Most Anticipated 2012: Part 1
I can’t wait for 2012 movies. I’ve never had a list of anticipated titles this long, and I’ve certainly never had promising quality this high mostly all the way down the list. With no teasers (minus one or two exceptions), vague synopses, and in some cases, no titles, I don’t have much to go on. But, it’s not difficult to predict great work from my favorite actors, writers, and directors, so proven track records will be most influential here. From big-budget blockbusters to indie character dramas to everything in between, 2012 looks to have the goods. So buckle up, because this upcoming year will be an incredible ride.
1. The Master. As a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, this pick was a no-brainer. I’ve been looking forward to the film for a long time, before financing was pulled and Reese Witherspoon and Jeremy Renner were on board. It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening, now with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, not to mention Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is one my very favorite actors right now. There Will Be Blood came out in 2007; let’s hope that Anderson will give us something just as special this go-round.
2. The Dark Knight Rises. Unfortunately, Nolan’s franchise is coming to end, but he’s sure to go out with a roar. Everyone’s itching to know how this trilogy will conclude. The teaser featured little material but definitely piqued interest; the poster has propelled anticipation to new heights; and the soon-to-be-seen trailer will raise it through the ceiling. Nolan has once again assembled an amazing cast, including Tom Hardy, who turned some heads earlier this year with his pummeling performance in Warrior. Midnight viewing: coming up on 7 months away. And many more viewings will follow.
3. Django Unchained. Any Quentin Tarantino film would land high on a list like this, but his follow-up to the exhilarating Inglorious Basterds makes the case all the more compelling. The cast is stacked; the story is typical QT; and the below-the-line personnel (including DP Robert Richardson) are sure to produce some dazzling visuals. The chance to see Leonardo DiCaprio as a villainous plantation owner is worth the price of admission alone.
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This has been a long time coming. With Peter Jackson at the helm once more, I can’t wait to return to Middle Earth. He has cast a great actor in the central role of Bilbo (BBC’s The Office and Sherlock), and a large amount of the original players are returning. To say that this film is a big event is an understatement.
5. Gravity. A sci-fi thriller written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También), starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life). Six years after the jaw-dropping visuals on display in Children of Men, Cuarón and Lubezki are sure to have things in store that we’ll be talking about years later.
6. Untitled Terrence Malick. Every Malick film is an anticipated one, especially a follow-up to this year’s stunning The Tree of Life. Lubezki has said that this one will push the avant-garde to the extreme, even more so than they already have. While news like this will immediately turn some viewers off, it heightens my excitement to see the grammar of cinema expanded in unconventional directions. I’m particularly interested in what Malick does with Ben Affleck, after revealing new depths to Colin Farrell and Brad Pitt.
7. Prometheus. Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron are on board for Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi. I don’t know much about the plot, but if it’s in the vein of Alien, I’m not going to miss it.
8. Skyfall. Sam Mendes takes on a big-budget action film for the first time. With a writer like John Logan, a DP like Roger Deakins, and a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, and Albert Finney, I can’t imagine this train going off-track. We could be looking at not only the best Bond film yet but also one of the most compelling blockbusters of all time.
9. The Place Beyond the Pines. As a complete devotee of Blue Valentine, I’ve been waiting eagerly for Derek Cianfrance’s next picture. That he’s reteaming with Ryan Gosling, who gave an astonishing performance in that film, is just gravy on top. Add in Bradley Cooper, who seems to hold potential not yet fully tapped, and you have the makings of movie magic.
10. Only God Forgives. Ryan Gosling reteams with another director here: Nicolas Winding Refn, the artist behind Bronson and Drive. I’m a big fan of Drive, and Refn has proven to be a gifted visual stylist. Very little is known about this one, but these two names are enough to get me in the theater.
Check back in for additional titles. The ones further down the list are also extremely impressive.