Earlier this week I presented a look at the highly-anticipated upcoming films for 2013. The second part of the list, and the films from the latter half of 2013 worth looking for, are presented below.
6. Gravity (Alfonso Curaón)
Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock
Alfonso Curaón made only three feature-length films in the past decade, namely Children of Men, Y tu Mamá También, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (arguably the best in the series), each of which graced my my top 10 list for their respective years. He has demonstrated himself as not only a competent director, but one who can take a routine coming of age story, or sequel in a blockbuster series about wizards, and elevate it to something special.
His latest film, Gravity, is a science-fiction about a crew of astronauts who attempt to return to earth after debris damages their spaceship. Little else is known about the plot of the film and no production stills or media have been released with the exception of the teaser above, but with Curaón directing and a cast that includes Oscar winners Clooney and Bullock, it will undoubtedly be one to watch this year.
7. Inside Llewyn Davis (The Cohen Brothers)
Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Justin Timberlake
For avid movie watchers, there are few words with which cause greater excitement than “New Cohen Brothers film.” The brothers who brought us Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, True Grit, and No Country for Old Men, have a new film set in 1960’s New York.
The movie centers around struggling folk-singer Llewyn Davis and his tribulations in work and his personal life over the course of two weeks. Joel Cohen has stated that the film will feature full-length performances of folk-songs that the principal actors (Isaac, Mulligan, Timberlake) will sing throughout the film. Expect to see Inside Llewyn Davis premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this year.
8. The Counselor (Ridley Scott)
Starring Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, and Penélope Cruz
At his worst, Ridley Scott made films films such as A Good Year and Kingdoms and Heaven, forgettable but competent. At his best, he brought forth into the world Blade Runner, Alien, and Gladiator. Simply put, Ridley Scott’s worst is better than most, and his best is better than all.
His latest film appears to be in the latter category. The Counselor sports possibly the greatest acting line-up this year, including Pitt, Fassbender, Bardem, and Cruz, but more impressively it is the first screenplay credit for award winning novelist Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy’s novels tend to exhibit great hope and perseverance in extremely antagonistic environments. The Counselor, about a lawyer working for a drug cartel, can be expected to be simultaneously harrowing and awing.
Martin Scorsese has teamed up with long-time muse Leonardo DiCaprio to film an adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir. Belfort ran an investment scheme which involved inflating the value of cheap stocks while touting their value to investors, before selling at the inflated price. This “pump-and-dump” fraud earned him 22 months in prison, a severe financial penalty and served as a loose inspiration for the film Boiler Room.
Scorsese will be filming The Wolf of Wall Street in anamorphic digital. The results should be a higher quality digital image, which could result in film artifacts like lens-flare that are more pronounced with anamorphic lenses. The choice of filming in digital shows Scorsese has indeed abandoned film for digital, as his long-time editor Schoonmaker has postulated. Whether or not he will continue to shoot digitally is unknown.
George Clooney is set on winning a third Oscar this year with his adaptation of The Monuments Men. The story revolves around a group of soldiers tasked with recouping valuable art pieces plundered by the Nazis during World War II. Off his recent win for Argo, Clooney has slated the release of The Monuments Men late in the year, a clear indicator he means to champion the film for the 2014 Academy Awards.
Along with starring in the film, Clooney directed, wrote, and produced the movie, making it his fifth feature-film directing credit and his third screenplay. The Monuments Men features a stunning cast with Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin, and crowd favorites Bill Murray and John Goodman.