So many trailers, so little time to get the popcorn, hold the soda and recline the comfy cinema chair …
To save you all the effort of scouring the internet for yourselves, I have assembled five trailers for movies I think will be worth the effort going to see with films running the gamut from unconventional rom-coms to intense survival stories, from frothy parent/child bonding comedies to intense portrayals of modern issues.
It’s a cornucopia of cinematic delights so sit back, enjoy … oh and please turn off your cell phone … and don’t talk … and …
Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (Gandolfini) – a sweet, funny and like-minded man. Things get complicated when Eva discovers that Albert is in fact the dreaded ex–husband of Marianne. This sharp insightful comedy follows Eva as she humorously tries to secretly juggle both relationships and wonders whether her new friend’s disastrous ex can be her cue for happiness. Written & directed by Nicole Holofcener (Please Give).
What a delightful pairing – the calm, droll presence of the late masterful actor James Gandolfini in one of his final roles, and the inspired comic energy of Julia Louis Dreyfus in Enough Said, a film that judging by the actors alone looks to have a good shot at upsetting the usual romantic comedy apple cart.
Coming up with a pleasing twist on the much-maligned rom-com tropes is a feat of almost Herculean proportions with many movies of the genre failing to come close to slaying the nine-headed creative hydra.
Enough Said looks to have the goods though if for no other reason than Gandolfini and Dreyfus do not fit the mold of the rom-com actors of choice at the moment, with the look and style of the film, based on the trailer along admittedly, harkening back instead to the golden days of Hepburn and Tracy, Grant and Stewart, with a playful modern twist.
We will find out just how accurately and consistently they nail it when Enough Said debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2013 and in USA on 20 September 2013.
* To see an exclusive clip of the important “meet cute” that is an essential part of any romantic comedy, check out insidemovies.ew.com
Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face. (source: metacritic.com)
I love a survival story against all odds – except for ones where arms must be hacked off with blunt knives which is why I gave 127 Hours a miss despite the presence of James Franco in the lead – with movies like Life of Pi and Castaway capturing the willful determination to survive (along with, of course the importance of taking tigers and volley balls respectively along with you for the journey).
The tenacity of the human spirit is once again on show in All is Lost, with Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief film critic saying of star Robert Redford’s performance:
“Redford, who can’t avoid exuding charisma, plays this role with utter naturalism and lack of histrionics or self-regard.”
With little to no dialogue used, the film relies almost solely on Redford’s extraordinary ability to convey a man battling against considerable odds with talk already turning to the veteran actor being a real chance at next year’s Oscars.
You can go to sea with All is Lost, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May when it opens in USA on 18 October 2013.
Inside Llewyn Davis follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles-some of them of his own making. (source: festival-cannes.com)
The Coen Brothers are a talented twosome.
Blessed with a rare ability to create idiosyncratic movies that are also eminently accessible to those who crave more mainstream fare, they have turned out movie after movie that refuses to fit the standard Hollywood mold.
Inside Llewyn Davis, loosely based on Dave Van Ronk’s posthumously published 2005 memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street (s0urce: wikipedia) fits perfectly into their oeuvre, evoking the spirit of a long gone era and peopled with characters both intense and quirkily unusual with John Goodman particularly good as jazz-loving, folk-hating Roland Turner and Drive‘s Oscar Isaac nailing it as a Dylan-esque chasing the big time all the way to Chicago and back.
The film also makes liberal use of soundtrack producer T-Bone Burnett’s gift for assembling just the right mix of music from a particular period, which the Coen Brothers have used before most effectively in their film O Brother Where Art Thou?
You can get your guitars a-twangin’ with Inside Llewyn Davis when the film, which premieres in the USA at the New York Film Festival on 28 September 2013 (its worldwide premiere was at Cannes in May) before opening in general wide release on 20 December.
Valentin (Eugenio Derbez) is Acapulco’s resident playboy–until a former fling leaves a baby on his doorstep and takes off without a trace. Valentin leaves Mexico for Los Angeles to find the baby’s mother, but only ends up finding a new home for himself and his newfound daughter, Maggie (Loreto Peralta). An unlikely father figure, Valentin raises Maggie for six years, while also establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen to pay the bills, with Maggie acting as his on-set coach. As Valentin raises Maggie, she forces him to grow up too. But their unique and offbeat family is threatened when Maggie’s birth mom shows up out of the blue, and Valentin realizes he’s in danger of losing his daughter- and his best friend. (source: movieinsider.com)
Yes I know the plot of Instructions Not Included has been done a thousand times before but there is something about the physicality of star Eugenio Derbez and the utter naturalness of the girl who plays his daughter, Loreto Peralta, that won me over, and fast.
It has equal measures of comedy and drama, and if the trailer is any accurate guide (let’s hope it is since it’s one annoying quality is it pretty much gives the whole story away, a failing of many modern shorts), just enough sentimentality to be touching without inducing a nasty case of nausea.
The trick will be making sure all those narratively combustible qualities stay in perfect balance throughout the movie.
Instructions Not Included opens in USA on 30 August 2013.
In 1982, amid the Lebanese Civil War, Israeli pilot Yoni (Stephen Dorff) is shot down over Beirut and is taken prisoner by inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp. Among the captors is ten-year-old Fahed, whose father obsessively tends to his prized, but sickly olive tree, refusing to replant it until they return to their ancestral land. Despite his deep-rooted hatred for Yoni, Fahed realizes he can use him to get past the border and into “Palestine” to plant his father’s olive tree. The two embark on a harrowing and dangerous journey – one that tests the very boundaries of humanity. ZAYTOUN is a story of survival, reconciliation and friendship. (source: metacritic.com)
Zaytoun tells another searing story of survival but one that rests entirely on one of the most trenchant political, cultural and geographic divides – the ongoing conflict between the nation of Israel and the Palestinian diaspora.
Making use of one of the most unusual combinations I have ever seen in a movie, that of a downed Israeli pilot understandably desperate to return home, and a young Palestinian boy on a mission to make his family’s return to Israel a reality (if only figuratively), it is at turns gripping, emotionally-wrenching and heartwarming without once looking like it resorts to easy cliches.
A parable of reconciliation, Zaytoun elicits stand out performances from both Stephen Dorff and Abdallah El Akal and gives every indication of being a finely nuances portrayal of the relationships borne out of necessity but nurtured by a resulting real connection.
Zaytoun opens on limited US release on 27 September 2013 after premiering at a number of film festivals worldwide over the last 12 months.