Here’s a bunch of films I really have to see…
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Still my most anticipated movie, I am dying to see this 167 minute fantasy/drama about a man who is born an old man and ages backwards. Starring Brad Pitt in probably his most challenging role yet, and the always brilliant Cate Blanchett, they just add fuel to the burning fire of high expectations. With Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) writing the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald short, and one of my favorite directors of this generation, David Fincher, this film shouldn’t be anything less than great. Am I hyping this movie up too much? Maybe. But this film has the potential for being a masterpiece.
- The Wrestler – Another one of my favorite directors, Darren Aronofsky, strips away all of his amazing visuals for the character-based, sport/drama, The Wrestler. Starring Mickey Rourke as Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, this movie has been receiving plenty of acclaim for its touching and genuine portrayal of professional wrestling. There is a soft spot that I sense I will have when I view this movie. Aside from being nostalgiac from watching pro-wrestling when I was younger, and seeing Marisa Tomei as a stripper… I expect the plot to be superior to most dramas this year. This might be this year’s “Once” for me.
- Gran Torino – Possibly Clint Eastwood’s last acting performance ever, here lies a little film that has shades of Dirty Harry and other of Eastwood’s tough-guy roles from the past. To keep on pace with my previous two entries, Eastwood is a magnificent director with the ability to turn anything he touches into gold. I’ve read good and bad things about this film, which keeps me a bit skeptical for Gran Torino, though I did like Changeling more than the majority of the critics did. But I must give this living legend the benefit of the doubt.
- Frost/Nixon – Another political biopic starring Frank Langella as Richard Nixon and Michael Sheen as David Frost. Directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan, there is a lot of power behind the production of this film. This is one of those films that I really want to see asap because of the potential it has at being a Best Picture nominee, but if it were otherwise then I would’ve waited for the DVD release.
- Revolutionary Road – Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for the first time since Titanic. Sam Mendes is in the director’s chair attempting to create another masterpiece since American Beauty. The source is from a best-selling novel by Richard Yates about a young couple who struggle with their marriage but try to pass by with their two children. It looks like one of those straight-up serious dramas with a lot of yelling and arguing and crying… maybe a bit too much. The subject matter seems quite tricky to adapt to screen tastefully. Was Mendes able to do it?
- Doubt – Doubt is John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize winning play about a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him abusing a black student. It has a lot of power and anyone who has seen the play has loved it. Boasting a very strong cast in Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis, Doubt is a very strong contender in this year’s Academy Awards… but mainly for the acting categories. There have been plenty of great movies based on plays, such as Closer, Dial M for Murder, and Arsenic and Old Lace. I’m not not sure if Shanley’s great theater vision can translate into the silver screen.
- Defiance – Although this film hasn’t been getting the hype that I think it should, maybe that’s just because the film isn’t any good. But it’s an Edward Zwick film, who has made some of my favoriate movies such as Glory, The Last Samurai, and Blood Diamond. He stays in his comfort zone with this war/drama of three Jewish brothers escaping Poland. There’s still a part of me that wants to see this in theaters… but I might have to settle for DVD.
- The Reader – The Golden Globes ate this movie up even though no one else did. Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes stars in this post-WWII drama. I’m not exactly sure what the film is about, but with these two stars and director Stephen Daldry (The Hours), it has enough strength behind it to being a surprise gem.