10. Twelve Years A Slave
Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael K. Williams, plus both newcomer actors from this year’s Beasts of the Southern Wild. Do I even need to go on? This movie could be about putting up wallpaper and I’d still see it for this cast. Plus, Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) is directing and while I failed to see the cinematic appeal of Hunger, I was wildly impressed with what he did with his actors and his camera in Shame. And while this new onslaught of slavery-era movies are bombarding us right now, with McQueen behind the scenes, you can be sure it won’t be a conventional period piece by any means at all.
9. August: Osage County
More Cumberbatch, plus McGregor, Steep, Julia Roberts and more more more in an adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer and Tony award winning play about a dysfunctional family in Oklahoma. The action takes place over the course of several weeks and only within their large country home and I really really really want the film to stay in keeping with the setting. I’m not sure what John Wells will do with the material, but since he’s coming from Shameless I feel good about his ability to deal with the black comedy that comes from a messy family with a lot of members.
8. Trance [watch the trailer]
Danny Boyle’s post-Olympics follow up is about an art auctioneer who partners up with a hypnotherapist in order to locate a lost painting because he’s gotten mixed up with criminal art thieves? I don’t know either, but I love pretty much anything Boyle does, and I love that he does any and everything. In a culture where the auteur is king, Boyle’s eclectic choices, which cover an expanse of stories and genres make him one of the most interesting directors working today. And while Rosario Dawson stars (meh), she’s accompanied by James McAvoy (YAY) and Vincent Cassel who makes any movie better.
Alfonso Cuaron hasn’t made a movie in 7 years! And seeing as he made the better-with-age-possibly-best-of-2006 Children of Men, this follow up is automatically on my list. And it’s a space movie with exactly two people to comprise the cast, Clooney and Bullock. While I love both, their A-list statuses don’t immediately seem conducive to what I imagine will be a claustrophobic, psychological movie with intense and complex emotions. But that’s also what intrigues me.
Disclaimer: I really really love von Trier. And he teams up once again with his fave, Charlotte Gainsbourg for a provocatively named film about a woman who recounts her erotic experiences with a man who has saved her from a beating. That’s all anyone knows, except that Shia LaBeouf, who also stars, has said publicly that he’s okay with having real sex on camera if need be. Controversyyyyyy get at me!
5. Only God Forgives
Nicholas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling took the cinema world by storm in 2011 with the stylistic yet brutal and somehow beautiful Drive, and they’re teaming up again this year. The first image features a bruised and battered Gosling, and the description is that a gangster and police lieutenant settle their differences in a Thai boxing ring. Is it me or are the movies of 2013 the strangest? I’m not complaining though.
4. Much Ado About Nothing
Joss Whedon, having recently become one of the most successful directors ever, is coming out with his adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy and cast a slew of his television alums. It’s going to be so great. So so great. Did I mention Buffy is my favorite television show of all time? Well it is, and I love that Joss is still doing whatever the hell he wants, how he wants to do it, and that his follow up to The Avengers is Shakespeare with old television actors. Be still my heart.
3. Before Midnight
Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy gets its third and final (?) installment this year, and if you haven’t seen this beautiful, poetic, gorgeously simple set of films you better get to it. Each takes place in a day, in a European city, where a romance of words and companionship plays out. Before Sunset ended ambiguously, and we don’t know where they’ll pick up. Have they been together? Have they been apart? Whatever the circumstances, it doesn’t matter, I could listen to the sophisticated, secretly sexy dialogue between them for years and years.
2. The Great Gatsby [watch the trailer]
To tell you the truth, I’m equal parts terrified and excited for this one. I’m a Baz fan, but Australia was a disaster. I’m a Gatsby fan, and why why why with the 3D? I’m a Jay-Z fan, but will the soundtrack work with a 1920s setting? Will Carey Mulligan’s soulful presence hinder Daisy’s ditsy exterior? Will Leonardo DiCaprio be able to get past being Leonardo DiCaprio? I can go on. But despite all of that, my anticipation grows and grows and imagine, if it’s really good, it’s going to be epic.
1. Stoker [watch the trailer]
As probably the first 2012 release I’ll see, Stoker is also my most anticipated. Maybe because there’s already a trailer? But perhaps because famed Korean director Chan woo Park’s English language debut seems at once stylish, moody, thrilling and creepy. And to tell you the truth, I really can’t resist an action movie with bold, stylish originality. It’s kind of my niche genre favorite. I don’t know how to describe it except that Hanna was my favorite movie of 2011. Plus Kidman going for rough and raw over grace and polish wins me over every time, Mia Wasikowska seems to be playing into her waif typecasting and then turning it on its head, and Matthew Goode is both seductive and chillingly creepy. Family hitman drama? I don’t really know I’m just guessing and I will be there opening night to find out.