With the Os­cars just around the cor­ner, Michael Dwyer looks at movies on the way to our screens be­tween now and April

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

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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