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Fall/Winter Movie Preview 2011

September 1, 2011

As the summer blockbuster season grinds to a close with very few films making a lasting impact, it is time to look forward to the future and a new pack of awards-bait movies that linger on the horizon.  Here are 5 on my radar.

5.) Drive – September 16th

This film won the Director’s Prize at Cannes – no small feat for a movie that has been through so many revisions it could make a person’s head spin.  Loosely about a stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) whose life begins to mirror his art, Drive has strong leads in Gosling and my favorite young actress Carey Mulligan (who deserves to have the career Keira Knightley can only dream of achieving).  Drive is a crime caper that’s said to be surprisingly introspective.  Anytime anyone can surprise me at the movies, I’m all for it.

4.) 50/50 –September 30th

Based on a true story from actor/screenwriter Seth Rogen’s  own life, 50/50 is a buddy comedy about dealing with the fallout from cancer at an early age.  While it might be a surprising choice for comedy gold, it stars the always interesting Joesph Gordon Levitt in the lead role, with Rogen playing a version of himself.   Also on board are Anna Kendrick and Angelica Huston.  The preview is genuinely touching and intriguing, so here’s hoping it lives up to its initial promise.

3.) J. Edgar – November 9th

Clint Eastwood takes the helm as director in this biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role.  DiCaprio has proved he can tackle larger than life personas in The Aviator, but tackling a man as genuinely unlikable as Hoover may be a stretch.  Based on his performance as the same character in Public Enemies, I would have cast Billy Crudup, who captured Hoover’s icy control to a tee.  Still, with a talented director known for successful epics and a star as magnetic as DiCaprio, it should be an interesting film.

2.) Hugo – November 23rd

Martin Scorsese’s next film is a departure into 3-D territory, telling the story of the title character’s journey to find the creator of a broken down automaton and the impact when he encounters the genius of the man behind the dream (Ben Kingsley playing real-life filmmaker and visionary Georges Melies).  Scorsese’s films rarely disappoint, since his eye for detail and focus on character dynamics are second to none.  The film also stars Chloe Grace Moretz, who was so chilling and fascinating in Let Me In.

1.) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – December 16th

Robert Downey, Jr. is back in the title role as Holmes finally comes face to face with arch-nemesis Moriarty in the much-anticipated sequel to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes.  This time, the female lead is played by Noomi Rapace, although I’m sure the emphasis will remain on the eternally amusing bromance between Holmes and his ever-faithful companion Dr. Watson (Jude Law).  Although the original film had its screenplay flaws, it was still one of the most enjoyable films of the year thanks to incredible art direction and spot-on performances by all the leads.  Here’s hoping the sequel proves to be more like The Godfather, Part II and less like The Hangover Part II

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