Sunday, November 08, 2009

What's Left in 2009?

Look out! A lazy Sunday afternoon post hurtling at'cha. I was looking for an excuse to post the A Single Man poster. It's just the first still released blown up but what a still it is!

That's not really deserving of an entire post all its own so herewith, stealing an idea from my buddy Nick how about... My 20 Most Anticipated Year End Movies in descending order of how impatient I am to see them (links to trailers). I've already seen Broken Embraces, The White Ribbon, The Last Station, Dr. Parnassus and Red Cliff or they would have made the list.

  1. Nine -because... duh. Duh times 99!
  2. A Single Man -the trailer screams beauty and I'm always ready for Julianne Moore in dramas
  3. Avatar -James Cameron Loyalist
  4. Crazy Heart -Jeff Bridges Loyalist
  5. Up in the Air -Clooney + two actresses I like = yes. Plus, I liked Juno a lot

    mild excitement

  6. The Lovely Bones -still curious but also very worried. Something seems amiss
  7. The Road -eager to see what they changed since that test screening I went to last year
  8. Mammoth -Lukas Moodyson directs Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams. That's three enticements right there.
  9. It's Complicated

    inconsistently curious

  10. Fantastic Mr Fox
  11. The Princess and the Frog
  12. Brothers -from morbid curiousity about how much worse it will be than the Danish film it's based on.
  13. Police, Adjective
  14. Sherlock Holmes -I vacillate wildly on this one. Looks alternately handsome fun and noisy apocryphal terrible. Which is it? Or is it both?
  15. Women in Trouble - a comedy about 10 different women. Yes, please. If it's good. And mostly because Carla Gugino (über sexy) and Connie Britton (excellent actress) are in it.

    haven't thought much about but might go...

  16. My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?
  17. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond -the cast doesn't much interest me. I mean, Bryce Dallas Howard practically warns "BAD MOVIE" just by showing up. But with screenplay by genius Tennessee Williams. Hmmm
  18. Ninja Assassin -Maybe I won't see it but I've been in an action mood for a few days.
  19. Me and Orson Welles - I like movies about the entertainment business be it theater/film or tv. But I think it's Zac Efron that's scaring me away so far.
  20. The Young Victoria -- looks as dull to me as Invictus which is odd because I like the cast for the most part and I'm a sucker for beautiful costumes.
Help Me! I go to the movies a lot but you can't see everything. I'll have to catch up with some of these but which ones? I haven't yet seen: A Serious Man, In the Loop, Sin Nombre, Two Lovers, Everlasting Moments, Tokyo Sonata, Goodbye Solo, Adventureland, Observe and Report, The Soloist, The Limits of Control, Summer Hours, Easy Virtue, Drag Me To Hell, The Proposal, Ponyo, Thirst, The September Issue, The Burning Plain, Capitalism: A Love Story, Coco Before Chanel, Bronson, Zombieland, Trucker, and The Maid. My year end top ten list and film bitch awards are just 2 months away from kickoff. I'll have to hurry.

How excited are you for the rest of the film year?
And which early releases will you be trying to catch up with before the Oscars.



J.L said...

Of the one you haven't seen but I have seen you must see these two: Everlasting Moments, Ponyo.

Also Lemon Tree Is also worth a look at.

Easy Virtue isn't worthy of anytime, but only if you like Kristin Scott-Thomas outshine the rest of the cast

pomme said...

i want to see "a single man"(looks beautiful),"the road"(i LOVE the book), "Brother"(i liked the original movie),"an education"(huge buzz)and "invictus"(even if that screams"i want Oscar")!

Morgan said...

A Serious Man was absolutely spectacular. Definitely one of the best I've seen all year -- I've been telling everybody I know to go see it.

Tim said...

Run, don't walk, to A Serious Man. Adventureland is worth a look too.

Krauthammer said...

I haven't seen too many films this year, but of those I've seen The Limits of Control is my favorite. I'm sure you'll disagree, everyone else seems to, but I really think it's worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

oh man, firth looks hot with those glasses... can't wait.

Anonymous said...

PS: I found Adventureland pretty disappointing. Read my review on it, if you like...

Kurtis O said...

I would say that the finest titles you've not yet seen are "The September Issue," "In the Loop," "Summer Hours" and Goodbye Solo" (and, I'd imagine, "Ponyo"). "The Soloist was uber-disappointing, despite two fine lead perfs.

"Nine" remains my most anticipated, and I'm plenty curious about "Broken Embraces," "A Single Man" and "Avatar." "Invictus" is a must-see, of course, but it looks like pretty formulaic Oscar fare. The biggest draw for me is (duh) Morgan Freeman.

Also, Nathaniel, be advised that there is no "The" in "Fantastic Mr. Fox"'s title. I recently received an email from studio reps specifically stressing this point. Wes Anderson wants nothing to do with "the."

I'd also strongly recommend "Drag Me to Hell" -- lots and lots of fun.

Robert said...

Obviously I'd recommend Goodbye Solo to get your first taste of Bahrani.

And A Serious Man may really be the Coen Brothers best movie.

Jose said...

I love "Drag Me to Hell", I went see it again yesterday just to check if I hadn't been too easy on it the first time.
And no, once more I confirmed that it's the most entertaining time I've had at the movies in years.

Lev Lewis said...

I'd add "Three Monkeys" to your list of films you need to see. But "Summer Hours" is an absolute must-see. One of the best of the year. And "Tokyo Sonata" and "Two Lovers" are also quite good. Although they both have their fair share of detractors.

Thais Afonso said...

I actually liked The Young Victoria. It's not a breathtaking piece, and it's not original at all, but Emily Blunt carries the whole thing on her back. She's really good in it.

elisabeth said...

You've got to see In the Loop, Nathaniel. Best film of the year easily for me. Wicked and sad and brilliant and the writing is incredible.

Two Lovers is really quite good, too. And I really want to see Goodbye Solo.

You can wait for Trucker to get on video. (MM is great - but her muscle-ly hollywoodness really took me away from it. The rest is sometimes good moody/sometimes lame moody.)

Groovy said...

I've seen Young Victoria (thanks to a region free DVD player and Amazon UK) and it is quite pretty. And Emily Blunt is quite good, but it seems to be lacking.... something. Its structure seems incomplete, like there's a swath of story missing. Then again the problem could be my own: having seen the 2001 BBC/A&E miniseries of "Victoria and Albert", I could be looking for elements that showed up in that production that weren't in Young Victoria. I just remember feeling that YV had ended abruptly and thinking "It's only 100 minutes?" Perhaps its brevity is a blessing? It also takes a few historical liberties, but that usually goes without saying.

Seeking Amy said...

A Serious Man is the best film i've seen of the year so far (although there's tons I haven't seen yet), go see it.

I caught up on An Education on Friday, and while I think it's very good, i'm a little surprised about how well it's received. Totally rooting for Mulligan though.

Dom said...

I've actually seen My Son, My Son... I like to call it simultaneously awful and awesome. Curious to see what you'll say.

On that same note, I've also just seen Bad Lieutenant which I completely adored though I'm sure it'll be polarizing. If there is any justice in the world, Nic Cage will get an Oscar nod, though I'd settle for some recognition by the HFPA.

Check out Drag Me to Hell and Adventureland for some good old Saturday night DVD entertainment. Also didn't hate The Proposal but that's all I'm giving it.

And I will never show Ramin Bahrani any support. The man is a douche.

I'm very ready to see A Single Man, Nine, Women in Trouble and The Lovely Bones.

Richter Scale said...

Go see A Serious Man, ASAP!!!!!! Amazing movie. I remember you loved No Country for Old Men, so this should be right up your alley (it's the Coen Brothers, do you need any other reason to go?)


This is going to sound weird but you know why i haven't yet seen A SERIOUS MAN? because you people keep saying "the coen bros best" and I just find that so impossible to believe (since FARGO, NO COUNTRY and RAISING ARIZONA are three of the best movies of the past 30 years) that i'm like ...EWWWWW -- calm down! ;)

i'm kidding.

sort of.

dom !!! what did Bahrani do to you? But even if he is a meanie, if we didn't see movies directed by men who weren't so nice in real life we would deprive ourselves of LOTS of great movies.

I seriously need to get going on my DVD watching. it's crazazy that i am this far behind and it's november something.

Cory Rivard said...

I saw Coco Before Chanel last night... and I must warn you... due to your hatred for stereotypical biopics, this may cause your body to deteriorate. I want to buy my niece a paint-by-numbers biopic set... they seem to be all the rage this season.

Matt said...

I didn't care for A Serious Man, even though I love the Coens. However, I seem to be in the minority. Out of those movies you mentioned, I'd check out Zombieland and In the Loop, obviously for different reasons.

Lev Lewis said...

"A Serious Man" is definitely not the Coen Brothers' best. How people can put it on the level of "Blood Simple", "Raising Arizona", "Barton Fink", "Fargo", "The Big Lebowski", "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "No Country For Old Men" is something I don't think I'll ever understand.

Dom said...


Ramin actually teaches at my school and we had a slight run in. The man's ego is out of control and the way he teaches... Well basically if you don't adhere to his methods, your work is worthless.

So I get your point, but I'll avoid his stuff anyway. Plus I fell asleep watching Goodbye Solo, though that's probably just me :)

Kevin D. said...

Rent "Sin Nombre" asap. It's a surprisingly incredible (and pleasantly short) film. I also LOVED "Drag Me to Hell". And thought "Summer Hours" was delightful in its own little way, without knocking me out like the majority of french films have been recently.
I like "Two Lovers" less than most, but could see the positive aspects, a wonderful Phoenix performance particularly. And I saw "A Serious Man" last night, it's confusing, funny, depressing, and simply so Coen-esque that I naturally loved it.

josh said...

I just saw the trailer for a single man. it actually reminds me of an almodovar film. Im really looking forward to avatar because whenever james cameron makes a film it is one of a kind. after hearing the buzz on jeff bridges in crazy heart, im interested. other than that you have to se a serious man, i don't say it is the coen's best, but i say it is up there. it was one of those movies only they could do.

Seeking Amy said...

Nathaniel, while I loved A Serious Man, I still think it's below Fargo and No Country for Old Men. But is only below those two in my opinion, and definitely A grade top tier work. I didn't like Burn After Reading so its a return to form (for me). It's definitely their strangest (but most mature) film to date if you ask me.

Caden Cotard said...

A Serious Man is a must-see, though I agree with other commenters that it's not the Coen bros' best-ever. Also The September Issue will not be an awards contender but is surprisingly great and hilarious. I thought Ponyo was a big disappointment, personally -- more of a kids movie than I was expecting. And I know that sounds dumb seeing as it's a cartoon, but I was hoping for something more Mononoke-ish.

cinemadventurer said...

Definitely see Drag Me to Hell. It's really a lot of fun. I also enjoyed Adventureland. It felt very much like an 80s romantic comedy/teen angst combo (and it takes place in the 80s!).

Rebecca said...

Sad to say that I think the only movies you listed that I have seen are 'A Serious Man' and 'In the Loop' both of which I loved and wanted to go back and watch again immediately. I wouldn't say that 'A Serious Man' is the Coen Bros. best, but it is definitely in the top tier of their work, and on top of the last two years they are on a really impressive streak. It got the tone just right for me, dealing with serious themes but never failing to see the weirdness and humor in there.

Flosh said...

not sure if you've seen this, but since it's not on the list i'd recommend checking out Still Walking while you're getting caught up. it's a great movie.

Ben said...

A Serious Man! I just saw it Friday and it is my favorite of the year so far. Even if it's not one of your favorite Coens, I think you will enjoy it.

I also loved Goodbye Solo (probably my third best of the year so far).

Glendon said...

In The Loop was pure hilarity.

Glendon said...

And has Pontypool been released in the States yet?

Murtada said...

Nine was my most must see movie. But since I saw the trailer for A Single Man this weekend, it has jumped up to my number 1.

Arkaan said...

The reason I haven't seen A Serious Man? I've heard more than one person compare it to Synecdoche, New York (Nick Davis' rave review doesn't help, cause I know he loved the earlier flick).

Anne McD said...

Drag Me to Hell is really really really fun.

In the Loop is funny in the moment, but after it's over it's very so what?.

Goodbye Solo bored me to death.

Skip The Proposal, it had potential and the leads do a good acting job, but the story completely goes up in flames in the third act, it's ridiculous.

Two Lovers also had potential but I didn't think it went to any interesting places which it could have and been really good.

I saw The Box today and am still in a state of shock. It is NOTHING like the trailer suggests. It is so weird but it manages to hold itself together. Can't say I'm surprised by bad reviews and miserable box office but those are really a shame since I think people who don't mind seeing something bizarre will appreciate what I think is close to a masterpiece. Consider going to see it.

Glenn Dunks said...

Coco avant Chanel is only good to see for the costumes and the score (both of which could be Oscar nominees). The Young Victoria is worth it only for the costumes. What a dull, lifeless movie! Even Emily Blunt is boring.

I don't think Observe and Report is your sorta movie, Nathaniel, but ya never know...

The September Issue can be bypassed, it doesn't do enough with its enviable position to make it worth it, really.

Why would you wanna put yourself through The Soloist?

You MUST see Fish Tank whenever it comes out. Have you seen Paranormal Activity? The Boys are Back was surprisingly good, I thought. Another feather in Greig Fraser's cap as the year's breakout cinematographer.

Tyson said...

Nathaniel, watch "The Maid" is a great little film with a spectacular central performance that an actressexual like you will like(or hopefully love)

Robert said...

Drag Me To Hell is a must for a self-proclaimed actress-sexual. Alison Lohman is fantastic in it (considering it's a campy over the top horror film) and Adrianna Barazza steals the demon communication sequence without leaving teethmarks on the set. It's a great shame her part isn't larger; she'd be a lock for my supporting actress line-up with more screen time.

Ponyo's really good, too. It's a shame that the Academy says there aren't enough animated films for five nominees, as I think that means Ponyo and Coraline are going to be left out (Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox feel right with three nominees).

I'm seeing Coco Before Chanel tomorrow (I think) so I can't speak for Tautou's performance and the appropriate level of outrage when she's not nominated at the Oscars again yet. I might be a little biased, but she's already made my line-up thrice: Amelie; He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not; and A Very Long Engagement.

M said...

Precious and Lovely Bones are the films I want to see.

Jim T said...

Speaking of anticipating films, Paltrow will play Nicole's wife in the Danish Girl.

I need to love Gwyneth again. Here is my chance. :)

Anonymous said...

Still need to see Julia, Partir, Bright Star and the Countess.

Rick said...

Just saw "A Serious MAn" today... although it was an engaging movie, I found it NOT one of the Cohen Bros. best movies... if it were not for the end of the movie, I would have forgotten about already!!!!

Danny King said...

In my opinion, A Serious Man, Adventureland, Two Lovers, and Drag Me To Hell are all worthy of top ten list consideration.

Robert said...

Adventureland is great! Kristen Steward actually shows that she could be a decent actress. And so is Ponyo, but I'm obsessed with Miyazaki, so I'm sort of biased.

I really want to see Coco Avant Chanel, I keep seeing it on the marquee at the Paris Theater in Manhattan but haven't gone to see it.

Glenn Dunks said...

Why can't I gather any enthusiasm whatsoever about A Serious Man. None. Not a single bit except for the "it's a Coen Bros movie" bit. I don't even want to spend money on it because I just have this feeling I'm not going to like it.

Henry said...

Adventureland is so great.

Just watched the trailer for Up in The Air and I just got excited about it. It looks and sounds good.

Not sure about The Road.

cal roth said...

I won't respect your Film Bitch Awards nominations for Best Actor if you don't see Joaquin Phoenix's amazing performance in Two Lovers. His best turn ever.

Gwyneth Paltrow is also very very good, in a John Cassavetes way. And Vinessa Shaw, too.

Too bad only the French can see how great James Gray is. He's like the new Clint Eastwood, lol.

Anonymous said...

You must see RIGHT NOW Two lovers and In the loop. Two lovers because is a masterpiece (and Gywneth Paltrow is extraordinary) and In the loop because will be nominated for Original Screenplay.

DN said...

My two most anticipated movies are the same as yours!!

I´m longing to see Nine and A single Man, they look AMAZING!

I´m also dying to see Bright Star and Where the Wild Things Are, I live in Spain and we´re reaaaally slow in film premieres.

By the way, I adore your website, I can´t go to sleep without entering in your website twenty times a day more or less... Oh! And we (my boyfriend and I)have just started a new blog and we wanted to make a top ten of our most anticipated movies too!!! We were discussing it yesterday and you have had the same idea! We think we´ll put it this thursday, If you want to take a look, if someone wants to take a look (it has just started and it´s very lonely...) the blog is:

Sorry for my English!!!

BeRightBack said...

For God's sake, man, pull yourself together and see Tokyo Sonata already. It is fantastic and odder than the reviews/trailer make it seem, and has one of the most effective and memorable last scenes ever.

NicksFlickPicks said...

@Arkaan: I hated A Serious Man, so I'm not guilty. That other Nick's Pix person (who, along with Nick Duval of the Flick Pick Monster, seems intent on muddying all waters between our respective sites) was the source of the rave that Nathaniel linked.

@Nathaniel: Get yourself to The Maid!! Among the rentables, I think you'll love Summer Hours and Drag Me to Hell, which I also thought were great. You'll probably relish In the Loop, too. I don't see you being all that nuts for The Limits of Control, though I loved it as much as Krauthammer did. I also loved Thirst but it's such a bizarre movie that it's almost impossible for me to predict other people's reactions to it. I think you'd be a big fan, but I'm not sure when it's out on DVD?

Joseph said...

More support for Two Lovers (still the best film I've seen from '09), A Serious Man, In the Loop, and Drag Me to Hell. All are great, and unless there is an onslaught of amazing films in the coming weeks, they should all easily make my top 10 of the year.
Maybe you could do a tally...

Nick M. said...

Dear Nathaniel,

Please see Summer Hours, 35 Shots of Rum, $9.99,Tokyo Sonata, Two Lovers and The Maid pronto.

Nick M.

Bill_the_Bear said...

Quick notes on the ones I've seen which you haven't:

A SERIOUS MAN: Worth seeing, but not all that great.

IN THE LOOP: Must-see! Very funny!

TWO LOVERS: One.Of.The.Best.Films.Of.The.Year!!

THE SOLOIST: Very overwrought; give this one a miss.

THE LIMITS OF CONTROL: Superior artflick. I liked it enough to see it twice.

SUMMER HOURS: Must-see; quiet, but it grows on you.

EASY VIRTUE: Amusing, but maybe you could skip it, although Scott-Thomas and Firth were great fun to watch.

THE PROPOSAL: Only if you're in lust with Ryan Reynolds, and want to see Sandra Bullock looking botoxed within an inch of her life.


COCO BEFORE CHANEL: Beautiful to look at; nice score; otherwise not great.

Just in case you haven't seen them, I would also recommend:

LEMON TREE: Hiam Abass is fantastic!!!!!

O'HORTEN: Quirky Norwegian black comedy; one of my favourites of 2009.

You did see HUMPDAY, didn't you? If simply must see it.


bill the bear I have seen Humpday yes. i will take all these things into consideration.

TWO LOVERS especially seems to be a crowd favorite here.

gabrieloak said...

I know it sounds like blasphemy but I think Me and Orson Welles is a better movie than Police, Adjective. The latter would have worked for me if it had been cut by about 20 minutes. It is so slow....
Me and Orson Welles has its flaws but I loved most of the cast, even Efron, and Christian McKay is wonderful. And there are so few movies about the world of theater anymore, I was hooked.

gabrieloak said...

A Single Man...sublime

A Serious Man...get me out of the theater already.

João Daniel said...

Two Lovers is amazing, one of the best pics of the year so far.

Arkaan said...

Nick Davis, my bad. Nathaniel, in the future, you're only allowed to link to Nick Davis of the Nicks. Thanks in advance :D

Amir said...

a serious man, goodbye solo, zombieland, in the loop, two lovers.

roughly in the order of how good they are. you should really watch these.

p.s. i'm REALLY REALLY surprised how michael stuhlbarg is not getting any buzz for that performance. it's so real and moving.

gabrieloak said...

For the poster who was bored by Goodbye Solo I am saddened by your reaction.

Adventureland, one of those gems that deserved so much better this year.

notanotherblog said...

Advice for Police: Adjective - save your money. The movie was good in paper, but too slow paced to be digestible.

And there's a trailer for A Single Man already? *shrieks!


@Arkaan -- if you count the number of times i've linked to each Nick i think you'll find that it's only like i've ever linked to Nick Davis.

@ Nick (Davis) -- love you long time.

@Amir -- i'm not sold on Stuhlbarg. Haven't really ever dug him on stage. but i'll keep an open mind.

Nick M. said...

I'll step in to defend Police, Adjective, which--aside from Everyone Else--was the best film I saw at the NYFF. Its pace is deliberately slow, sure, but inspired. Since when are cinephiles up-in-arms about a sharply constructed film about viewing and observation?

Someone at the screening was awfully rude, asking the director, Porumboiu, why he insisted on making the audience sit through moments where nothing was happening. Porumboiu's curt answer was priceless, and in line with my own belief: "When the camera is on, there's always something happening."

NicksFlickPicks said...

That is a genius retort. I am stealing it for my classroom.

Tyler said...

My two favorites for the year:


See them.

Andrew said...

Can’t wait to see Jude Law in the Sherlock movie, and I see he is currently featured in an online game they have made to tie in with the film.

Movie only opens in December, so I’m going to get my fix there in the meantime!