March 3, 2009

On their way in '09

The Oscars and Sundance are over, so it’s time to start really getting revved up for the year in movies. The industry has fully recovered from the strike, and the stream of releases will be steady. Some will look familiar (sequels, book adaptations, remakes). Some will sound familiar (Perhaps you’ve seen a romantic comedy before?). A few will even be all new. Over the next few days, I’ll be highlighting those I’m looking forward to, those I’m looking forward to hating on, and everything in between.

First up – what I really can’t wait for:
  • Sunshine Cleaning (March 27) – I cry at this preview every time. And then laugh out loud when Emily Blunt falls on the stained mattress. Heartwarming story about a quirky family, starring Amy Adams and featuring the totally underrated Steve Zahn? (I’m not even being sarcastic about that last part). Can’t wait.

  • 17 Again (April 17) – I have been waiting for this movie for almost 6 months now. I dare you to watch the preview and feel differently.

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 17) – This is a no brainer. Warner Brothers – the big meanies – pulled this from their 2008 schedule, because, due to the strike, they were missing a big summer blockbuster. The second to last book (for the movie versions, the 7th and final book is being divided in two), this one gets even darker, and is being directed by David Yates, who did the 'Order of the Phoenix.' I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

  • Away We Go (June 5)– I hadn’t heard of this movie until this morning, and the plot description left me wanting: A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. But, it’s directed by Sam Mendes, stars John Krasinski and was written by…Dave Eggers?!? I’m there.

  • (500) Days of Summer (July 17) – Not even accounting for her acting choices, with an album produced by M. Ward, and an engagement to Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel has done a pretty good job at proving she deserves the title Indie It Girl, and this movie should further cement it. Considered one of the best films at Sundance, the “offbeat romantic comedy” pairs her with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is the first-time directorial effort of a well-regarded music video helmer (think Spike Jonze but in the 2000s).

  • All Good Things (July 24) – The cast includes Ryan Gosling, Frank Langella, Kirsten Dunst, Philip Baker Hall and…Kristen Wiig? It’s the first feature film from the documentarian who brought us ‘Capturing the Friedmans’, and because it’s from the studio who released ‘The Visitor’ and ‘Milk’ in 2008, I’d expect it to be an early Oscar favorite.

  • Nine (November 27) – This one I’m really curious about. It’s a musical from the director of ‘Chicago’ and stars Daniel Day-Lewis (He replaced Javier Bardem. About both of them, I say: He sings?), as a famous film director struggling to find harmony, professionally and personally, with the women around him. Those women include: Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren and Kate Hudson. For those of you keeping track at home, that would mean every single cast member, save Kate Hudson, is an Oscar winner. She’s needed to up her game for a long (long) time now – could this be a career reboot for her?
Come back tomorrow for more on what's coming in 2009, including movies I completely intend to ignore (Hint: I didn't see 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' the first time around.)


alissa said...

"I'm just so hungry... [cheeze whiz] ... all the time."

I'm not a Zac Efron fan, but I do want to see that after watching the trailer.

Anonymous said...

With "Nine" forthcoming, would you say it's safe to say that the musical is back?

Kato said...

You make me feel so connected to the world, in a cozy, personal sort of way. Thank you for you and your cultural relevance.