FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ...
With the Oscars just around the corner, Michael Dwyer looks at movies on the way to our screens between now and April
AFTER THE WEDDING Susanne Bier’s compelling Danish drama features Mads Mikkleson (Le Chiffre in Casino Royale) as an Indian orphanage volunteer faced with complications from his past when he returns home. Mar 9 APOCALYPTO In Mel Gibson’s action adventure set during the decline of the Mayan kingdom, a young warrior (Rudy Youngblood) runs for his life to avoid becoming a human sacrifice. Jan 5 ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES Luc Besson blends animation and live action for a fantasy in which a boy (Freddie Highmore) encounters the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. Feb 2 BABEL Amores Perros and 21 Grams director Alejandro González Iñárritu reflects on international conflict in a globetrotting thriller intersecting four narratives and featuring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal. Jan 19 BECAUSE I SAID SO Michael Lehmann, who has yet to match his 1989 debut with Heathers, directs a comedy-drama starring Diane Keaton as a woman determined to find the right man for her daughter (Mandy Moore). Feb 16 BECOMING JANE Anne Hathaway plays the 20-year-old Jane Austen getting involved with a young Irishman (James McAvoy) in a relationship that inspired Pride and Prejudice. With Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and James Cromwell. Mar 16 BLACK BOOK Dutch director Paul Verhoeven returns home for a vigorous war movie starring Carice van Houten as a resourceful young Jewish woman willing to do anything to survive. Jan 19 BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE A teen werewolf (Agnes Bruckner) is forced to choose between true love and pack loyalty when she falls for a handsome human (Hugh Dancy). BLOOD DIAMOND A smuggler (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) and a journalist (Jennifer Connolly) get caught up in the search for a priceless diamond during the Sierra Leone civil war in 1999. Edward Zwick directs. Jan 19 BOBBY Emilio Estevez’s absorbing picture of overlapping stories is set over the June 1968 day when Robert Kennedy was assassinated at a Los Angeles hotel. With Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Helen Hunt, Freddy Rodrigeuz, William H Macy, Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood and Martin Sheen. Jan 26 CATCH A FIRE Phillip Noyce’s South African drama is based on the experiences of a Mozambique immigrant (Derek Luke) wrongly accused of bombing a Transvaal oil refinery. With Tim Robbins. Mar 23 CHARLOTTE’S WEB The new film of EB White’s novel mixes live action and CGI, with Dakota Fanning as the farm girl befriending a spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) and saving a piglet from slaughter. Feb 9 CLIMATES Uzak director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Turkish drama observes the relationship between a self-absorbed university lecturer and a TV production designer – played by the director and his wife, Ebru Ceylan. Feb/Mar CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat play imperial rulers fighting each other and their three sons for power in a lavish 10th-century drama directed by Zhang Yimou. Mar 2 DREAMGIRLS Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson star in Bill Condon’s movie of the Broadway musical charting the mixed fortunes of a Detroit girl group in the 1960s. Feb 2 EPIC MOVIE Scary Movie writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer co-direct a spoof in which four orphans – one raised by a Louvre curator, another a victim of snakes on her plane – stumble through an enchanted wardrobe and encounter wizardry students and a flamboyant pirate. Feb 9 FAST FOOD NATION Richard Linklater reshapes Eric Schlosser’s non-fiction book as a narrative feature depicting fast food production as disgusting and dangerous. With Greg Kinnear, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Ethan Hawke. Mar 23 FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION In Christopher Guest’s witty showbiz spoof, the cast of a tacky melodrama are transformed for the worst when they get a whiff of Oscar nominations. With Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey and Ricky Gervais. Feb 9 THE FOUNTAIN Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play multiple roles in Darren Aronofsky’s ambitious film set across three eras – in 1500, 2000 and 2500 – and following a quest for the Tree of Life, noted in an opening quote from Genesis. Jan 26 FREEDOM WRITERS Before their recent reunion for the Cecelia Ahern adaptation PS I Love You, Richard LaGravenese directed Hilary Swank as an inspirational teacher in this high school drama. With Patrick Dempsey and Imelda Staunton. Mar 2 GHOST RIDER Nicolas Cage plays Johnny Blaze, the stunt cyclist who sells his soul and becomes a supernatural agent of vengeance in this Marvel Comics adaptation. Mar 2 GOAL! 2 In the second movie of the trilogy, the young footballer played by Kuno Becker is transferred from Newcastle United to Real Madrid. Feb 9 GONE A thriller set in the Australian outback, where a young British couple (Shaun Evans and Amelia Warner) encounter a charming but sinister American (Scott Mechlowicz). Mar 9 THE GOOD GERMAN Steven Soderbergh pays homage to 1940s cinema in a postwar thriller set in bombed-out Berlin, filmed in black-and-white and using only the equipment available to directors at the time. With George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire. Mar 9 THE GOOD SHEPHERD Robert De Niro directs Matt Damon as a Yale graduate rising through the ranks of the CIA in the
Cold War era of the 1950s. With Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, John Turturro, Alec Baldwin and De Niro. Feb 23 A GUIDE TO RECOGNISING YOUR SAINTS Dito Montiel’s autobiographical movie follows a young man – played at different ages by Shia LeBeouf and Robert Downey Jr – who tries to break away from the mean streets of Queens in the 1980s. Mar 2 HALF NELSON Ryan Fleck’s edgy drama features the remarkable Ryan Gosling as a Brooklyn teacher whose drug addiction spirals out of control. Mar 2 HANNIBAL RISING Hot on the heels of the recently published prequel by Thomas Harris comes Peter Webber’s screen version, starring Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter in his teens. Feb 9 THE HILLS HAVE EYES II In the sequel to the recent remake, young National Guard trainees come under attack from mutants in the New Mexico desert. Mar 2 HOLLYWOODLAND Adrien Brody and Diane Lane star in a film exploring the mysterious death of George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who played Superman on TV in the 1950s. Jan 26 HOT FUZZ Simon Pegg plays a detective posted to a sleepy town, where he and an oafish young constable (Nick Frost) suspect that some grisly accidents have involved foul play. Feb 16 INFAMOUS Directed by Douglas McGrath, the second movie in a year dealing with Truman Capote and the Kansas killings that inspired In Cold Blood features Tony Jones as Capote, Daniel Craig as murderer Perry Smith, Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee and Gwyneth Paltrow as Peggy Lee. Jan 19 INLAND EMPIRE David Lynch’s experimental, critically divisive opus features Laura Dern as an actress signed on for a new movie, and Jeremy Irons as her director. Mar 9 THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND Forest Whitaker could well win an Oscar as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in Kevin Macdonald’s film that artfully blends fact and fiction as Amin employs a young Scot (James McAvoy) as his personal physician. Jan 12 LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA Named best picture of 2006 by several US critics’ groups, Clint Eastwood’s companion film to Flags of
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