Synopsis: A singer-songwriter navigates New York’s folk music scene during the 1960s.
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Thoughts: Just hearing the Coen Brothers names sends most cinephiles into a delirious ecstasy of some certain magnitude. The oddball films the brothers have created over the last three decades have scored high points with critics and audiences alike and though each film isn’t a winner (I’ve found they have a 50/50 success rate) there’s something to be said for their particular style that’s instantly recognizable. Their newest feature is Inside Llewyn Davis and if the first preview is any indication, it’s classic Coen through and through. Though John Goodman (Flight, Argo, Stella) gets some nice laughs I found myself sinking lower and lower in my seat because I feel it’s a film I’m going to enjoy in a sideways sorta way – one I’ll appreciate but not love. Highly anticipated, expect this one to be on the Oscar watch list when it’s released in December.
Synopsis: Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.
Release Date: December 19, 2012
Thoughts: Winner of the highest honor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Amour is the latest film directed by Michael Haneke…a fascinating director that never seems to make the same film twice. All of his movies have provoked a strong reaction from me (both good and bad) and even though I may not always leave the theater happy I know I’ve seen the work of someone pretty talented. This love story is also gaining buzz because star Emmanuelle Riva looks poised to become the oldest Best Actress Oscar nominee ever. She’ll have some stiff competition from Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) but any performance with this kind of buzz makes the movie itself required viewing.
Synopsis: Put in charge of his young son, Ali leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Ali’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Release Date: November 23, 2012
Thoughts: From what I’m hearing, if anyone is going to give Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook a run for her money, it’s going to be Marion Cotillard in this French drama that is arriving on US shores with strong buzz. I’m still of the mindset that Cotillard’s Oscar win for 2007’s La Vie en Rose was one of the most deserved Oscars given in the last decade so there’s little doubt her performance isn’t award-worthy. I can’t help but think of Free Willy anytime I see a killer whale playing a factor in a movie, but I’ll try not to hold it against the film or Cotillard.