s Room the Grand Prize), so it’s coming already
recommended. Let’s hope that it lives up to whatever hype I impose upon it.
1. Far From Heaven – Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore Redux! It’s a Doug Sirk-style drama with fake backgrounds and Dennis Quaid in the big dumb lunk role! How cool is this? So fucking cool!