Monday, February 11, 2008

"We Can't Wait" for 2008

Tonight and for the whole week, this blog will be counting down 15 heavily anticipated upcoming movies. 'Anticipated by whom?' By my specially assembled panel of bloggers that's who. This includes MaryAnn (Flick Filosopher), Glenn (Stale Popcorn), Gabriel (ModFab) and Joe (Low Resolution) plus yours truly. We voted, chatted, compiled... and the following films, which were heavily anticipate by me, did not make the list. I thought I'd say a word or four about my (hopefully) beloved "orphans" --last year when I did this two of my three orphans did not come out (Savage Grace w/ Julianne Moore & the Iraq soldiers drama Stop-Loss). The other one I breathlessly awaited was 30 Days of Night and I ended up hating it. So... ya never know.

The Countess
I missed Julie Delpy’s Two Days in Paris for inexplicable reasons but I’m already on board with her as a complete creative talent. This woman composes, sings, writes, acts. No surprise that she can direct, too. Apparently she’s not one to rest on her laurels or let daunting genre demands dissuade her. She's moved straight from the talky romantic realm for which she’s best known (thanks to the brilliant Before... films) to a period epic for her next film, The Countess which is the story of Erzebet Bathory a member of the famous 16th century Hungarian family. Her character is infamous for bathing in the blood of virgins. Or so the legend goes… Should be an interesting film and the director/writer/actress has assembled a rich ensemble (William Hurt, Ethan Hawke, Daniel Bruhl, Radha Mitchell, Vincent Gallo) to orbit her frightening lead role as the bloody noblewoman. Filming has recently started I believe. Could be 2009. Could be late this year.

Dancing with Shiva, the new Jonathan Demme film is billed at IMDB as "a contemporary drama with an aggressive sense of humor" That sounds just about right if you think long and with some nostalgia on Demme's earlier work. Or maybe it's the other way around "contemporary comedies with an aggressive sense of drama" . Anyway, this one is about an ex-model and recovering addict returning to see her family for her sister's wedding.

Anne Hathaway is the star and I can't wait to see her funneled through Demme's vision. He was once an important director for actresses who were looking to step it up. He directed Melanie Griffith's best work in Something Wild (1986). He gave Michelle Pfeiffer one of her best roles in Married to the Mob (1988), and she returned the favor: was she ever looser or funnier in a comedy? And before Demme started fumbling his career with unneccessary remakes, he won the Oscar directing Jodie Foster to her second statuette for The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Will he work his oldschool actressy magic with Hathaway? If he does expect her star to gain even more luster.

The List which is also known as “Untitled Hugh Jackman Project” which is also known as The Tourist involves a man (Ewan McGregor) who is introduced to a mysterious sex club by a friend (Hugh Jackman). We wish it were also known as The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Businessmen in Lust. But alas... the cast also includes the delicious Maggie Q and the talented Michelle Williams not to mention Lisa Gay Hamilton and Natasha Henstridge so those names should dispel any instant inappropriate hopes that Jackman and MacGregor will do more than sign up together. Sorry guys (and girls who are into that sort of thing). I haven't even watched the trailer because I like to pretend that this movie is something that it's probably not at all.

Anyway, once they're on the list there’s some sort of disappearance and crime. Mysterious sex clubs with A list stars being not so plentiful as say, the buddy comedy, this will remind us (in vague ways) of Eyes Wide Shut. Hopefully there will be several moments as sexy as Nicole Kidman’s black slip undressing in the former –a film I don’t at all care for (I know it has several fans among TFE readers). But while we’re going there... hopefully first time direct Marcel Langenegger will not superimpose CGI silhouettes over naughty bits. We’ve all seen the MacGregor goods before, you know. Why hide them now? And furthermore, a plea to Hollywood: please don’t make movies about sex or that take place in sexually charged environments unless you feel comfortable doing so. It shows. If you’re not feeling it, leave it to the indies and to France. They’ll pick up the slack.

<-- Sister Aloysius prays for your wicked soul if you haven't been reading the "we can't wait" countdown #1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans


Anonymous said...

I just attempted to watch the List trailer (didn't manage the whole thing.) the only one I found online is the Russian trailer. And it's dubbed - but they don't bother to overdub the vocals, the voice actors just talk over the original voicetrack, so you hear the English weaving in and out of the Russian. It's like when you're listening to a foreign dignitary on the news and the voice of an interpretr at the same time. it's sort of unintentionally hilarious.

But it doesn't give me much hope for the film.


Anonymous said...

Ohmygod! Rent Two Days in Paris! Now! Best comedy of the year: forget Juno, Knocked Up or Superbad, it's this little auteurly gem. Nathaniel, you will love it (for I know you love Woody Allen like me).

par3182 said...

last year's list makes for interesting reading twelve months later - evening at #4? who knew?


i know. crazy right?

Boyd said...

Just to frustrate all the ones in the panel who did not consider themselves to be looking forward to The Countess: Anamaria Marinca (!!!) has been cast opposite Delpy. So you guys might want to reconsider....

Ali Arikan said...

You didn't miss anything by missing Two Days in Paris. Pure piffle.

Anonymous said...

I like Glenn's orphans best. 9, Happening and The Reader would make my personal list as well. I am rather surprised The Reader missed the common Top 15, actually.