A-List: Anticipated Fall Movies
By Josh Spiegel
October 7, 2010
With the month of October upon us, we’re finally heading into the end of 2010. What a wild, crazy time it’s been, and other such platitudes, yes? As it seems every year, plenty of people are decrying the year in movies, saying we’ve had a weak bunch of product to wade through. What’s more, with The Social Network now out in theaters (and guess what? The hype was justified. Go see it.), people are finding it hard to be excited for a lot of movies with the exception of a few tentpole pictures. This week’s A-List will attempt to find five movies coming out by the end of the year to get juiced about. Though thinking of five such movies isn’t too hard, they are among the biggest and most prestigious films coming out in the next three months, not hidden indie gems.
Now that it’s the fall, we can also prepare to hear about Oscar contenders. Yes, The Social Network has truly kick-started the Oscar season, and if you’re not happy about such an early start to the race, get out of the way. A few of the films on this week’s list will be serious Oscar contenders; all of them should get nominations, but not all of them could get onto this year’s Best Picture list. Right now, there are a few sure things, but only a few of the films waiting to arrive in theaters nationwide are worth getting excited about, let alone nominating. There are, of course, a few films not on the list (Due Date comes to mind), and just remember: I’m not saying I’m not excited about them, just that I’m not THAT excited. On to the list.
I am not a fan of Slumdog Millionaire. I have made this clear in the past, and I still harbor much distaste that the film won for Best Picture at the Oscars. That Danny Boyle’s follow-up still excites me is a big step for me. The trailer that’s been released, coupled with the mostly ecstatic praise from critics who saw the films at festivals last month, have upped the ante. That said, the story’s not without potential pitfalls. 127 Hours has a very simple premise, based on a true story: a man is scaling a mountain when he slips, falls, and his arm is pinned under a rock. The title refers to the amount of time the man stays under these conditions before, to put it lightly, he takes matters into his own hands (pun intended).
Starring James Franco (and featuring Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara in small roles), 127 Hours could be a spectacular achievement or disaster. We’ve seen directors make compelling drama from a man in solitude, but what if that solitude is also confinement? The recent film Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds, probably is more extreme (the entire film is set in a coffin), but even though Boyle’s a very visual director, how exciting could a man trapped under a rock be? Again, the reviews have been very positive, though critics don’t seem as crazy about this one as they did for Slumdog Millionaire, even though both films are noted for their visual flair. Franco’s been waiting for a huge performance, however, and 127 Hours seems to be the movie that will help make him the star those who’ve seen his talent since Freaks and Geeks have wanted him to be.