It was a smack in the face when my "Holiday Movie Preview" issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived in the mail this week. I haven't even seen 1/2 of my fall movie picks yet!! Usually, this is my favorite time of year (film wise) but this year very few films peak my interest. Here are the films that I am excited about:
1. My Week with Marilyn 11/23 - I can't say I am a fan of Marilyn Monroe - and to be honest I don't know much about her. The only film I ever saw her in was Some Like it Hot (a brilliant comedy) and I know she had a bit of a tumultuous upbringing. However, my interest in the film peaked for a few reasons - first, Michelle Williams was an interesting casting choice and she seemingly knocked it out of the park. Her performance is being hailed as "mesmerizing", "flawless" and "Oscar worthy". Second, to me Marilyn Monroe is the original "celebrity" - her life was surrounded by reporters and fans wanting to know the most intimate details of her life and she played into their curiosity which in turn made her a star (and one of the most iconic figures in celebrity history). I think it will be fascinating to see how this has evolved. Third, I appreciate that this is "a week" in the life instead of a biopic - it is pretty impossible to capture someones entire life in 120 minutes but we can certainly get a sense of Marilyn's essence by spending a week in her life.
2. Shame 12/2 - I recently watched Hunger, which was also directed by Steve McQueen and starred Michael Fassbender and it sort of left me speechless. Even though the subject matter was heavy and I am completely ignorant to political happenings in Ireland in the 80's, the film was really disturbing yet sublimely beautiful. The subject matter of Shame seems a bit more light (sex addiction) - but from the trailer I think the film will still be just as heavy and disturbing (and hopefully just as beautiful). It seems like I can't read a film article that doesn't mention Michael Fassbender these days - I didn't really understand the X-Men hype but I think I was just distracted by my love for James McAvoy. I have also been swayed into appreciating Carey Mulligan as an actress (thanks to Drive).
3. We Need to Talk About Kevin 12/9 - Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly in a film together; I am sold already. I know the subject matter will be tough - the description is that a teenage boy goes on a killing spree. However, the trailer paints a much different story - it focuses on Tilda Swinton's character (Kevin's mother) and how even from his birth, she felt as if something was off about her own child. This is obviously a mothers worst nightmare and admitting that your child might be evil would be heartbreaking. Tilda is one of the only actresses that I can think of that could succeed at portraying such pain.
4. Young Adult 12/9 - This is the film that I am most excited about this Holiday season- I love everything about it: Written by Diablo Cody, Directed by Jason Reitman, Starring Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson plus the trailer actually looks hilarious. Ordinarily I would say that the story seems pretty generic but in the hands of Reitman & Cody - the combined sarcasm and dry wit will undoubtedly keep this film from falling into a cliche.
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 12/21 - Watching the original Swedish version has been on my list for years now but it somehow has never made it to the top. I intend on watching it before I see this film. I always hate when they make unnecessary "American" version of films just because American audiences are too lazy to sit through foreign language films (like when they remade Let the Right One In) but I am torn by the fact that the trailer is freakin' fantastic. Everything is just working for me - from the poster, to the cast (I love Kate Mara - so if her sister is even 1/2 as awesome I will be satisfied), the music (it's been a while since I bought a film soundtrack but I am pretty sure this will be purchased soon) and obviously the director.
6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 12/25 - I am fairly confident that my mother will make me see this with her this holiday season and I can't really complain. Yes, it looks a bit too melodramatic and sappy for my taste but it does have Sandy B. (one of my favorite actresses) plus I know I will instantly shed tears at the sight of the towers falling (as I got choked up from the trailer already - genius move with the U2 music). I like that the story isn't really about 9/11 per say but more about the aftermath and also seeing such a tragic event through the eyes of a child will put a new perspective on things.