Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Playlist's 50 Most Anticipated Films Of 2012

Well here we are; the brave new world of 2012. And at present, it's not too scary, although we swear that we'll beat the next person to death who makes a joke about the Roland Emmerich film. And after a 2011 that turned out to be a pretty decent year for cinema (if not necessarily one for the ages), we're now staring out across a few months that seem fairly barren, as the early months of the year always do.
As such, and as always, to keep you going across the "Joyful Noise"s and "Underworld Awakening"s of the world, we've rounded up our 50 Most Anticipated films of the coming year, and what a year it looks like. There's more to come, with Popcorn, Foreign-Language and Sundance picks coming over the next few days. Obviously, there's some crossover; there are tentpoles ranked right up here, and foreign films too.
And don't forget, many of the best films of the year aren't on anyone's radar just yet; show us someone who was eagerly anticipating "The Artist" a year ago, and we'll show you Jean Dujardin's mum. But surprises excluded, these are the 50 (in, for the record, alphabetical order, and with a few bonuses that probably won't, but conceivably could, hit theaters before the end of the year) that are giving us the most cinematic hope in the coming year. And coming up tomorrow are our most anticipated popcorn/escapist films (i.e. films that we're only slightly embarrassed to admit we care about. Joke... kinda...).
Synopsis: Based on the novel by American author Don DeLillo, it centers on Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a young multi-billionaire making an epic, ultimately doomed limo ride across New York City.
What You Need to Know: David Cronenberg is enjoying an unparalleled level of critical and commercial acceptance after decades hovering on the fringe. At the outset, "Cosmopolis" seems to fall in line with the mannered, critic-friendly films of the recent Cronenberg era. It is, after all, an adaptation of a critically revered and best-selling novel and stars hunky heartthrob-of-the-moment Robert Pattinson. But on closer inspection, the movie seems more atypical and dangerous (a good thing, since "A Dangerous Method" felt far too safe for a filmmaker known for exploding heads and genital mutilation), taking place primarily in a stretch limousine as it crawls through New York City (not exactly a cinematic conceit). A number of Cronenberg's favorite thematic tics are explored, too, including man's relationship with modern technology, the messiness of murder and sexual obsession. So while it might be sold as another buttoned-up late era Cronenberg think piece, we're hoping it's going to be ruder, looser, and more like the days of yore, even if it has to be without the exploding heads and genital mutilation.
Release Date: With press for “A Dangerous Method” occupying much of Cronenberg’s time in the fall of 2011, our guess is the fall film festival circuit will be the earliest we see the picture.

On The Road
Synopsis: A long-time-coming adaptation of Jack Kerouac's famous Beat Generation novel. Drifter poets Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty travel across the country in search of themselves, colliding with a rigid and impermeable society along the way.
What You Need To Know: Over thirty years in the making, director Francis Ford Coppola has been trying to get this picture made since the mid 1970s. Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles signed on to make the picture in 2005, with Coppola exec producing, but none of it became a reality until  early 2010 when casting and financing finally coalesced. Starring Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley as the two leads and Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi and more, rounding out the colorful cast, “On The Road” has been a labor of love for both Salles and Hedlund who has also been involved for years, biding his time for when funding would finally arrive. Having directed “The Motorcycle Diaries,” and other striking Foreign-language films, Salles has had an unlucky streak of late. After 2005’s semi-successful “Dark Water,” his 2008 co-directed film “Linha de Passe" failed to ever score distribution in North America. But having worked on ‘Road’ on and off for six years, we’re hoping this one is a major comeback.
Release Date: TBD, but we’re guessing a Cannes bow in May would make sense.

indiewire for the rest


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