Mar 1, 2009

2010 movie preview

In no order, here are the films that I'm most looking forward to this year.

Public Enemies
— Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger in Michael Mann's epic about 1930s gangsters. Script by Ronan Bennett and Michael Mann from Bryan Burroughs book. Described by one script review as "Heat meets The Untouchables." Mann on home turf, in period.

An Education — A Nick Hornby script, from Lynn Barber's memoir about her teenage romance with a feckless older man in 1950s Paris, with a reportedly stand-out performance from 22-year-old Carey Mulligan. Variety called it "bursting with life." Audiences at Berlin and Sundance were smitten.

The Lovely Bones — Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel starring Mark Wahlberg. This seems so unlikely, and the book was so bad, that something interesting may be brewing. (Look at what happened to The Bridges of Madison county). Fingers crossed.

Avatar — James Cameron's first film since Titanic, a sci-fi epic set on another planet which scientists are trying to colonise after Earth gets too polluted. Early script reviews suggest some Abyss-style preachiness — "Aliens meets Lord of the Rings if it were written by Al Gore." A stunning dud? 

Cheri — Michelle Pfieffer reteams with Stephen Frears in this Collette adaptation about a belle epoque brothel madam who falls in love; with a score by Alexandre Desplat.

Also looking forward to Funny People, the latest from Judd Apatow; Eddie Murphy playing Richard Pryor in James Whale's biopic, Up & Toy Story 3 (Pixar). I'm a little more circumspect about Martin Scorsese's Ashecliffe (too much through-the-looking-glass psychosis), Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. I will be giving a wide body serve to Hillary Swank as Amelia Earhert in Amelia and Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in Julia & Julia.

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