1. Silver Linings Playbook (11/21) - I should be SUPER excited about this movie. It features a top-notch cast (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro) and is directed by David O. Russell, who directed one of my favorite comedies (I Heart Huckabees). However, the trailer was severely underwhelming. It seems like a predictable romantic comedy, that represents mental disorders as something to laugh at. Since it has already won a slew of film festival awards (and even has some "Oscar buzz"), I trust that it is actually good, but I am only mildly excited about it.
2. Life of Pi (11/21) - I never read the book; knew nothing of the movie except that Ang Lee directed it. Sorry, not interested. Lee makes some beautiful movies, but they are also really looooong and really booooring. Then, I saw the trailer and everything changed - THERE IS A TIGER ON A TINY BOAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN! Sold.
3. Hitchcock (11/23) - As a fan of Hitchcock and a film fanatic, I feel like it is necessary to see this movie. However, I have trepidations - mostly about the casting. Scar Jo as Janet Leigh is an insult and Jessica Biel has never been in a good movie (nor has she been good in any movie). Anthony Hopkins certainly looks the part, but I hope he doesn't get lost in all that make-up. Helen Mirren will likely be the saving grace, as Hitch's wife. I read the book that the film is based on, "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho", and as far as Hitchcock books go, it is my least favorite. Love the tagline though: "Behind every great Psycho is a great woman".
4. Rust and Bone (11/23) - Another movie that won some festival awards this year, and I've read nothing but rave reviews. Marion Cotillard is stunning, but she was so disappointing in The Dark Knight Rises (the worst part of the movie), so I would love to see her in a role more suited to her this year.
5. Killing Them Softly (11/30) - I already wrote about this film in my "Fall Preview" post. I'm not sure why it got pushed back a month, but I am still excited to see it!!
6. Save the Date (12/14) - Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie in a movie together. That is all.
7. Zero Dark Thirty (12/19) - The Hurt Locker was one of my favorite films of 2009, so I am very excited for Kathryn Bigelow's next venture. The Hurt Locker was not only structurally flawless, it also reinvigorated the "war" genre (a genre that is undeniably male-centric). Also exciting, is the casting of one of my current favorite actresses, Jessica Chastain. She's one of the few young actresses that can portray "strong" and "feminine" with a natural ease. The only downside is the awkward title (yes, I know what it means, doesn't make it any less awkward to say).
8. The Impossible (12/21) - Just mentioning the 2004 Tsunami brings tears to my eyes (and I am hardly an emotional person). I honestly don't know if I can make it through a whole movie based on the tragic event, especially because I cried during the trailer (you can't use the song "One" and expect me not to cry!). I'm going to fight my emotions because the movie looks damn good. It's an amazing true story, of a family who were separated during the chaos and their struggle to find each other in the aftermath. I am a little confused about the casting of the film, considering that the story is based on a Spanish family, casting Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor is slightly offensive, no? It's also described as an "English-language Spanish drama", uummmm....what?
9. On the Road (12/21) - I am a little on the fence about this one. On the one hand, I am already confident that a film adaptation of the Kerouac novel is bound to be a disappointment. But, on the other hand, the novel is a classic and I'm surprised that it even took this long for it to be adapted. The fact is that this movie will likely inspire the younger generation to actually read a book (and not a book about vampires or wizards) and that is never a bad thing. I am not a fan of Kristen Stewart as an actress. However, she was decent in Welcome to the Rileys, so I am willing to look beyond her expression-less acting from the past and give her a second chance. Maybe she will surprise me.
10. This is 40 (12/21) - I was one of the few people that didn't think Knocked Up was the funniest movie of 2007 (HELLO..... Superbad!!! Much funnier.). It's hard to enjoy a comedy when you hate the two main characters (and the actors playing those characters - Seth Rogen is awesome in small doses only, but don't even get me started on Katherine Heigl). Judd Apatow had a genius idea to create a movie following Pete and Debbie from Knocked Up, as they deal with getting older. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd are hilarious together, so I am all in. I know for a fact that the movie will make me feel old as well, especially since I can remember sitting in the theater watching Clueless, 17 years ago (one of Paul Rudd's first films).
11. Les Miserables (12/25) - Oddly, I have never seen a stage production of Les Miserables (It's odd because I was a Drama major in college). It's always been on my list, but for some reason it just never made it to the top. I have read the novel, know all of the songs in the stage production and I am pretty sure I saw the previous film version (although I don't actually remember it), so I am not a complete failure. Once I watched the featurette that was released a few months ago, I became overwhelmed with excitement for the movie. The film is breaking ground for the musical film genre, by having the actors sing live during filming (rather than recording the songs, then lip-syncing to them as the scene is filmed). It's weird that this hasn't really been done before because it is usually my biggest pet-peeve when watching musicals. I have a feeling that Anne Hathaway is going to blow me away. Can't wait!!
12. Django Unchained (12/25) - I'm going in blind on this one - haven't watched the trailer or read anything about it. I know it's Quentin Tarantino and that's all I really need to know. The only Tarantino project that I don't like are the Kill Bill movies. I know it's weird, and by all accounts I should love them, but I just can't get over how awful Uma Thurman is (I didn't always hate her, she just hasn't been good in anything since Gattaca.).
13. Promised Land (12/28) - The trailer is awfully cheesy and preachy, but I can't pass up another Gus Van Sant / Matt Damon collaboration. Also, John Krasinski co-wrote it (with Damon) and I am really interested in his work as a writer, since his first feature, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men - an incredibly fascinating movie.