As the summer comes to a close, I’ve chosen not to do a wrap-up (after all I didn’t see most of the second installments of the franchises that rolled out their thirds this year), but instead look forward to see what’s on the horizon for Oscar season 2007.
First off, the Yari Film Group will release Jake Paltrow’s film debut, The Good Night, starring his sister Gwyneth, Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Danny DeVito, Martin Freeman (BBC’s The Office), and most excitingly, Penélope Cruz’s first post-Volver role (I sure hope she keeps it up). Word on the street is that it’s a weird one, and to quote one of my friends, “the older I get, the less I become interested in ‘weird films’.”
Strand will have, in very limited release, Eytan Fox’s follow-up to his moderately successful Walk on Water, entitled The Bubble. The film deals with queer youth and politics, and unfortunately, does not star Walk on Water’s magnificent Lior Ashkenazi.
It seems like A History of Violence just came out, but David Cronenberg has a new one, starring Viggo Mortensen again and Naomi Watts, entitled Eastern Promises. Watts plays a midwife trying to solve the murder of a dead prostitute, though I suspect the similarities to Mulholland Drive end there.
The Accused 2, you say? I wish. Neil Jordan pairs up with Hollywood’s favorite closeted lesbian, Jodie Foster, with The Brave One, which sounds like a classier I Spit on Your Grave, as Foster enlists payback on some rapists. With a handful of pre-production big-budget features, Jordan needs to prove himself bankable with this film, which will be out September 14th.
By now, you’ve surely heard the controversy surrounding Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe. Revolution Studios still haven’t revealed whether Taymor’s original version of the Beatles musical will be playing across the country or lame-ass studio head Joe Roth’s edited version. The film stars Evan Rachel Wood and newcomer Jim Sturgess, as well as smaller roles from Salma Hayek, Bono, and Fay Grim’s James Urbaniak.
I never really cared for François Girard’s The Red Violin, but plenty of classical music and history buffs sure do love it. Girard’s first film since Violin will star Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley and will be titled Silk.
Ang Lee will follow his Oscar win for Brokeback Mountain with a Mandarin-language thriller starring Tony Leung and Joan Chen, entitled Lust, Caution. In other September news, Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited will be coming at the end of the month. Count me out.
The unexpected sequel of the year is no longer Fay Grim, but Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Shekhar Kapur’s continuation of Elizabeth. Cate Blanchett is back, and I’m sure, if nothing else, it’ll be really pretty.
Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider (All the Real Girls), and Kelli Garner (Bully) star in Lars and the Real Girl, a comedy that seems based on an HBO Real Sex episode. Gosling falls for a plastic girl he gets off the internet, and hilarity ensues. This could be really bad.
From the director of Hotel Rwanda, Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly, Mira Sorvino, and Mark Ruffalo plays the leads in Reservation Road about the death of a young child. Sounds like fun to me.
Things We Lost in the Fire is not a cinematic adaptation of the Low album of the same name; instead it’s After the Wedding’s Susanne Bier’s attempt at some Oscar juice. Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro, both previous Oscar winners who’ve done shit since then, will weep it up, I’m sure.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Michael Haneke’s Funny Games remake will be in limited release just before Halloween. I’ve talked about this before, so it’s pretty clear that no matter what Haneke is up to, this is my most anticipated release of the year.
Also according to the IMDb (I heard different reports prior), Richard Kelly’s abysmal Southland Tales will make its way, finally, to theatres on the 9th of November. No word yet to whether it’ll be the Cannes version, which was murdered by critics, or a new cut. Either way, Donnie Darko fans can finally rejoice.
Number two most anticipated film of the year: No Country for Old Men. The Coens’ latest has gotten across-the-board praise (though it left this year’s Cannes empty-handed). Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem are supposed to be fantastic. Meet me in line.
Noah Baumbach’s latest, Margot at the Wedding (which sounds like an Eric Rohmer title), will star Nicole Kidman and the always-wonderful and always-overlooked Jennifer Jason Leigh. Let’s hope he doesn’t fall face-first after his wonderful Squid and the Whale.
Another year, another Woody Allen movie. Cassandra’s Dream will take place in London, à la Match Point, and will not star Scarlett Johansson, thankfully (though she’s currently in the one he’s making for 2008). The cast includes Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Wilkinson.
Tim Burton’s long-awaited adaptation of the Broadway hit, Sweeney Todd, will hit theatres a week before Christmas. Unfortunately, his muse/soon-to-be-baby’s-momma Helena Bonham Carter will play the romantic lead opposite Johnny Depp.
Julian Scnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, starring Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Max von Sydow, Jean-Pierre Cassel (in one of his final roles), Isaac de Bankolé, and Emma de Caunes, will be out from Miramax just before Christmas as well (though I doubt it will spread wider until the new year). The film won a best screenplay award at this year’s Cannes.
Certainly more releases will pop up in the few months, so keep your eye out and let me know.