Now that we have reflected on 2012 at the movies, it is time to look ahead. There is plenty to be excited about in 2013, whether you like comic-book blockbusters (Iron Man 3, Man of Steel), real-life drama (Captain Phillips, the Paul Greengrass/Tom Hanks drama about a Navy Captain abducted by Somali pirates), or moustaches and Scotch (Anchorman: The Legend Continues). I’m looking forward to all of those, but I’d like to dig a little deeper here. Listed below are five movies you will find a bit off the beaten path, but something tells me they will be worth the trip.
About Time (May 10, 2013)
It’s time for a bold statement: I think Richard Curtis is one of the most under-appreciated directors working today. Many of my generation have made his Love, Actually part of their Christmas tradition; others downright loathe it. I liked it, but I’m more enamored of his subsequent two films, The Girl in the Café and Pirate Radio. He seems to be getting better as he goes along, which is one reason we should all pay attention to his upcoming time travel romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams and his muse Bill Nighy. Little is known about the plot at this point, but given the success of Nighy/Curtis collaborations in the past, there will certainly be something to enjoy here.
Girl Most Likely (July 2013)
The premise could have come from how-to guide for writing an indie screenplay. It is about a playwright who stages a cry-for-help suicide attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother. Despite the formulaic set-up, two things make it interesting. First, it is a comedy and is directed by the team who helmed American Splendor; they clearly have the chops to make depression funny. It also features Kristen Wiig in her first starring role since 2011’s Bridesmaids. The combination of directors and star is intriguing to say the least.
Elysium (August 9, 2013)
Remember District 9, the 2009 sci-fi Oscar nominee about aliens in South Africa that was really about racism and immigration? Its director Neill Blomkamp finally has a new one. Elysium is set in the year 2159, when the very wealthy live in a space station while the 99 percent live on a ruined planet Earth. Matt Damon plays some kind of rebel soldier, while Jodie Foster is the bureaucrat charged with keeping the poor folk from climbing aboard the space shuttle. Sounds like a Gattaca for our era, but according to the production stills, we can expect a lot more gunplay.
The Zero Theorem (December 19, 2013)
Director Terry Gilliam has not made a film since 2009’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, but he really hasn’t been vital in 15 years – since 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Gilliam will bring his imaginative visual style to this sci-fi story of a computer hacker working to find the meaning of existence. A mysterious agency known as the Management sends a lusty love interest to distract him. Sounds like it has echoes of Gilliam’s breakout hit, 1985’s Brazil. The cast, which features Oscar-winners Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, and Tilda Swinton, portends good things.
Before Midnight (TBD 2013)
It is hard to believe it has been nine years since we left Jesse and Celine in that Paris apartment. Against all odds, Before Sunset ended on an even sweeter, more ambiguous note than 1995’s Before Sunrise, and once again, we are unsure what to expect from them now. Did Jesse leave his wife? Have they been married for the last nine years? If not, what brings them together again? It is like a soap opera, except every second of it feels real and relatable. I can’t wait to see what writer/director Richard Linklater and his stars come up with this time. I’m already looking forward to the fourth installment.