Now that the fall movie season is upon us, I only saw it fit that I create a list of the ten films that I’m really looking forward to. Most of these have the potential to be Oscar players, so here’s to hoping that they live up to the hype and anticipation!
10. The Imitation Game: 11/21/14
Now a household name, Benedict Cumberbatch has taken the world by storm with his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and his many great turns in some of the better films of the last few years. Here, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the mathematician that helped cracked the Enigma code during WWII. Cumberbatch’s ability to present logic in a great manner should be wonderful here, but his more emotional side will come out as he portrays Turing’s struggle with his homosexuality. Keira Knightley and Mark Strong supposedly have great roles too, but it’s Cumberbatch who’s said to give the performance of his career. With his dramatic work in 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, Sherlock, and August: Osage County last year, you bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to be excited to see what he does next.
9. The Theory of Everything: 11/7/14
Eddie Redmayne made a lasting impression on me as Marius in Les Miserables, seeming to emerge from nowhere. Now, two years later, he’s playing a young Stephen Hawking and from what I’ve seen from the trailer, he looks insanely convincing. Though the story is about Hawking’s life before, during, and after being diagnosed with ALS, the film predominately deals with Hawking’s relationship with his wife Jane. The ever-talented Felicity Jones is playing opposite of Redmayne and the two look magnificent on the screen together. This story is a bit Oscar-baity, but from what I’ve heard, it’s supposed to be very uplifting and should be a big contender in many categories.
8. Birdman: 10/11/14
Birdman is a film that has critics drooling already and most of them haven’t seen it. People are predicting it to be a huge Oscar player and they have the main stars in the running for Oscars as well. I don’t know much about Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, but I’ve been impressed by 21 Grams, Biutiful, and Babel. The thought of Michael Keaton reviving his career in a defining performance is enticing enough and I’m always up for seeing more of Edward Norton on the screen, as he’s such an underrated talent. I also adore Emma Stone and Naomi Watts, so I’m curious to see where this film is going. The idea of a broadway play, based on a man’s wanting to relive his superhero glory days is an odd premise, but it might be crazy enough to work out in the end. Keep your eye out for this film, as it’s going to be quirky and could possibly amount to something great.
7. Whiplash: 10/10/14
Two years straight, Miles Teller has been the lead in the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners. Last year, it was under-seen and magnificent The Spectacular Now. This year, it’s his dramatic jazz drummer film, Whiplash. Teller, whom I’ve had the great fortune of interviewing, has chosen projects that he’s passionate about and his quick humor is often what gets people on his side. If you watch a trailer for this film, you’ll see no laughter from his character, as he’s here to be serious and play under the wing of J.K. Simmons, who’s said to be more than Oscar-worthy. The mood of this film is beyond intense and both actors look to be stunning in this film that explores a world that very few people can relate to. I’m always down to watch Teller perform and this latest project has me counting down the days until I can view it.
6. Gone Girl: 10/3/14
David Fincher ranks among my top five directors of all time, for what should be obvious reasons. With past works including Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Social Network, there’s no denying that Fincher has made some of the greatest films of the last few decades. His passion for unabashed storytelling is evident and his writing partners help elevate his work even higher. With Gone Girl, author Gillian Flynn has adapted her novel into a grisly screenplay that is reportedly some of the darkest that Fincher has ever ventured into. With Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike garnering attention for what are supposed to be extraordinary roles, I am eager to see what this film has to offer. The possibility of Neil Patrick Harris getting a great supporting role makes me even more excited. There’s a ton of mystery and suspense surrounding this film’s release, so count me in!
5. Foxcatcher: 11/14/14
When you hear Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in potential Oscar talk, you know this film has to be something special. Foxcatcher‘s haunting real-life story is enough to grab your attention, but its leads’ trans formative turns are what have me so excited. Carell and Tatum are playing the furthest against type that they ever have and it’s also been said the Mark Rufallo will be in the conversation too. Director Bennet Miller has only directed two big pictures, but Moneyball and Capote should be evidence enough that he knows what he’s doing. This film is supposedly very dark and haunting, so don’t go in expecting to leave with a smile on your face. This is very dark filmmaking and I can’t wait to observe what these talented men have to offer.
4. Men, Women, and Children: 10/17/14
Jason Reitman, in my opinion, is one of the greater directors of our time, as I especially applaud his ability to adapt novels into compelling films. He’s shown his ability to create wonderful, satirical writing in Thank You For Smoking and Young Adult. His dramatic work with Up in the Air, Juno, and Labor Day have shown off his incredible directing skills. Reitman elicits extraordinary performances from his actors, which is most curious with Men, Women, and Children because Adam Sandler is said to have one of his better dramatic turns. The Fault in our Stars‘ Ansel Elgort and Short Term 12‘s Kaitlyn Dever also make me excited, as they’ve shown that they’re forces to be reckoned with in just one film each. With a focus on how technology influences our lives, this film may just touch everyone who sees it and I’m on board for any direction Jason Reitman wants to go.
3. Fury: 10/17/14
I’m always in the mood for a great war film and World War II offers up some of the greatest, most raw material for a film. Director David Ayer wrote Training Day, U-571, and directed and wrote End of Watch and Sabotage. His natural ability to tell a story involving violence/war is incredible and his focus on the characters is what he does best. While Brad Pitt will bring the most draw with his name, it’s Logan Lerman who I think will shine in this film, as his emotional capacity and phenomenal screen-presence will be wonderful to see in this tank-war setting. Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and Scott Eastwood are all supporting characters in this film and it looks as gritty as can be. “War never ends quietly.” They had me from the tagline.
2. Nightcrawler: 10/31/14
Jake Gyllenhaal has steadily been climbing the ladder up to one of my favorite actors, as his early work and latest work has really knocked my socks off. With early dramatic turns in October Sky, Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, and Zodiac, Gyllenhaal has turned a new leaf after a-couple-of-blockbuster flops and he’s really on a roll. Just this last year, he’s done two incredible projects with Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners and Enemy. You also can’t forget his snubbed work in End of Watch. With Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal seems to go beyond crazy to get the stories he needs and his dedication, evident in the trailer, excites and intrigues me more than most things that I’ve seen this year.
1. Interstellar: 11/7/14
Christopher Nolan, to date, has directed 8 films that all show off his level of talent, be it with story, scale, imagery, or casting. Nolan never goes small and his films are always a spectacle to observe, as the notion of going big is the only thing this man knows. He set the Superhero bar, messed with people’s minds and dreams, and now he’s taking us beyond the furthest reaches of space with a stellar cast full of some of today’s finest actors. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain are just three knockout stars in this film that will put our imaginations to the test and will take us to another place in space and time. The trailers are absolutely beautiful, the theories of wormholes are fascinating, and there’s nothing that I’m more excited for this year. IMAX will be the only way to go, so make sure to see this film ASAP!
Now that you’ve seen what I’m looking forward to, what are you looking forward to and why?