With the summer blockbuster season nearing its end, it’s time to look at upcoming movies which slipped under the radar. While most people are stoked about the next iteration of Transformers or the next big superhero movie, I’m more interested in these art house films some of which you might not have heard of. Take note that some of these already premiered in film festivals and have already been picked up by distributors for a theatrical run sometime this year but most will not likely get a wide release here in the Philippines.
The Tree of Life. Terrence Malick’s poetic masterpiece already premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Pam d’Or (Best Picture), to a divided audience. After the premiere the half of the audience were heard both clapping and cheering, while half shouted loud boos. This film is that divisive, even the critics have been halved with some praising it to high heavens and others cursing it as the worst film experience they have endured. Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of Malick’s style, and his films have been known to be divisive, but I happen to like all his films, so it comes to no surprise that I’m feverishly excited about this film.
Melancholia. Ah, Lars von Trier is a different kind of beast. He has created highly disturbing films in the past such as Antichrist and he has now returned with something as quirky and odd as Melancholia. It’s a genre bending film that promises to stay true to von Trier’s style. Melancholia premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it gained notoriety after Lars von Trier’s public comments about Jews and Nazis where he was banned from the Festival and labeled persona non grata. Kirsten Dunst eventually received the Best Actress Award and defended von Trier for his tactless comments. While not a big fan of von Trier, I’m eerily excited for this film.
Midnight in Paris. This is a Woody Allen film and that alone is an assurance that this will be good. Even though Allen has created disappointing films recently, this film has been heralded by critics as his return to form. After its premiere in the Cannes Film Festival, critics have been raving non-stop about this film. In fact, a lot of them are already proclaiming this as the best film of 2011. As for me, I’m excited about anything Woody Allen.
Another Earth. This is probably the most ‘indie’ film in this list. After premiering in the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Another Earth has received massive critical acclaim with critics praising its gripping storyline and its genre bending themes. The trailer alone is intriguing though I wouldn’t care much about the science in this film considering the limited budget and the fact that this is a debut feature film.
Retreat. Cillian Murphy. Jamie Bell. Thandie Newton. We have here an A list cast in a small movie about a couple cut off from the rest of the world and a mysterious man who washes up ashore claiming that an airborne virus has wiped Europe. Is he telling the truth or is he just psychotic. The trailer points to the latter but the film surely holds more surprises than what the trailer has to offer. The film hasn’t premiered yet but is scheduled for release late 2011.
The Debt. This film is a remake of the 2007 Israeli film of the same name (Ha-Hov) and stars Helen Mirren, Ciara Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain and Sam Worthington. This film already premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival last September 2010 however theatrical release of this film seems to be forever delayed until now when the film has finally been scheduled for release this September 2011. After its premiere, the film was listed as a possible Oscar contender despite some divisive reviews among the critics and audience members. Despite that, I’m stoked about this film because of Helen Mirren. Her commanding presence really adds credibility and depth to a movie and the trailer seems to hide a lot of surprises.
Attack the Block. This British film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival this year to massive critical acclaim. It’s an alien invasion film that borrows more from District 9 than other bloated films of the genre. It currently holds an 89% rating in RT and has finally been picked up for theatrical release, in the U.S. that is. There probably is no chance that this film will get a theatrical release locally which is quite sad because I’m really stoked for this film. I haven’t seen an alien invasion film this exciting since District 9. (Skyline and Battle LA were average films at best)
Warrior. Well this is more of a mainstream movie that we’ll most likely see a local release of. But anyway, having been a fan of last year’s brilliant ‘The Fighter’ this film evokes the same feel and atmosphere that it’s almost like a sequel but this time in the world of mixed martial arts. The trailer can get a bit too dramatic for its own good but if its an indication of the emotional punch this film will deliver then I’m even more excited for this one. Plus, rising star Tom Hardy is in it along with a possibly award winning performance by Nick Nolte.
So there, I probably have missed a lot of notable upcoming films but I’ll be adding them later on. For now, these are the movies that I’m looking forward to the most outside of the big budget spectacles of the summer season.