Probably my most favourite culture is filmculture. I adore films, to the point where I try and see one at the cinema every week and constantly read magazines and websites for all the latest rumours and announcements. You'll get to know the kind of films I like as we go along, whom I love and despise (it's worth pointing out here that if I refer to "Natalie" then that's Natalie Portman, my most favourite person in existence).
A pretty big clue to what ticks my boxes should come in my 2010 film preview - another year, another step closer to that film I was excited about a few years ago! Here are the ones I'm chomping at the bit to see in cinemas very soon:
The Road (January)
I'm a huge fan of Viggo Mortensen, and this film has had me excited for a while - even though it looks thoroughly depressing! I'm not big on the post-apocalyptic genre, but this one is clean of zombies and looks brim full of raw emotion and turmoil. It's probably going to make me cry A LOT.
I hope director John Hillcoat can do justice with this adaptation as the Coen brothers did with other Cormac McCarthy novel No Country For Old Men, which was brilliant.
It's been getting good reviews and of course the Oscar buzz, so I have no doubt that however bleak it's going to be a worthy cinema outing. And it's out in two days!
Micmacs à Tire-larigot (January)
The new one from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who I've only just realised is one of the very few directors where I have seen every single one of his films (well, nearly - I've had A Very Long Engagement on my DVD shelf for over a year now and I haven't quite got around to watching it. But I will!). You're always guaranteed a quirky, original experience with a Jeunet film so I'm hoping this one will no exception. It's his first film in eeeeeeeons as well, so it's great to have him back! Too bad it will probably get a very limited release (it's due out here in two days and I can' find any cinemas showing it at the moment, not even our HPP) and hardly anyone will see it. I shall endeavour to seek it out though, even if - worst case scenario - I have to wait for the DVD.
Up In The Air (January)
Have been looking forward to this for quite a while, mainly because it's a Jason Reitman film and that man can do no wrong at the moment! It seems everything he produces is pure gold, and doesn't all blend into the same film either, which is a huge bonus. Really loved Thankyou for Smoking and of course the lovely Juno, and we all know this is the one to beat at the Oscars, so no more needs to be said about it really. Just got to wait for the actual film now!
A Prophet (January)
I'm intrigued to see this film as it's not the kind of thing that I'd normally be interested in going to see, but when a foreign film starts getting lots of attention at film festivals (Cannes, London) and award ceremonies (it's been nominated for a Golden Globe and will almost certainly get the Oscar nod too) then it's clearly something special and worth a look. And if I'm going to watch a drama of this nature then it may as well be a French one, as they're really good at delivering competent gritty thrillers (such as Tell No One). It's already been picked up by a number of picturehouse cinemas in the UK so exposure is going to be key for it, too.
SQUEEEEEEEEEEE! IT'S THE FIRST NATALIE FILM FOR ABOUT A BILLION YEARS!
I'm very excited about this one - Natalie films are always a treat, but when you've had to wait this long for one to come along it's even more exciting! This one's a real corker too and should be a great lift for her (it has to be said, she hasn't done anything note-worthy since Paris). It's been getting good, solid reviews in the States and lots of praise for Maguire in particular. From the trailer it looks to have all the things I want from a movie - namely angst, angst, angst, spilling into a teeny bit of melodrama and one that makes me cry and cry. Plus Natalie and it's excellent! I really hope it doesn't let me down...
The Lovely Bones (January)
I think this is the film I'm most looking forward to at the beginning of 2010, which is strange seeing as I absolutely loathed the book! But this is Peter Jackson, the genius, and it looks like he's going back to his Heavenly Creatures roots with this film, plus lots and lots of magical CGI landscapes weaved in too. It looks lush, and the fact that this is only 'based' on that terrible, over-hyped book and is more to Jackson's imagining is very pleasing to me. I've watched the trailer a number of times and can't wait for it to finally be here!
I only decided I wanted to see this the other day, namely because I actually bothered to sit down and read what the plot was about! Any film that gets five stars in Empire immediately gets my attention, so what with all the awards buzz following it about as well I thought I'd bypass the fact that Mariah Carey is in it and find out more! I'm glad I did because this looks like a very important film, one that's going to be very uncomfortable and upsetting to watch, but will hopefully provide hope, too. I think I need to watch more films like this.
The Princess and the Frog (February)
Ahhhh, Disney. I have no shame in admitting I love old Disney films and I rank Aladdin as one of my all time favourites. Now FINALLY they're doing a new one, and going back to the old traditional fairytales to boot (there are so many they could tap into and really make special). And even though I had my reservations about the more modern elements of the story, apparently it's really, really good, so no more judging until I've seen the final thing! It does look beautiful.
A Single Man (February)
Another film which has grabbed my attention in the last couple of months. In particular the trailer (which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eafJ4jvf-sY ) is hauntingly beautiful, with arty images and emotional snapshots which indicate just how powerful this film is going to be to watch. Colin Firth could finally get some awards recognition for this one, as he plays a gay professor struggling to cope after the death of his partner. And about time too! He's been putting in some steady, credible performances for a while now and needs to show he's not just Brit rom-com fodder. Watch out for Julianne Moore, too - she looks stunning from the trailer and promo shots with the 60s mod look really suiting her. Should be a good 'un.
I'm putting this on the list even though I'm not 100% sold on it yet (it's had so many problems during production and the release date has been pushed back many a time). It's a film that should be on the one to watch list though - it boasts a credible cast and of course, it's a well-known and well-loved story. Bring on the werewolves, get rid of the vampires, that's what I say! I do love gothic stories, and haven't actually seen any of the previous imaginings, so that obviously means it's high time for a new one. Here's hoping all the bad press doesn't throw up a bad film...
Yay, it's the new Hayao Miyazaki film! I was really annoyed that I didn't get to see this at the Leeds Film Festival last November, but a few of my friends went to see it and they've been bouncing about wanting to go and see it again ever since. So it's bound to be good (as if we weren't expecting anything less!). It's Miyazaki's take on the Little Mermaid, and from the trailer it looks like it's full of his classic quirky characters and intricately put together animation. I've missed Miyazaki's previous glories on the big screen, so I'm looking forward to Ponyo being my first! Perhaps this will be the one that pushes him finally into the mainstream.