#5: The King’s Speech
Check out this plot synopsis:
“Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.” (From IMDb)
Sounds like it should be some sort of boring BBC Miniseries, right? Well, a few things: first, it has been getting rave reviews everywhere it has played so far. As in, it is a frontrunner in the Best Picture race, Colin Firth is a lock for a nomination (if not a win); that type of talk/buzz is surrounding it. Second of all, this was directed by Tom Hooper, and after seeing The Damned United this summer, I will watch anything he makes (FWIW, he also made the John Adams miniseries on HBO a couple years back). So yeah, pretty excited about this one even though it doesn’t seem like anything that would ordinarily be right up my alley.
#4: Blue Valentine
|An acting match made in heaven|
Okay, now we’re moving from “excited about these movies because I’ve read about how good they are and I like the directors/actors involved” territory into “really excited about these movies because there is something particularly compelling to me personally about either a person involved in making it and/or the subject matter” territory. Blue Valentine fits that description perfectly. For one thing, it stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who, if pressed, I might say are the best under-30 actor/actress that we have out there right now, (although they won’t be 30 anymore when the film releases) and if you scoff at that statement then go watch Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl for Gosling and Wendy & Lucy for Williams, then come back to me. For another thing, I’m really into the whole melodramatic quirky romance genre (i.e. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Lost in Translation). To boot, the directorial-style demonstrated in the trailer just seems pretty awesome and fitting.
Speaking of Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola, the director of that film, returns to us in 2010 with this one here. That one dealt with odd and unexpected things that can happen in our romantic lives, while this one seems to deal with unexpected things that can happen in our familial lives. I really appreciate the way Sofia Coppola directs—the slow moving, focused, contemplative tendencies with her camerawork are very emotional and personal. She is also great at bringing out the best in her actors, and by all accounts has resurrected Stephen Dorff’s career with his lead performance in this film.
#2: Black Swan
I am a total fanboy of Darren Aronovsky. I am continually lambasted by some of my friends for my adoration of The Fountain, which I believe to be a misunderstood masterpiece. The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream are also great films (even though you couldn’t pay me enough to watch the latter one a second time). So of course I am excited about this thriller with Natalie Portman as the star. Like all of his other films, obsession seems to play an important role thematically, and the dark nature of the material will fit perfectly with his style, perhaps even more so than with The Wrestler. Also, Clint Mansell is doing the musical score, and if you’ve ever heard his work you know what a plus that is for the film. (By the way, is that not the coolest movie poster you've ever seen? Check out some other cool ones for this movie here.)
#1: The Way Back
Weighing in as the champ in my most-anticipated list is this film that wasn’t even on my radar until a little over a month ago. Peter Weir, director of Master & Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poet Society and Witness makes his filmmaking return here after a seven-year hiatus. Let me be the first to admit that the trailer was a little underwhelming. However, I personally love the way Peter Weir tells stories in his movies. Unlike numbers 2 and 3 on my list, whose directors rely heavily on style to tell their stories, Weir manages to get his message across simply through strong narrative and characterization. Accordingly, the true story he is telling here seems very compelling, and the cast is superb. Anyone who has seen Master & Commander knows that Weir is painstakingly detailed when it comes to authenticity of his sets, his locations, costumes, accents, etc. and this film looks to be no different. It was announced last week that this film will be released in late December for a qualifying run in this year’s Oscar race. Yay.
Post your most anticipated movie in the comments below!!
Honorable Mentions that you should be looking out for:
Love and Other Drugs
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part I
How Do You Know?
Made in Dagenham