The fall is my favorite season for several reasons: the weather, the holidays, the foliage, the movies—oh, the movies. This is when studios release their best contenders for Oscar glory, more than four months away. Every year, I aim to watch all of the Oscar hopefuls before nominations are announced (this year on January 16, 2014).
Here is my second-annual list of this year’s major contenders in various categories, along with release dates.
The cineplex will be run over this year with quality movies, both big and small. This year, each member of Limité‘s film staff presents his or her top 10 picks. What movies are you most looking forward to? Comment below.
Note: Since many of these films are currently in various stages of production, the release dates are subject to change. All loglines are courtesy of IMDb.com, unless otherwise noted.
by Daniel Quitério
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Screenwriters: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón, Rodrigo Garcia
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Genres: Sci-fi, Thriller
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Release Date: October 18
It’s been six years since Mexican writer/director Alfonso Cuarón took a seat in the director’s chair. And now, following his heralded 2006 release Children of Men, the filmmaker is primed to launch his much-anticipated sci-fi thriller Gravity. The $80 million space odyssey tale focuses on a pair of astronauts who are stranded beyond Earth after debris smashes into their shuttle during a routine spacewalk. Characters played by Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are tethered together as they spiral into negative space, hoping to find a way home.
The director partnered with his son Jonás Cuarón and filmmaker Rodrigo García (Albert Nobbs, 2011) on the script, which will be realized on screen in 3D and IMAX 3D. Prior to Bullock’s and Clooney’s attachment to the film, the two crucial roles had names like Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. attached to them. Several other notable Hollywood elites were also considered for the weighty female lead, including Marion Cotillard, Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman, among others. Cuarón proves himself an auteur of the highest caliber with this and other films which he wrote, directed, produced, and edited. His three previous Oscar nominations came in the categories of Best Original Screenplay (Y tu mamá también, 2001), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing (Children of Men, 2006). Gravity will be photographed by past Cuarón collaborator, the 5-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer and fellow Mexico native Emmanuel Lubezki, who likely employs a similar sense of vast space and wonder in this film as he displayed in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011).
Venue: Francesca Beale Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC
Series: NYFF50: Cinema Reflected
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and girl get married. Girl gets pregnant. Boy and girl split up. Etc. Etc. It’s a rather simple tale, but this reviewer can guarantee you’ve never seen it done quite like this. In Final Cut – Ladies and Gentlemen, Hungarian filmmaker Pálfi György uses brief scenes from nearly 500 films (and some TV shows) to tell this plain story. It’s a remarkable achievement and is the greatest celebration of cinema to hit the big screen in a long time. This is the ultimate movie about movies.
Employing a hodgepodge of scenes from films ranging from The Birth of a Nation (1915) to Avatar (2009), from live-action to animation, from comedy to drama—and everything in between—Final Cutamazingly tells a cohesive narrative from start to finish—one that could have been easily ruined in the hands of a less-skilled filmmaker. The amount of visual and auditory texture in this “epic” is staggering, and yet this visual collage does not strain the eye and is not distracting. Recognizing that so much of what makes a great movie great are the little moments on screen—waking up in bed, a loving stare, an expression of joy—György embroidered a fine tapestry that highlights these singular moments, and in doing so he tells a story of love and loss, of happiness and sorrow—a simple story with great depth, as told through the voice of cinema through the ages.
Limité Rating: 4/5
Director: Pálfi György
Genres: Experimental, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language: Mostly silent with some lines in English
Runtime: 85 min.
The 50th New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14, 2012.
If you’re anything like me, you’re sure to watch most (if not all) of the major Oscar-contending films before nominations are even announced (this year on January 10, 2013). Here are trailers and release dates for just some of this year’s major contenders in various categories.
Labor Day has passed, and now it’s time to consider this year’s crop of what will inevitably be considered some of Oscar’s biggest fodder. It’s no surprise that when it comes to the Academy Awards, the movies that are most likely to be honored with a nomination are those that are released towards the end of the year. Some of this year’s frontrunners appear to be Argo, Django Unchained, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hyde Park on Hudson, Life of Pi, Lincoln, The Master, Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook, Wreck-It Ralph, and Zero Dark Thirty. Of course, there’s plenty of other flicks to look forward to, spanning all genres and audience interests.
Note: All non-authored pieces’ loglines are courtesy of IMDb.com.