Since 2013’s been going really slow for me (I still haven’t seen anything this year), and seeing as how my Bond retrospective has finally reached its end, I thought I’d take this time to look ahead, and talk about my top ten most anticipated movies of the year. There are plenty being released that have caught my eye, and plenty that look quite exceptional and entertaining. On the whole, 2012 was a very good year, but 2013 has the potential to be even better, with a lot of juicy projects, highly anticipated sequels, and plenty of talent pre-existing, and yet to be discovered. We don’t even know if many of the movies we’re looking forward to will be any good (For instance, I was excited to see The Host, and now I’m thinking twice about that), but whether they’re disappointing, or whether they exceed expectations, I still can’t wait to see them.
So, here are my top ten most anticipated movies of the year. If there are any you’re looking forward to that aren’t on here, it means I either don’t know they exist, that I’m excited for them, but not enough to put them on here, or that they don’t interest me at all (I’m tempted to include The Counselor in the latter category).
It’s no secret. I’m a huge fan of Terrence Malick. He’s directed some fantastic movies, including one of my all time favorites, The Thin Red Line. I previously brought this one up in two previous posts last year, and when the film finally got a distributor behind it, I couldn’t wait. But, much like Malick’s previous films, this one is divisive. Critics either love this movie, or hate it. I’m hoping I’ll be part of the former, which includes legendary critic Roger Ebert (may he rest in peace), as this was the final review he’d ever written.
Neill Blomkamp took off after District 9 (which I loved) came out, and he’s finally back with his sophomore project Elysium, which will star the likes of Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. I’m not really sure what the film is even about, but I intend to keep it that way. When I first saw District 9, I didn’t look up on it a whole lot, so I didn’t know what to expect from it, and I ended up going nuts for it. I’m trying to recreate that secrecy once more, and I hope I’ll enjoy this movie as much.
This film is directed by Susanne Bier, and based on the novel by Ron Rash. I’ve never gotten around to much of Bier’s works, and I’m not at all familiar with the novel, so why am I anticipating it so much? One reason: Jennifer Lawrence. She’s fresh off an Oscar win for her incredible performance in Silver Linings Playbook, she’s teaming up with Bradley Cooper again, and she looks to have another stellar year (I’m also excited for ABSCAM and Catching Fire), and I hope she delivers another excellent performance.
7. Saving Mr. Banks
Walt Disney is one of the most iconic figures in history, and I’ve always wanted to see a biopic about him. I’ve finally gotten my wish. The film will star Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and Jason Schwartzman. That sounds great. But I wonder if the film will make Disney look too angelic? When I wanted to see a Disney biopic, I was hoping to get one that would also cover his vices, such as his ruthless work habits, and his chain smoking. I don’t know if I’m gonna get the full Lincoln character study I want, but I’m still excited anyway.
6. The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese is a great director. The Departed is one of my favorite movies ever. And with his next movie, he’s working with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, and Jon Bernthal, and is directing a script written by Terence Winter, the creator of one of my all time favorite TV shows, Boardwalk Empire. Need I say more? Moving on…
5. The Bling Ring
I hold the unpopular opinion of thinking Sofia Coppola’s a better director than her father, Francis. I really love her movies, especially Lost in Translation, and this looks no less great than I expect from her. The premise of this movie sounds absolutely fascinating, and with a talented young cast including Taissa Farmiga (younger sister of Vera Farmiga) and Emma Watson involved, this just hits all the right notes for what I expect from Coppola, and I can’t wait to see this.
4. The Place Beyond the Pines
I’ve talked about this movie before, when I was highly anticipating it after its reception at the Toronto International Film Festival (Still haven't seen Blue Valentine since then), and though my excitement has sobered quite a bit, I’m still looking very forward to it. The cast includes Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Ben Mendelsohn, all of whom I love as actors, and the reception that this movie has received just makes me itch even more. If I don’t see it in theaters, I’ll be checking it out on DVD.
This film had been floating in development and distribution limbo for years, but this October, we’re finally going to see it. It’s directed by Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron, it stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, but what most excites me is to see the cinematography of this movie. The film is shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, DP of Children of Men (the best cinematography of the 00-09 decade), and The Tree of Life. I’m ecstatic thinking about what he’s planned to do for this movie.
2. Side Effects
I never saw this movie in theaters. I wanted to wait for a DVD release, but I just could never forget about this one. I’m not the biggest fan of Steven Soderbergh’s most recent films, but seeing as how this film (apparently his last theatrical release) is his attempt at a psychological thriller, and has a cast which includes Jude Law and Rooney Mara (Honestly, I can’t pass up one of her movies), there’s really no way I can avoid it. Critics really liked this movie, and I’m hoping I will too. It WAS my most anticipated of the year. But then I found out about…
Oh, how this movie is so far and away my most highly anticipated release of the year, mainly for two reasons. It’s directed by Asghar Farhadi, director of the exceptional Iranian drama A Separation, and it stars Berenice Bejo, whom I adored to the ends of the earth in The Artist. The thing that’s interesting about this one is that no one’s entirely sure of what it’s about yet. Most of what we know is that Bejo plays a married woman whose husband leaves her and her children to go home to Iran, falling in love with a French man in the meantime. Elements of the plot have been kept in secrecy, but you know what, that just makes me all the more fascinated. It sounds like compelling, gripping drama, and with the acting that is bound to deliver in spades, it’s simply too much for me to pass up. I can’t wait!
Honorable Mentions: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, ABSCAM, Inside Llewyn Davis, Frozen