Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Excitement for Fall?

With school starting in just a few weeks I am channeling my stress into excitement for the fall season. 2011 has not been terribly kind with its summer films, and I am hoping that the last four months of the year will offer us great performances. It was around this time last year that talk about Natalie Portman's performance in Black Swan began and September brings us the Toronto International Film Festival, where The King's Speech won the Audience Prize before capturing the Academy Award.

Who knows what the rest of 2011 has in store for us, but here are eleven titles I am anxious to see, listed alphabetically:

Albert Nobbs
The film, starring Glenn Close as a woman in 19th-century Ireland who disguises herself to work as a butler. It is based on a short story by George Moore and also stars Mia Wasiskowska. It is directed by Rodrigo Garcia, whose previous feature Mother and Child was unfairly overlooked by most audiences.

A release date has so far not been set, but Albert Nobbs will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Based on Yasmina Reza's Tony-winning play God of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed Carnage stars Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly as parents who meet after their children get into a fight at school. I am unbelievably excited to see Winslet and Foster together in the same film!

Set to be released on November 25.

Steven Soderbergh's new thriller has a great cast, including Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard. Contagion deals with an airborne virus that kills within days and the ensuing panic within the medical community and society itself. I am hoping that this film is better than 1995's Outbreak, which starred Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman.

Set to be released on September 9.

I gave up on studying English after my first year of university, and I may not be as voiced or as interested in Shakespeare as some (Siobhan), but I am excited to see Ralph Fiennes' modern adaptation of the tragedy Coriolanus. Fiennes hasalready been getting praise for his performance since the film premiered at Berlin Film Festival in February.

Set to be released in December.

Ryan Gosling stars as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver. It is based on a novel by James Sallis and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who won the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Gosling is joined by Carey Mulligan and Christina Hendricks.

Set to be released September 16.

The Ides of March
Ryan Gosling continues a busy 2011 with the George Clooney-directed film The Ides of March. It is a political drama adapted from a 2008 play by Beau Willimon. The film follows the political campaign of a Democratic candidate and his cunning campaign manager. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

Set to be released October 7.

The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep is one of the most celebrated actresses on the planet and yet she has not won an Oscar since I have been alive. Is her turn as Margaret Thatcher the role that will win her first Oscar in nearly 30 years? It is slightly daring to use an American actor to play the role of a major British politician, but Streep has continuously demonstrated skill with accents. The Iron Lady also stars Jim Broadbent, as Thatcher's husband Denis.

Set to be released December 16.

Many of us have been waiting for Kirsten Dunst to have a career-defining performance. She won the Best Actress award at Cannes for Melancholia, Lars von Trier's science fiction drama. Von Trier's films have often been controversial and experimental and I anticipate Melancholia being just as unique. This film was shrouded in controversy when von Trier made jokes about Hitler at a Cannes press conference. The film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland.

Set to be released November 11.

The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito)
Like Woody Allen, I am always overeager to see Pedro Almodóvar's newest films. I was worried when he called The Skin I Live In a horror film, but he has gone on to say that it is a horror story without screams or frights." I am not quite sure what to make of that statement. The film stars Antonio Banderas, his first collaboration with Almodóvar in two decades.

Set to be released October 28.

Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy
Tomas Alfreson's adaptation of John le Carré's 1974 novel stars Gary Oldman as an agent who comes out of retirement to uncover a Russian spy. I have never read the book but I loved the 2005 adaptation of le Carré's novel The Constant Gardener and
I have always loved spy films. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy also stars Colin Firth and Tom Hardy.

Set to be released November 18.

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Tilda Swinton won raves at Cannes for her performance in this film. One could never run out of superlatives when talking about Swinton, she brings such courage and range to her roles. Based on Lionel Shriver's 2003 novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin surrounds a mother's recounting of the events leading up to and following a high school massacre involving her son.

A North American release date has not been set.

Things are sure to change, but for now these are the eleven films I am eager to see! Are there any films you cannot wait to see that arrive in theatres this fall?


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  2. This is an interesting list to be certain. With the quantity of offerings at the Toronto International Film Festival each year I'm consistently at the mercy of others to bring certain films to my attention. And so it is with Albert Nobbs, a film I had not heard of before Matt picked it and which seems incredibly intriguing. Note to self: get tickets!

    Drive certainly seems compelling and I'm a sucker for a good car chase scene (in another life I would have loved to have been a stunt driver) but the standouts from this list for me are certainly Drive, Albert Nobbs, The Iron Lady, and possibly Coriolanus (though this type of adaptation is always hit or miss-terribly). I'd say we'll have to wait and see. Finally, based on the celebrated novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has certainly piqued my interest.

    What are you looking forward to this fall?