Now that awards season has concluded and the films of 2012 have officially receded from the public eye, leaving movie bloggers lethargic from a drop in their collective film-watching blood-sugar, it is time to shift into 2013 coverage with the blogging equivalent of the chocolate-bar – the top 10 list! Let’s kick things off with the top 10 films to look for in 2013. Below are five highly anticipated films expected to be released in spring and summer. Check back later for part 2, and five highly anticipated films expected to be released in fall and winter.
1. Trance (Danny Boyle)
Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel
Danny Boyle is back with longtime collaborator and cinematic innovator Anthony Dod Mantle. Mantle came to the attention of Boyle after filming Festen (The Celebration) in 1998, where he utilized a hand-held digital camera to create a unique visual style. Recently, Anthony Dod Mantle won the Academy Award in the field of Cinematography for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, making it the first film predominantly shot digitally to win the Academy Award in this category.
The film follows an art-thief which, after suffering a concussion, can no longer remember where the painting is stored, to the chagrin of his partners. A hypnotist is employed to help retrieve the memories, but soon reality and fantasy begins to intertwine.
With the perfect cinematographer to to capitalize on a plot that allows for endless cinematographic ingenuity, Trance will surely be a spectacle to enjoy this year.
2. Only God Forgives (Nicholas Winding Refn)
Starring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas
Nicolas Winding Refn stunned audiences in 2011 with his homage to 80’s European action films, Drive, earning him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. He has collaborated with Ryan Gosling again for his new film Only God Forgives.
Shot and filmed in Bangkok, Thailand, the film tells the story of Julien (played by Ryan Gosling), the proprietor of a boxing club and front for drug smugglers. When his brother is murdered, Julien must use his underworld contacts to find who is responsible.
When a director with such a unique visual style (Bronson, Drive) reenlists an emerging star with which he has proven chemistry, you can be assured that the result will be a cinematic pleasure.
3. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Before Midnight is the sequel to one of the greatest love stories captured on film. A trilogy spanning almost two decades, Before Sunset and Before Sunrise were released in 2004 and 1995, respectively, each film documenting a single-day encounter between Jesse and Celine.
In Before Sunrise, Jesse and Celine meet on a train while travelling across Europe. They begin to share with each other, and immediately feel a connection, but each knows that they must part in the morning. Before Sunset occurs nine years later. Jesse is a writer, married with a child, but while on his latest book tour in Paris, he meets Celine at a signing. Arguably superior to its predecessor, the greatest achievement is how Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy were able to age and mature the characters without seeming disingenuous.
The highly anticipated third-film in this series premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where reviewers praised it as a tremendously enjoyable conclusion.
4. Nymphomanic (Lars von Trier)
Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, and Shia LaBeouf
We here at NewFoundFilm absolutely adore Lars von Trier. Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Antichrist, Melancholia – all films that challenge and disturb. Lars von Trier has the unique ability to take a single, powerful emotion and reduce it to its core. He finds a way of perfectly epitomizing this emotion in film, like he did with fear in Antichrist, or depression in Melancholia. His new film, Nymphomaniac, appears to epitomize lust.
Nymphomaniac follows the life of a self-diagnosed sex-addict (Charlotte Gainsbourg) from birth to age 50. It is rumored to be four hours long (separated into two portions for easier watching) and to contain explicit sex-scenes filmed with porn-actors doubling for the film’s stars, much like Antichrist. Since this is a Lars von Trier film, we can expect it to be stylish, brutal, and magnificent.
The film was originally slated to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival but the producer recently announced that editing the mammoth film in time for the submission would be highly unlikely. Instead, expect the original release date of May 30 to be pushed until later this year.
5. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
Starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, and Louis C.K.
Not much is known about the plot of Woody Allen’s 44th feature film, besides for the innocuous blurb from distributor Sony Pictures Classic, describing the film as “the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” What this does reveal is the return of Woody Allen to his familiar setting of New York, after years of filming movies abroad.
Over the past decade, Allen has interspersed brilliant, poignant dramas featuring European cities in their full glory (i.e. Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Midnight in Paris) with campy, lesser Allen comedies (i.e. Scoop and Whatever Works). It’s hard to tell which category Blue Jasmine will fall, but with a great lead actress, and Woody’s return to New York, we can only hope it is the former. Even if this isn’t the case, Woody at his worst is still better than most.