I’ve run variations of this most eagerly waited films of 2013 list a couple of times since December. The count is now at 58, although I’ve deleted some titles and added four or five. But things evolve and clarify as time moves along so it can’t hurt to go over it once more. As usual, please point out any mistakes or anything I’ve missed.
(l. to r.) Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Alexander Payne during filming of Nebraska.
I understand that it’s my lot in life to mostly suffer through the winter and spring, nibbing whatever morsels I can find, and then succumb to numbing fatigue and occasional nausea during the May-July blockbuster season and then, finally — finally! — get a little satisfaction come early September and some serious nutritional soul food in late October, November and December.
It’ll never happen, but I wish the quality stuff could be spread out a bit more. A very small portion of these films will open in the spring and summer and two or three might not come out until 2014 (especially those directed by Terrence Wackadoodle), but if the vast majority are in fact going to open in 2013, the accepted industry practice of only releasing the goodies only between Labor Day and Christmas means that something close to 45 or 50 will have to open within a four-month window, or roughly 12 per month or three per week.
That’s a lot to absorb and process, and that’s not even counting the crap popcorn stuff. So we’ll all be looking at a very full fall-holiday season, and the game will begin six and half months from now. Get some rest.
(1) John Wells‘ August: Osage County.
(2) Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska.
(3) Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity;
(4) George Clooney‘s Monuments Men (a.k.a., cousin of The Train).
(5) Paul Greengrass‘s Captain Phillips.
(6) Martin Scorsese‘s Wolf of Wall Street.
(7) Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day.
(8) Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis.
(9) Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher.
(10) John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks.
(11) Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor.
(12) Spike Lee‘s Oldboy.
(13) Luc Besson‘sMalavita.
(14) Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years A Slave.
(15) Baz Luhrman‘s The Great Gatsby (which might have issues).
(16) Spike Jonze‘s Her.
(17) Anton Corbijn‘s A Most Wanted Man, based on a John le Carre novel and costarring Willem Dafoe, Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright.
(18 & 19): Terrence Malick‘s two ventures — the Austin-based film formerly known as Lawless (who knows what it’s called now?) plus the relationship vehicle Knight of Cups with Christian Bale and Natalie Portman. It could be that neither will be released until 2014 or 2015. You know Malick. (2)
(20) Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton and Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Mathieu Amalric, Owen Wilson.
(l. to r.) Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts during filming of August: Osage County.
(21) James Gray‘s Nightingale, a New York-based period drama w/ Jeremy Renner, Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix.
(22) Guillame Canet‘s Blood Ties, a 1970s cops-and-criminals drama w/ Marion Cotillard, Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, James Caan, Noah Emmerich.
(23) David O. Russell‘s Abscam movie (once known as American Bullshit — starts shooting in March so might not be ready this year…who knows?
(24) Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha (seen & praised at Telluride 2012 — definitely worth its weight).
(25) Richard Linklater‘s Before Midnight (a major Sundance 2013 highlight and an all-but-guaranteed Oscar contender for Best Original Screenplay).
(26) Stephen Frears‘ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.
(27) Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring.
(28) Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac.
(29) Wong Kar Wai‘s The Grandmaster — I don’t want to know from this film as all Asian combat/martial-arts films will be instantly ignored in this corner from now until the day I die. I will not go there under penalty of death, fines and imprisonment.
(30) Pedro Almodovar‘s I’m So Excited (all things Pedro!),
(31) Joe Swanberg‘s Drinking Buddies (Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson).
(32) Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s The Young and Prodigious Spivet (Judy Davis, Helena Bonham Carter, etc.).
(33) Peter Landesman‘s Parkland.
(34) Diablo Cody‘s untitled film (which was called Lamb of God when I read the script last year).
(35) Brian Helgeland‘s 42 (Jackie Robinson biopic w/ Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford).
(36) Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s Diana (Princess of Wales biopic/love affair with Naomi Watts).
(37) Asghar Farhadi‘s The Past.
(38) John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary.
(39) Paolo Sorrentino‘s La Grande Bellezza.
(40) Hossein Amini‘s The Two Faces of January.
(41) Francois Ozon‘s Jeune at Jolie (an apparent riff on Luis Bunuel‘s Belle du Jour).
(42) Terry Gilliam‘s The Zero Theorem.
(43) Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine.
(44) Roman Polanski‘s Venus in Fur.
(45) Danny Boyle’s‘s Trance, a crime thriller w/ James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson. (Fox Searchlight, April).
(46) John Crowley‘s Closed Circuit.
(47) Susanne Bier‘s Serena — a period reteaming of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
(48) Errol Morris‘s The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld.
(49) Ryan Coogler‘s Fruitvale — the big hit of Sundance 2013, acquired by the Weinstein Co.
One could also include Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives, Ron Howard‘s Rush, David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars. Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium, Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion, Robert Schwentke‘s R.I.P.D., Sam Raimi‘s Oz: The Great and Powerful and Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim (9).