5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Based on the 2012 best-selling comedy novel by Maria Semple, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” revolves around an agoraphobic architect and mother named Bernadette Fox, who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica.
The fact that they keep changing the release date is bit worrisome, but the idea of a Richard Linklater-Cate Blanchett collaboration sounds excellent. “It wasn’t just how complex and painfully absurd her life is, but the brittle way she pits herself against the world,” Blanchett said. “In the end, the trickiest thing was tone. It’s one thing to listen to an unrelenting sardonic inner voice in a novel, and another thing entirely to hear it on screen.”
As to whether the film will satisfy the fans of the book, it’s little uncertain because for Linklater, he felt the book was really about its emotional core, which was an intense portrait of motherhood. But he adds, “For someone else who loves the book, their favorite part might be something else. You’ve got to jump in as a storyteller and say, ‘Well, this is my version.’ There’s no one version of any book or story. [It’s] what you’re moved by and what you personally want to explore via this story and these characters.”
Even though he may be hit-or-miss recently, Linklater’s films are always welcome. Especially if they have a cast that consists of Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer and Billy Crudup.
4. The Kitchen
New York City, late 1970s. The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood by doing some dirty work for the Italian mafia. When Jimmy Brennan and his crew are put in prison, their wives – Kath, Raven and Angie – decide to keep running their rackets.
Written by Ollie Masters, the comic “The Kitchen” is now a movie starring three very talented ladies: Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, and Melissa McCarthy. Moss is on a roll recently, Haddish is a very talented individual who needs to be little more picky when it comes to film projects, and McCarthy may just have given the best performance of her career in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
The film is also the directorial debut of Andrea Berloff, who wrote the 2006 critically acclaimed Oliver Stone drama “World Trade Center,” an entertaining genre film “Blood Father,” and “Straight Outta Compton” for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. So the script is probably sharp enough, and Berloff so impressed executives at New Line Cinema that they trusted her “edgy and subversive” perspective at bringing the story to the screen as a director as well.
Throughout film history, we’ve gotten brilliant crime dramas like “Road to Perdition” and “A History of Violence” out of comic books. Movie fans would be more than glad if “The Kitchen” would deliver also.
Ari Aster stormed the Sundance Film Festival last year with “Hereditary,” which was a commercial and critical success. Due to a poor campaign by A24, Toni Collette – who arguably gave the best performance of her excellent career – failed to get an Oscar nomination, but for an art house horror film, “Hereditary” kept being discussed and got even more popular since then.
Aster has a good knowledge of cinema and if you check out his short films, you can see that he has a much wider range, but he chose his second feature film to be horror again. He was not quite sure on how to describe the film; he made some comparisons to “The Wicker Man” and “Alice in Wonderland.” The first teaser released for the film is impressive; it’s refreshing to have such bright-looking horror film, especially if your previous one was very, very dark.
The movie is about a young couple on vacation in a Swedish village, but the main character, played by Florence Pugh, becomes increasingly more suspicious of her neighbors as their cult-like tendencies become more evident. The premise doesn’t sound too original, but we’ll see what Aster will do with the material. It skipped the Cannes Film Festival, so there’s a chance of it being divisive, but after “Hereditary,” we have all the reasons to look forward to it.
2. The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch is back with a zombie film! That sentence is enough to put this movie at such a high ranking, but there’s more than that. First of all, he gathered an incredible cast for the film and it looks like new territory for him.
Sure, he’s a directed an (excellent) film with horror elements before “Only Lovers Left Alive,” but from its trailer, “The Dead Don’t Die” looks different. It has the look of your typical B-movie horrors, so it’s interesting to see what Jarmusch wants to do with the material.
So far it looks wacky and funny. Bill Murray called the script “hilarious” and who doesn’t trust Bill Murray here. Could it also be some kind of American “Shaun of the Dead”? Who knows, but new Jarmusch is always worth the wait.
The film unfolds in the peaceful town of Centerville, which suddenly finds itself under attack by zombies. Murray, Adam Driver and Chloe Sevigny play the small-town sheriff’s deputies battling the reincarnated corpses breaking out from their graves. It is also the first film to screen at this year’s Cannes in competition for the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize.
1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino is back with his ninth film, starring an ensemble cast led by two of the biggest movie stars alive, which Tarantino describes as “the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman.” Even though we know the basic plot, many details are still kept secret and even though the first teaser is heavier on the comedic side, it’s still unknown what kind of tone he’ll go for with the film. It’s also interesting how he will handle the murder of Sharon Tate and its backstory.
While we’ll get portrayals of real-life figures, if you look at the cast list you keep wondering about why he chose those figures exactly and how they will appear in the storyline. For example, Timothy Olyphant plays James Stacy who, like Polanski, has a tragedy in his life. He was hit by a drunk driver while driving his motorcycle, resulting in the amputation of his left leg and arm and the death of his girlfriend. And just like Polanski, he also committed something horrible (he was convicted of child sex abuse in 1995).
Considering Olyphant was mentioned as the “lead” role in early reports and Tarantino is a huge “Justified” fan, he may have a meaty part with this. Then again, we also have Al Pacino who may get a big scene as well. We don’t know who will stand out most in the cast yet, it’s just guesses.
In fact, we don’t know enough about the film, but what we know is more than enough to wait for it. Let’s wait and see what Tarantino will do with “multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.” He managed to finish the film to be ready for Cannes, which Thierry Fremaux describes as “a love letter to the Hollywood of [Tarantino’s] childhood, a rock music tour of 1969, and an ode to cinema as a whole.” Sounds exciting for sure.
The Art of Self-Defense – Surprising hit out of the South by Southwest Film Festival, directed by the director of “Faults,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots.
Boss Level – Joe Carnahan may be hit-or-miss but when he delivers, his stuff can be delicious. With a great cast, “Boss Level” is an intriguing summer film.
Child’s Play – Sure, they made hundreds of “Chucky” films and even the original is kind of outdated right now, but it’s getting made again by a major studio for a wide release, starring Mark Hamill (as Chucky) and Aubrey Plaza, and it sure sounds interesting. Hopefully it’ll be a worthy remake and not just a cash grab.