A large number of the films I am excited about which have a Summer (Dec-Feb) release in Australia. It’s the time where we get the big Boxing Day/New Years releases, along with a number of smaller films which have award buzz or are expected to be in consideration for awards (such as the Academy Awards) come awards season. I’ve picked 12 films that I haven’t seen and I am particularly looking forward to seeing. Please note the release dates were correct at the time of publishing, but as we know, these things can change. Check my picks out after the jump.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – December 5th
How much fun was the first film? I loved it. I giggled and cheered and enjoyed the marvel of food raining down. I’m a big kid at heart, so this is a film I’m really looking forward to seeing.
The Spectacular Now – December 5th
James Pondoldt’s follow-up to the incredible Smashed tells the story of young love and explores that awkward, interesting and challenging time of life when you’re not quite and adult. Stars the talented Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) .
American Hustle – December 12th
David O. Russell teams back up with Silver Linings Playbook stars Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, also adding Amy Adams and Christian Bale, in a sexy crime-drama set in the late 70s and early 80s. The costumes alone make this film something I want to see.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – December 26th
Ben Stiller directs the second adaptation of a James Thurber’s 1939 short story of the same name, about a man who lives largely in a fantasy world who undertakes a global adventure in an attempt to locate an important photograph. The trailer filled me with a sense of whimsy and magic, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for some time. Chris Elena has given the film a fantastic review here.
Short Term 12 – December 26th
This film was the winner of both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature Award and the Narrative Audience Award at the 2013 SXSW festival. Apart from its SXSW wins, I know very little about this film and that excites me. Isn’t it great to have the chance to be blind-sided by a film?
August: Osage County – January 1st
Meryl Streep is cast as possibly the most appropriate Meryl Streep role of them all, the matriarch of a large and slightly dysfunctional family. Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts, the film has an incredible ensemble cast including: Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Her – January 16th
Check out this poster. That’s enough to make me see the latest film from Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are, Adaptation). The fact that it stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson, doesn’t hurt either.
Inside Llewyn Davis – January 16th
The Coen Brothers, the criminally underused Oscar Isaac, music and a cat. The 2013 Cannes Grand Prix winner is one I have looked forward to since I heard it was being made. I love the way the Coen’s portray humanity and I think Isaac is an extremely talented actor who needs to be in more films. I hope this is the start of something bigger for him.
The Great Beauty – January 23rd
I missed this at the recent Italian Film Festival, but I won’t be making the same mistake when it returns to Australian cinemas in the new year. Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be The Place, Il Divo) has picked up a number of accolades in Europe for the film, which has also been nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’ at the Independent Spirit Awards.
The Wolf of Wall Street – January 23rd
To be honest, I’m not actually that excited for this film; it’s seeing new work from director Martin Scorsese that I’m looking forward to. The source material is a bloated, repetitive and painful read about an extremely repulsive individual and their exploits. Can Scorsese make his story something worth seeing? We’ll soon find out.
The Past – February 6th
I missed this at Sydney Film Festival due to illness and I’ve kept an eye out on an Australian release date ever since. The follow-up to the multi-award winning A Separation looks to be another powerful family drama. I’ll definitely be seeing this when it releases February.
Nebraska – February 20th
A road trip across America sees veteran Actor Bruce Dern (winner of best actor at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival) and Will Forte playing father and son, in this black and white drama directed by Alexander Payne. Dern has received much critical praise for this role; and I’ll see anything with Payne attached. This should be a good way to round out the Summer movie season.
What are you looking forward to seeing this Summer (or Winter if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere)? Let me know what I’ve missed out!
By Sam McCosh