Trailer Watch – Highly Anticipated

Haven’t done a trailer watch for a while. Most of the things I’m most interested in, especially this time of the year, are limited release films, and it feels weird to plug them when they come out when I know that I and most everyone I know won’t be able to see them for at least a few weeks, if then. So it’s sort of weird. But there are some things coming out that I’m super-excited about. Most of these are coming out in the next couple of months.

Juno

opens December 5th, limited

CURRENT MOST ANTICIPATED. I want to see it two months ago. Except if I had I couldn’t be enjoying the anticipation so much right now. Ellen Page is one of the best young actresses in Hollywood right now hands down, Michael Cera is adorable, plus Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. And it’s a total festival darling of exactly the type that I always love. I’m also pleased that screenwriter Diablo Cody is getting as much attention as she is; screenwriters don’t get noticed as much as they should, and she was getting noticed even before the strike. Ooh, and I forgot until I just watched the trailer again–Thank You For Smoking was one of my favorite films last year, so I’m a fan of the director, too.

Atonement

opens December 7th

After I see Juno, Atonement will become my CURRENT MOST ANTICIPATED. Of course, that won’t last long, since it comes out two days later. Ah well. The book is one of the best I’ve read all year, the cast is great, it’s the same guy that directed Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago (which quickly became one of my favorite Austen adaptations), and pretty much every review I’ve seen from the festival circuit has been nothing short of glowing. Read the book, folks, then go see the movie. Simple as that.

More after the jump.

The Golden Compass

opens December 7th

AKA the actual anti-Christian fantasy series. Why anybody was concerned about Harry Potter when His Dark Materials was sitting right there is a question that can probably only be answered by the Bestseller List. Still, the first book especially is quite well-written, and the concept of daemons is ingenious. I’ve heard they’re purging a lot of the religious things from the movie, which is going to be interesting–especially when they get to the third in the series.

Sweeney Todd

opens December 21st, limited

Steven Sondheim. Tim Burton. Johnny Depp. Helena Bonham-Carter. Need I go on?

No Country for Old Men

open now, limited

I’m actually not sure this would be on the Highly Anticipated list based on the trailers/storyline alone. But it’s the Coen Brothers! Doing a McCarthy book (albeit his worst book, if my friend who is writing her dissertation on McCarthy is to be believed). So this is pretty much a given once it gets around to my neck of the woods, especially since, as I mentioned, one of my best friends is writing her dissertation on McCarthy.

Persepolis

opens December 28th, limited

France has been leading the world on innovative animation for the last few years (excluding Pixar and Aardman), and this year they’ve chosen the animated Persepolis as their Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission. Not bad. I think the story’s about an Iranian girl, which adds even another layer of multi-cultural interest.

Margot at the Wedding

open now, limited

This has gotten decidedly mixed reviews, skewing a lot more negative than I’d hoped. But many reviewers still point to Nicole Kidman’s performance as a bright spot in the film, which is the main reason I wanted to see it in the first place. So I’ll leave it on my anticipated list, because I still want to see it, despite the lack of critical support.

I’m Not There

open now, limited

I may lose whatever music cred I’ve managed to gain by admitting that I don’t really know anything about Bob Dylan. What I do know is that in this movie, he’s played by, like, six different people, including Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett. And that’s just cool.

Cassandra’s Dream

opens December 28th, limited

Looks like Woody Allen’s going back to the Britain-set crime thriller style that served him so well in Match Point. I’m in. Of course, two hours of listening to Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor speaking in non-American accents? I’m pretty much in anyway.

Be Kind, Rewind

Sundance Film Festival, 2008

This could be wonderful, or it could go terribly, terribly wrong. I like the premise: a videostore clerk accidentally erases all the tapes in the store and he and his friend decide to re-film the movies to replace them. I like Jack Black. And I love director Michel Gondry. But I am concerned with how they’ll answer two questions: a) does it not occur to them to just reorder tapes from their supplier? b) WHY ARE THEY RENTING TAPES? I’m really hoping Gondry can make this work, and that it won’t become his sell-out film. Although IMDb gives a release date for this in January, apparently what’s really happening is that it’s playing at Sundance. Which makes sense, and actually bodes a lot better for the film than if it were opening in wide release in January. Because movies that open in January suck.

The Savages

opens November 28th, limited

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney in an uncomfortable dysfunctional family situation. This might be one of the more rewarding small adult comedies of the season.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

opens November 30th, limited

I have no clue what this movie’s about. But it’s got really good festival buzz, and I’m down with that.

P.S. I Love You

opens December 21st

This is not really on the list of most-anticipated. Because the conceit is just too…okay, Gerard Butler dies, right, and leaves letters behind for his girlfriend Hilary Swank, and she reads them and does the things he planned for her (apparently he knew he was going to die? I don’t even know), and that’s the movie. Yeah. But. Gerard Butler. And then they throw in Jeffrey Dean Stanton, too (Denny on Grey’s Anatomy). So I might actually be forced to watch it. Probably on DVD, though.