Five Upcoming Movies You Should Be Super-Psyched to See
1. Trance, UK Release March 27, 2013
Directed by Danny Boyle, written by Joe Ahearne ("Apparitions, Ultraviolet," Director "Doctor Who") and John Hodge (A Life Less Ordinary, Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Sweeney), starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. Based on Ahearne's television movie, Trance has Boyle returning to thriller territory with this story of an art auctioneer (McAvoy) in league with a group of art thieves (led by Cassel) to steal Goya's Witches in the Air. When the painting is somehow lost, a hypnotherapist (Dawson) is employed to help. The three also become even more intertwined, shall we say? Boyle calls this an updated noir; saying "I wanted to...give it a contemporary spin in terms of emotion...Noir is usually cold. I wanted it to be more emotionally charged. It's the first time I put a woman at the heart of a movie." As in Boyle's Shallow Grave, the film's three main characters' "...only point of reference is to each other. There are no outsiders."
2. The Zero Theorem, TBA 2013 (Italy, December 19th)
Directed by Terry Gilliam, written by Pat Rushin, starring Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton, Peter Stormare, David Thewlis and Sanjeev Bhaskar. Gilliam's latest science fiction outing finds Whishaw and Damon playing the same character, Stormare and Bhaskar share another. Waltz stars as a brilliant computer hacker intent on finding the reason for human existence. A shady character known as "Management" (Damon) keeps interrupting and trying to distract him from his work. Most of the film takes place where Waltz's character lives--in a "burnt out chapel, which one could take as a metaphor for old beliefs and old systems. He's a computer genius but he's just sitting there waiting for a phone call, which he's hoping will give meaning to his life....It really is about relationships, and discovering what's really important in life." There are only four main characters" (and sex-bots and a nude scene), "and because so much of it takes place on one set, the director said the acting will be "...crucial to it -- there is no car chase nor a shootout -- none of those things you can fall back upon to keep the film going. It's about the acting and that is why Christoph is so incredible." Yes please, lock us in a room with Christoph Waltz.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street, TBA 2013 (Sweden, August 30th)
Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Terence Winter ("Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos"), based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort; starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jon Bernthal, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Joanna Lumley, Jean Dujardin, Jon Favreau, Spike Jonze and Shea Whigham. Leo plays convicted (securities fraud) stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who served 20 months in prison for his crimes. The film will delve into Belfort's excessive lifestyle, filled with drugs, alcohol, prostitutes and...dwarf throwing (and martini drinking) contests. His office at New York brokerage house Stratton Oakmont got so out of control, the script has Belfort writing a memorandum to employees that office sex between 9 am and 7 pm was a no-no. And apparently that's only the tip of the overindulgent iceberg. After seeing Leo's performance in Django Unchained, I'm all the more thrilled about seeing him play this dark character.
4. Lowlife, TBA 2013 (Denmark, November 7th)
Directed by James Gray (We Own the Night, The Yards, Little Odessa), written by James Gray and Ric Menello (Two Lovers), starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner. Set in the 1920s in New York's lower East Side and Ellis Island, Lowlife features Cotillard as Polish immigrant Ewa, newly arrived in New York with her sick sister, Magda. While Magda remains quarantined Ewa is coerced by the sleazy-yet-charming Bruno (Phoenix) into becoming a burlesque performer (and prostitute). Renner plays Bruno's cousin and magician, Orlando, who may be able to help Ewa get away and reunited with her sister. The story was inspired by Gray's family photos of a trip to Ellis Island, and he became interested in working with Cotillard after the actress threw a piece of bread at his head in disagreement over something he'd said. Gray already believes this is "...the best thing he's ever done."
5. Gravity, US Release October 18, 2013
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, written by Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón and Rodrigo García ("In Treatment, Blue, Christine"), starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Purported to be Cuarón's 2001: A Space Odyssey, this science fiction thriller opens with a continuous seventeen minute shot and was filmed entirely on green screen, employing new production techniques. Bullock plays a medical engineer (on her first space mission) trying to return to Earth after her space shuttle suffers a disaster that destroys the craft and leaves her one of only two survivors. Bullock and co-pilot Clooney had been away from the shuttle (spacewalk) when it was hit by debris, and they are now tethered to each other, running out of oxygen, with no chance of rescue. Producer David Heyman (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Order of the Phoenix, Goblet of Fire) explains, "We're using technology that's never seen before. This film will be more immersive, I believe, than anything you've seen before. You will really feel like you are in space. It will not be an objective view of space, it will be an immersive view of space." I'm already feeling like I can't breathe.