Christian Bale leads last year's festival hit Rescue Dawn from crazy/brilliant Werner Herzog into theaters soon. Then Bale will lend his services to another auteur genius, Todd Haynes, as one of seven "Bob Dylan"s in I'm Not There. Finally, he'll lock horns with ever irritable, ever horn-lockable Russell Crowe in James Mangold's western 3:10 to Yuma. Gretchen Mol plays Bale's wife. Bettie Page and Patrick Bateman in the same bed. Eep.
Vinnie Barbarino Feel free to curse at the heavens or Quentin Tarantino ...either way. America's #2 Most Beloved Scientologist is never going away. He's back to torture us with not one, not two, but three gruesome film objects. From least to most terrifying they are: Lonely Hearts in which he tracks down serial killers Salma Hayek and Jared Leto, Hairspray in which he'll scare us to death in full drag, and 'The Apocalypse' more commonly known as Wild Hogs. Hey, it feels like the end of the world to me. In it you will see not just John Travolta but two other former sitcom stars (Martin Lawrence & Tim Allen) that you had never hoped to see again. None of them are funny. And, worse yet, they'll all be naked.
Adam Brody, freed from The OC hottie prison, begins phase 2 of his career. This part is called: "I want to be a movie star" It kicked off with two Sundance ensemble entries The Ten (also starring busy Gretchen Mol) and Smiley Face (with Anna Faris) but the big test case will undoubtedly be his leading role in In the Land of Women in which he'll have to hold the center while not getting blown off the screen by the dramedic antics of a whole slew of talented and/or desperate women like Meg Ryan, Olympia Dukakis, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lindsay Sloane ('Big Red' from Bring it On! , yessss) and Kristen Stewart (Jodie's daughter from Panic Room all grown up) among them.
Chris Evans was
James Franco's breakthrough year was supposed to have arrived years ago. But you can't say he gives up easily. In addition to his third crack at Spider-Man he'll be popping up with some regularity. He's in the Sundance drama about an infamous child abuse case An American Crime, the Bruce Lee obsessed Finishing The Game, gazing at Sienna Miller in Camille and co-starring in Paul Haggis's latest drama In the Valley of Elah.
Paul Giamatti , like Chris Evans, co-stars in The Nanny Diaries but he is not playing a character named "Hottie". After that adaptation, he'll team up or fight against (I think the latter) Clive Owen in the imaginatively titled actioner Shoot 'Em Up. Towards the end of the year he's playing Santa Clause. You knew that already. The teaser for Fred Claus, with Vince Vaugh and Giamatti bantering on a couch, is already playing in your multiplex.
Nicole Kidman is back. Presumably you're very excited. She'll bring Daniel Craig with her twice, first in the sci-fi thriller Invasion and then for the holidays in the fantasy epic The Golden Compass. She'll also be headlining Noah Baumbach's Squid and Whale follow up, Margot at the Wedding. She's Margot. Duh.
The Lovely Laura Linney has five films coming your way. The Savages and Jindabyne have already won her raves though they've yet to open here. She'll hopefully raise the acting games of young blonde hit & missers like Ryan Phillipe in Breach and Scarlett Johansson in The Nanny Diaries. Late in the year she'll appear in James Ivory's latest The City of Your Final Destination.
James McAvoy got shafted in the praise department despite film-carrying work in The Last King of Scotland, so he's leaving soon-to-be Oscar'ed co-star Forest Whitaker behind for ensembles and starlets. First up is Starter For Ten where he plays a university student. Then he'll be staring at Christina Ricci's pig-nose in Penelope (again -I'm not making any of this up). He joins Anne Hathaway for the Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane and closes the year sharing the screen with four ladies in the Oscar hopeful Atonement which comes from the director and star of Pride & Prejudice, Joe Wright & Keira Knightley.
Julianne Moore and I have been going through some rough times in our star/fan romance. She's busy trying to win me back. Her first attempt comes with the Nic Cage sci-fi action flick Next (which I've
Mandy Moore is 'asking for it'. If you've seen the trailer for Because I Said So you'd know. And who hasn't seen that trailer (speaking of ubiquity). She's also part of the dark romantic comedy Dedication and the light Robin Williams comedy License to Wed. At some point, wormholes be damned, she'll pop up in the uncategorizable Southland Tales from the director of Donnie Darko.
Samantha Morton wins the Jude Law honorary award for most films ready for your viewing pleasure. She's got six titles on the way. She's still best known to audiences as the Minority Report telepath and she'll have ample opportunity to show off that otherworldly acting gift in '07. She might have an Oscarable role playing Mary Queen of Scots, Cate Blanchett's enemy, in The Golden Age. Morton is part of a critical darling ensemble in the latest from mindbending Charlie Kauffman which is called Synecdoche, New York. In addition to those high profile outings, she's got four smaller films which should be hitting your neighborhood arthouse if the distribution gods are kind. Sundance brought her acclaim for two titles: Expired (with Jason Patric) and Longford (with the great Jim Broadbent). She'll play Marilyn Monroe in the latest oddity from Mr. Chlöe Sevigny, Harmony Korine (Gummo) which is called Mister Lonely. And finally, she'll be starring in the debut feature for music video legend Anton Corbijn called Control which is a biopic of Ian Curtis, the suicidal lead singer of Joy Division.
La Pfeiffer is (almost) back. Stardust, I Could Never Be Your Woman and Hairspray. If this blog suddenly stops being updated it means I have died of happiness.
Natalie Portman is already filming The Darjeeling Limited for the inimitable Wes Anderson but that might not arrive until 2008. I'm not sure what happened to Goya's Ghost which was supposed to arrive last year but Natalie isn't one to sit around and wait ('I don’t sleep mother f***er off that yak and bourbon'). In the meantime enjoy her in Wong Kar Wai's first English language feature My Blueberry Nights and Zach Helms Stranger Than Fiction follow-up Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Undoubtedly the big draw will be her battle with Scarlett Johansson for the hand of King Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl. Natalie Vs. Scarlett. Did they have mud wrestling in the 1500s? I think it's safe to say that everyone will want to see that throwdown. Place your bets.
Alan Rickman hasn't been seen all that often outside of his frequent Professor Snape gigs for Harry Potter. He's doing that again but bringing three more characters to the screen, too. He's the lead in Snow Cake with Sigourney Weaver and a prickly Nobel winner in Nobel Son. In the winter he'll torment Johnny Depp as 'Judge Turpin' in the long awaited Stephen Sondheim adaptation, Sweeney Todd.
Tim Roth will always be "Pumpkin" to me from Pulp Fiction. He's been working steadily but will he see a revived critical interest in his career? I'm guessing that's a 'hell yes'. Among the juicy offerings will be lead roles for two masters in Michael Haneke's Funny Games and Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth. He's also in the ensembles of Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights and some kind of black plague centered period romantic comedy called Virgin Territory --I don't understand that description either, sorry.
Mark Ruffalo ohmygodthisarticleislong. OK. So Mark. This one's for you Arden. Not that he doesn't already work a lot but you'll be seeing him in two heavy-breathing dramas Reservation Road and Margaret which are both about grieving and death, you know, light stuff. He'll also be uncharacteristically not the sexiest one in Zodiac which arrives early next month.
Tom Wilkinson is intermittently awesome. So I'm crossing my fingers that his supporting stints in Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, the dark comedy Dedication, or the legal drama Michael Clayton opposite George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, will be something to get excited about. Can we get another In the Bedroom level performance? Sure do hope so.
THE END (whew)
Post Script: Movies that are intending to arrive this calendar year may disappear from the schedule completely. Other actors may suddenly emerge as the year's ubiquitous stars. All things are subject to change. Especially in Hollywood.
If you liked this article, consider looking around the film experience or the blog itself. Interested in new stars for 2007? Check out Abbie Cornish or Eddie Redmayne. We also have Oscar commentary and predictions. Or see some of our greatest hits like "all hail the queen" on Helen Mirren's awards steamroll, "A History Of...Angelina Jolie" from teen model to globetrotting superstar, "Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain.
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