Nick, Nora, and Asta eagerly await the holiday movie season. They're all probably drunk.
It's that time of year! You know, when all the oh so serious movies open in the hopes that they will win some kind of prize. But that's not as grim as it sounds--just because a movie is a shameless Oscar bid doesn't mean it can't be fun too. So here are some of the upcoming big movies being released for the awards season (including some worthy films being released before December), and, ummmm...a few thoughts on them.
(Warning: pickings are kind of slim this year, as many studios, nervous about box office gridlock, shifted release dates into 2009. I did probably leave some out, so I'll update this list if I remember anything else. No matter what, it looks like kind of a shaky year.)
And thus, without any more excuses or explanations, this year's contenders, in alphabetical order:
Australia--Well, it's Baz Luhrmann, so if nothing else it should be extravagantly gorgeous looking. It sounds a bit like a huge epic sweeping romance reminiscent of a glossy, lush product of the studio system. However, just because something was made between 1928 and 1960 doesn't mean it was good, even if it was a top-line production; in fact, a fair amount of the "A-pictures" from that era have aged poorly and some of those big epics just seem like overstuffed turkeys. Then again, some worked. Which will this one be?
Bolt--I know little about this except the hamster in the commercials makes me laugh.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button--It's been in the works for only about forever which would normally make you wonder, except that it is a difficult story to film. Fitzgerald's short stories just make me sigh, so I would worry, but if anyone can pull it off, I guess it would be David Fincher. Though you know that also means it will be long.
The Day the Earth Stood Still--It seems like everything is right with the world when Keanu Reeves is cast as an alien, doesn't it?
Defiance--Great cast (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell) and my mom is all in a tizzy about a Poland-set story making it to the big screen. Early reviews are less than enthusiastic, though. It's only opening pre-year's end for awards eligibility and goes wide in January.
Doubt--Again, love the cast (Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams), I know the play was solid, but I'm interested in seeing what they could do to open it up for film.
Frost/Nixon--It's hard to imagine why something so inherently theatrical would improve as a film. Go on, impress me.
Marley & Me--No Oscars here, just lots of hoped for money. Boring lead players (Jennifer Aniston and one of the Wilsons), but lots of cute, scampering Golden Retrievers could sucker in anyone--including me.
Milk--Drama students, come to this one and watch Sean Penn prove why he's one of our best actors. And it's always nice to have the reliably goofy James Franco around. Cover your eyes for lots of bad '70s mens fashions.
Quantum of Solace--James Bond, Daniel Craig, and a running time of about 105 minutes. What more can I ask for?
The Reader--Lots of controversy about the release date for this one; it may not make it out this year. I love Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, but I don't know if I'm up for another "encounter with a Nazi" movie. I'm only into WW II via books right now.
Revolutionary Road--Very serious, very self-conscious sounding. Kate and Leo, nothing to complain about there, but this is definitely one of those movies that seems like it will be constantly reminding you How Very Important It Is.
Slumdog Millionaire--I've heard nothing but raves about this so far. If nothing else, I can always watch it and fantasize about going to India.
Synechdoche, New York--Charlie Kaufman directs as well as writes. Goodness, next thing you know he'll be singing and dancing. Anyway, word is that people either come out of this movie saying, "That's two hours of my life I'll never get back," or shattered in tears. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favorite movies of the last decade, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
The Spirit--I'm well aware of the importance of this series in the history of comic books, but Scarlett Johansson bores me so much I find it hard to focus when she's involved in a film.
The Wrestler--Film festival darling gets seen by the little people. Mickey Rourke revives his career, something which we all were...oh, never mind, I hadn't really been wondering where he'd been, I don't know about you. I know this is supposed to be really good, but I just hate wrestling.