Happy September all! Summer isn’t officially over, but with a lackluster season of movies, we’re looking forward to a jam packed Fall leading up to awards season. Here’s a look at the films we here at filmhash are most excited for. Did we miss something? Let us know!
The American, Sept. 1
The marketing and graphics team working for The American can go to sleep at night knowing that they at least have roped the two of us into buying tickets for this movie…and most likely millions more. The poster for this movie is fantastic, and George Clooney aside, the poster alone made us interested in seeing it without even knowing what the movie was about in the first place. But for those who are interested in what Clooney is up to, the movie tells the story of an American assassin hiding out in Italy, who debates on whether he should stay hidden for long. The early buzz is strong, with many hoping the film pulls off the kind of slow-moving espionage thriller made popular in the 1970s by such films as Marathon Man (1976).
Person to look out for: The director for the film is Anton Corbijn, noted for his previous work with U2 including music videos and album covers. Look for his style of direction to be a treat for the eyes, with highly stylized graphics and lush cinematography.
Never Let Me Go, Sept. 15
Based on the novel of the same name, this film starring Carrey Mulligan, Kiera Knightly, and Andrew Garfield, follows the story of three boarding school students who discover an unsettling truth about the future direction of their lives. Ryan and I have been Carrey Mulligan fans ever since her debut performance in An Education, which earned her a much deserved Oscar nomination. Kiera Knightly has also proven herself a capable actress beyond her Pirates of the Caribbean fame. Here’s hoping this film grants another platform for the ladies to shine.
Person to watch: This is Andrew Garfield’s biggest role to date after snagging the slot as the new Peter Parker in the Spiderman reboot series. Garfield will need to use all those acquired Spidey senses to keep up with costars Mulligan and Knightly, but we have every confidence he’ll rise to the challenge.
Easy A, Sept. 17
I was at first skeptical of this teen comedy, but I could say the same when I first saw the trailer for The Hangover, and I loved it. As a result, I’m trying not to judge the book by it’s hormonal tweeny cover. This is Emma Stone’s first leading role, and after seeing her in Superbad I have no doubt she’ll be able to carry the film’s material successfully. The film also boasts a ridiculous supporting cast including Stanley Tucci of Devil Wears Prada and Julie & Julia fame, Lisa Kudrow from Friends, and Thomas Hayden Church from Sideways.
Person to Watch- Playright Burt V. Royal attempts the jump to screen with his first film script. I’m always excited about the prospect of a new original writer in Hollywood.
Waiting for Superman, Sept. 24
Amidst growing concerns over the state of the public school system in America, and with millions of children returning to school this week the release of this film is perfectly timed. The documentary’s discussion about the American public school system earned the film the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Viewers may also recognize the work of the film’s director, Davis Guggenheim, who also directed An Inconvient Truth and It Might Get Loud (a Filmhash favorite).
Person to Watch: Michelle Rhee, the Washington, D.C. Public School Chancellor since 1997, is a controversial figure and the “Al Gore” of this documentary.
Freakanomics, Oct. 1
Based on the book of the same name, this film explains the economic principles that run our society using real world examples stemming from human behavior. The film features four documentary directing heavyweights including Morgan Spurlock from Super Size me, Seth Gordon from King of Kong, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing of Jesus Camp and Alex Gibney of Enron. Each director presents a different segment of the documentary, which should be an interesting viewing experience for an audience familiar with their work.
Person to watch: Not quite a person, but an entity all its own- iTunes. The documentary is to be released exclusively on the iTunes system on Sept. 3, with a wide release in select theaters on beginning Oct 1. This may prove to be an interesting resource for documentaries and indie film in the future…or it could be a bust. Time will tell.
Let Me In, Oct. 1
After the overwhelming success of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it’s no wonder that American filmmakers are beginning to look to the Swedes for inspiration. Let Me In is the American adaptation of the Swedish film and novel Let the Right One In. The film tells the story of a 12 year old boy who develops a friendship with a child vampire played by Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass). Just like its Swedish predecessor Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Let the Right One In has received high critical reviews and has reached cult status since its release on DVD. Here’s hoping the American adaptation does the story justice.
Person to watch: Even though vampire mania is still going strong, there are definite signs of fang fatigue. We’re looking to Chloe Moretz to resurrect the tiresome portrayal of vampires in the media with a fresh representation of the “child vampire,” an image that hasn’t been seen since the film Interview with a Vampire.
The Social Network, Oct. 1
The buzz- and rumor mill- surrounding this film has hit fevered pitch and it’s only September. Based on a controversial telling of the creation of Facebook, the film is already under scrutiny for inaccurately portraying the series of events that changed the meaning of BFF-forever. Jesse Eisenberg plays the lead, with Aaron Sorkin of the West Wing penning the script. David Fincher, whose other upcoming projects include the American adaptation of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will be directing. Regardless of what Zuckerberg claims about the inauthenticity of the film, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a trailer that amazing.
Person to watch: I can’t believe I’m saying this but…Justin Timberlake. How is it possible that everything he touches turns to gold? From SNL to cameo appearances in film, this guy can do no wrong.
Secretariat, Oct. 8
Horse racing has been a big thing in my family. I still remember taking trips up to Saratoga Springs every summer as a kid. So that may be the real reason why I’m excited about seeing Secretariat. The film tells the story of owner Penny Chenery, and the horse who made history in 1973.
Person to watch: Diane Lane-for being the female lead in a sports film.
Nowhere Boy, Oct. 8
Another Kick Ass star is also breaking into the world of Indie film this season. Aaron Johnson will portray a young John Lennon in a film about the early years of the Beatles icon. The film was nominated for four BAFTAs, including Best New Director for Sam Taylor-Wood. Ryan’s obsession with the Beatles is the main reason “we’re” excited about this film. Just kidding, I’m all for music biopics, and I’m pleased that Johnson is choosing different roles early in his career. I enjoyed his performance in Kick Ass.
Person to look for– This is Sam Taylor-Wood’s first major film directing. I love the emergence of new female directors!
Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Oct. 15
Words can’t really express how excited I am for the final installment of the Millennium trilogy. I haven’t read the books yet (because the films have been so amazing), so I have no idea what happens. I’m a novice when it comes to foreign film, but for me, the filmmaking within the trilogy is stellar. With so much hype already growing for the American adaptation, the third film will likely receive healthy audience attendance.
Person to look for– The Swedes. They’re pretty unstoppable right now. And it’s awesome.
RED, Oct. 15
Helen Mirren. With an assault rifle. Do I need to continue? Very well. All you need to know is this film is based on a DC Comic book written by Warren Ellis. And it just happens to be starring everyone and their mother in Hollywood: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary Louise-Parker, Richard Dreyfuss, and did we mention Helen Mirren!? With assault rifles!?
Person to watch: Casting director Deborah Aquila. Kudos to you. How many Oscar/Emmy/Golden Globe wins/noms are in this cast?
Due Date, Nov. 5
Road trip comedies, thanks to The Hangover, are still alive and well. Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis star in a film that takes Downey’s character on a cross-country drive to see the birth of his child. No doubt Galifianakis mucks up the works. Hilarity ensues. Directed by Todd Philips of Old School and The Hangover.
Person to watch: Zach Galifianakis-many are already worried about the actor being pigeonholed as a comedy side-kick. Will he be able to co-star along side Downey? Or will he merely be a scene-stealer?
Morning Glory, Nov. 12
It’s been a longtime since we’ve seen Harrison Ford on the big screen which makes me want this movie to be everything it can be and more. Diane Keaton, and Rachel McAdams also star in this comedy about a morning news show. The trailer looks promising, and shows a chemistry between Ford and Keaton vaguely reminiscent of Ferrell and Applegate in Anchorman.
Person to watch: Harrison Ford- in a Meet the Parents-esque turn, will this film breathe a new energy into his career?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, Nov. 19
Person to Watch: Everyone. This is the end of an era.
Tangled, Nov. 24
This film is Disney’s 50th animated feature inspired by the German fairy tale of Rapunzel, and if you think Disney has lost steam over the years you wouldn’t be alone. Yet Tangled proves that the old dog still has a few tricks up his sleeve. The animation style used throughout the film is inspired by pre-Raphaelite painting style, making it the first digitally animated film to mimic a hand drawn art style. Another move that could prove to be genius, or not, is the title. Originally dubbed “Rapunzel,” the title of the film was changed as a response to the under-performing Princess and the Frog, in an effort to appeal to boys as well. The male protagonist of Tangled is also featured heavily in the initial trailer.
Person to watch: The audience- will boys dig princess movies as much as the girls?
Burlesque, Nov. 24
Unlike so many of her song siren sisters, Christina Aguilera has waited a longtime to make the jump from stage to screen. Joining Aguilera in her first film will be none other than Cher, in her first musical film, Kristen Bell, and Stanley Tucci. Both Aguilera and Cher have songs featured in the film’s soundtrack. With the universally rejected Nine last season, Hollywood is in need of a hit musical a la Chicago.
Person to watch for: Christina Aguilera-not all singers should be actresses, but if anyone should try, it’s Christina.
Black Swan, Dec. 1
This psych thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky, stars Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder and Mila Kunis as ballet dancers performers in Swan Lake. A rivalry between the dancers creates complex friendships and unveils an even darker underbelly. Check out the early buzz!
Person to watch: Despite it’s thriller status, this is a decidedly uncharacteristic film for Darren Aronofsky based on his past film experience. His treatment of the subject matter should be interesting to watch.
The Tempest, Dec. 10
Director Julie Taymor, known for her work in Across the Universe and the oft-delayed Spiderman broadway musical, takes a crack at Shakespeare. The lovely Helen Mirren plays the title role which has been gender reversed from Shakespeare’s original play. In this version, Mirren plays Prospera, the Duke’s wife. When her husband is killed, she is accused of murder, and her rightful title is instead taken by his brother. This sets into motion a new impetus for the character, who wishes to get the title back for her daughter. Not a film for the Shakespearean purist perhaps, but an interpretation worth seeing.
Person to watch: Instead of playing a role for laughs, Russell Brand challenges his acting chops and includes a dramatic role. Can he pull it off?
Tron: Legacy, Dec 17
A sequel 28 years in the making, and a Comicon darling for the last three years, Jeff Bridges continues his career high reprising his role as Flynn in Tron: Legacy. Upon viewing the trailer during a screening for Inception, there was mass applause and cheers from the crowd. The graphics look astounding, with debut director Joseph Kosinski poised to bring 3D technology back into the good graces of moviegoers. Also, Daft Punk is performing the soundtrack. They also happen to be playing at my house.
Person to watch– Director Joseph Kosinski-he couldn’t have picked a more high profile debut.
How Do You Know, Dec. 17
Written and produced James L. Brooks, this is also the TV and film veteran’s return to the directors chair since the endearing Spanglish. The story follows two people who meet on a blind date during the worst day of their lives, and stars Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, and Owen Wilson.
Person to watch: Jack Nicholson’s last pairing with James L. Brooks in the film As Good As it Gets led to Academy Award gold for Nicholson.
Somewhere, Dec. 22
This is Sophia Coppola’s first film since the lukewarm Marie Antoinette. Steven Dorff plays an actor who must reassess his lifestyle upon meeting his 11 year old daughter played by Elle Fanning (little sis to Dakota). Scenes from the film are loosely autobiographical, and based on Coppola’s experience as the daughter of Francis Ford. Phoenix fans out there-the band’s in charge of the soundtrack!
Person to watch– Sophia’s return to form.
True Grit, Dec. 25
The Cohen brothers are back again baby! True Grit, based on the 1968 novel of the same name, stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld plays a 14 year old girl who takes a journey to avenge her father’s death by a drifter and is accompanied by a one-eyed alcoholic marshall played by (none other than) Bridges.
Person to watch: Team Bridges/Cohen- will it be another cult classic (Big Lebowski) or will both parties mine Oscar’s gold again?