Sunday, February 01, 2009

Top 25 Most Anticipated 2009 Releases: Part Two [10-1]

10. Adoration
Director: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Scott Speedman
Release: May
Sony Classics

I adore The Sweet Hereafter and so anything by Egoyan I await with baited breath. Scott Speedman in the lead is hardly assuring but he was a convincing victim in The Strangers. I hope it's released somewhere in my vicinity.


9. Up
Release: May
Walt Disney

Pixar have reached a rather unprecedented level of consistency, and have earned our attention for years to come. I found Ratatouille and Cars both a tad disappointing (if endearing), but let's hope that this is a winner like last year's space adventure.


8. Antichrist
Director: Lars Von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Release Date: Autumn

Try to ignore that the plot sounds a little like Godsend. Fascinatingly Dafoe and Gainsbourg are the only cast members listed. Von Trier's Manderlay has waned considerably in my mind and this seems like a welcome change of scenery.


The Limits of Control
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt
Release: May
Focus Features

A fascinating, brilliant quartet of Actors. Jim Jarmusch going back to Ghost Dog-style? Tilda Swinton in a leadish role?


6. The Box
Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella
Release Date: November
Warner Bros

Richard Kelly is nothing if not audacious. This story of a couple who find a box that grants them wealth, only for its opening to become fatal for someone they do not know sounds crazy but really fun, and I'm intrigued as to how well Diaz and Marsden will work as a couple.

5. Nine
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren, Marion Cotillard, Fergie
Release Date: December
The Weinstein Co.

I liked Federico Fellini's 8 1/2. This musical based upon it features the best collection of Actors in a film this year (20+ Oscar nominations between them, 6 wins) and a good director -- even if he totally owes me after ruining a promising novel in 2006.


The Countess
Director: Julie Delpy
Starring: Julie Delpy, William Hurt, Anamaria Marinca
Release: TBA

Doesn't this character (a Hungarian 16th-century countess who bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth) seem a juicy kind of wonderful? Delpy's debut directorial effort, 2 Days in Paris was great, and I'll love her forever for being Celine. Also love Bill Hurt, and I'm interested to see how Marinca will follow up her excellent performance last year.


3. Splice
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley
Release Date: September
Senator Film

Vincenzo Natali's 1997 sci-fi/horror Cube is brilliant. Adrien Brody is brilliant. Sarah Polley is brilliant. Sci-fi/spirituality (if done well) is brilliant. I can't wait until September.


The Tree of Life
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Fiona Shaw
Release Date: TBA

The plotline doesn't sound enthralling but the same could be said for Malick's Thin Red Line and New World, both of which are not my cup of tea in essence but captivating in execution. The master returns.

1. Avatar
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana
Release Date: December
20th Century Fox

This does seem like the year Science Fiction comes back. I left out a ton of movies in this countdown (Moon, Star Trek, Eden Log, Pandorum, The Surrogates) that fit into that ilk, though I know that it's a notoriously difficult genre to do well. Many feel that Steven Spielberg is the master of the blockbuster, but in my eyes it's this man -- Terminator 2, Aliens, True Lies, Titanic -- nobody does it better. The last time Cameron spent $200m on a film it swept the world Oscars world, and I don't see any reason why this can't be the decade's best.

No comments: