NEW YEAR MOVIES

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

Our Fa­thers ob­serves the 1945 war in the Pa­cific from the Ja­panese point of view. With Ken Watan­abe. Feb 23 LIGHTS IN THE DUSK Aki Kau­ris­maki con­cludes his tril­ogy on so­cially marginalised out­siders with a pic­ture of a dole­ful Helsinki se­cu­rity guard who proves easy prey for ex­ploita­tion. Mar 9 MEET THE ROBIN­SONS In Dis­ney’s an­i­mated fea­ture, a 12-year-old in­ven­tor meets a mys­te­ri­ous boy who takes him by time ma­chine to a fu­ture world of fly­ing cars and float­ing cities. Joseph Cross plays a bright teen grow­ing up in a dys­func­tional fam­ily in the 1970s. With An­nette Ben­ing, Gwyneth Pal­trow, Brian Cox and Alec Bald­win. Jan 19

Mar 30 MISS POT­TER Renée Zell­weger plays au­thor Beatrix Pot­ter in a biopic co-star­ring Ewan McGre­gor and Emily Wat­son, and di­rected by Chris Noo­nan. Jan 5 MR BEAN’S HOL­I­DAY Rowan Atkin­son re­turns as the in­com­pe­tent pro­tag­o­nist, this time wreak­ing havoc on the French Riviera and at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val. Mar 30 MU­SIC AND LYRICS Hugh Grant plays a washed-up singer, with Drew Bar­ry­more as the young wo­man who helps him write a song for a teen pop star. Feb 9 NOR­BIT Ed­die Mur­phy dou­bles as a mild-man­nered man and his mean-spir­ited fi­ancee, with Thandie New­ton as his whole­some child­hood sweet­heart. Mar 9 NOTES ON A SCAN­DAL Richard Eyre’s film of Zoe Heller’s novel fea­tures Judi Dench as a lonely teacher who be­friends a younger col­league (Cate Blanchett), but re­sents her af­fair with a stu­dent (Ir­ish ac­tor Andrew Simp­son). Feb 2 THE NUM­BER 23 Jim Car­rey plays a man ob­sessed with a book that seems to be based on his own life but ends on a mur­der that has yet to hap­pen. Joel Schu­macher di­rects. Feb 23 ONCE John Car­ney’s ro­man­tic mu­si­cal af­fec­tion­ately ob­serves the re­la­tion­ship that forms be­tween a Grafton Street busker (Frames singer-song­writer Glen Hansard) and a Czech pi­anist (Mar­keta In­glova). Mar 23 A PRAIRIE HOME COM­PAN­ION The late Robert Alt­man’s swan­song is set dur­ing the last broad­cast of Gar­ri­son Keil­lor’s pop­u­lar ra­dio show and fea­tures Meryl Streep, Lily Tom­lin, Woody Har­rel­son and Kevin Kline. Jan 5 PRE­MO­NI­TION San­dra Bul­lock plays a wo­man who fore­sees the death of her hus­band (Ju­lian McMa­hon) in a car ac­ci­dent and tries to avert the tragedy. Mar 16 THE PUR­SUIT OF HAP­PY­NESS Will Smith stars as a strug­gling sales­man in­tent on turn­ing his life around when he gets cus­tody of his young son. Jan 12 THE RE­TURN Sarah Michelle Gel­lar plays a young Texan de­ter­mined to learn the truth about her su­per­nat­u­ral vi­sions of a mur­der that oc­curred 15 years ear­lier. Jan 19 ROCKY BAL­BOA Now 60, Sylvester Stal­lone steps back into the ring, play­ing one of the old­est box­ers in the world and dou­bling as di­rec­tor for the first time since Rocky IV in 1985. With Burt Young, Ir­ish ac­tress Geral­dine Hughes and Mike Tyson. Jan 19 RUN­NING WITH SCIRRORS SCHOOL FOR SOUNDRELS The US re­make of the 1960 Bri­tish com­edy, which fea­tured Ian Carmichael and Terry-Thomas, stars Billy Bob Thorn­ton as an adult ed­u­ca­tion teacher in­still­ing con­fi­dence in a brow­beaten traf­fic war­den (Jon Heder). Feb 23 THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP Di­rec­tor Michel Gondry fol­lows Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind with a re­put­edly whim­si­cal and vis­ually in­ven­tive pic­ture of an in­se­cure graphic artist (Gael Gar­cía Ber­nal) fall­ing for his new neigh­bour (Char­lotte Gains­bourg). Feb 16 SHOOTER An­toine Fuqua’s po­lit­i­cal thriller stars Mark Wahlberg as a guilt-rid­den ace marks­man drawn back into ac­tion to pre­vent an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt on the US pres­i­dent. Mar 23 SLEEP­ING DOGS LIE Ac­tor Bob­cat Goldth­wait di­rects a provoca­tive sex com­edy in which a col­lege stu­dent (Melinda Page Hamil­ton) is chal­lenged to re­veal the gross­est thing she ever did. Feb 23 SMOKIN’ ACES Joe Car­na­han’s dark ac­tion-com­edy fea­tures Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds as FBI agents pro­tect­ing a Las Ve­gas ma­gi­cian (Jeremy Piven) from mob­sters. With Ben Af­fleck, Andy Gar­cia and singer Ali­cia Keys. Jan 12 TEENAGE MU­TANT NINJA TUR­TLES Cowabunga! The he­roes in a half-shell – Leonardo, Michelan­gelo, Donatello and Raphael – re­turn to the big screen for the first fully CGI-an­i­mated movie in the fran­chise. Mar 30 TEN CA­NOES Di­rec­tor Rolf de Heer col­lab­o­rated closely with an Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity for a film rooted in an­cient myths and trig­gered by a man’s lust for his brother’s youngest wife. Mar 30 THEM/ILS This French hor­ror-thriller faces a teacher and her nov­el­ist hus­band (Olivia Bon­amy and Michaël Co­hen) with creepy, in­ex­pli­ca­ble events in a re­mote house out­side Bucharest. Jan 26 300 Zach Sny­der’s his­tor­i­cal epic based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel drama­tises the Bat­tle of Ther­mopy­lae in 480 BC, when King Leonidas (Ger­ard But­ler) led 300 Spar­tans against a mas­sive Per­sian army. Mar 30 THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE Jen­nifer Love He­witt plays a wo­man sus­pect­ing her hus­band (Jimi Mistry) of in­fi­delity when he fails to men­tion the anony­mous Valen­tine’s Day card she sent him in this ro­man­tic com­edy. Feb 16 THE UP­SIDE OF ANGER Joan Allen plays a well-heeled al­co­holic whose hus­band has left her and their four teen daugh­ters, with Kevin Cost­ner as an amorous for­mer base­ball star. Feb 16 VENUS Peter O’Toole is on prime form as an iras­ci­ble, age­ing ac­tor un­ex­pect­edly drawn to the 19-year-old grand­niece (Jodie Whit­taker) of his best friend (Les­lie Phillips). Scripted by Hanif Kureishi and di­rected by Roger Michell. Mar 2 WHITE NOISE: THE LIGHT Nathan Fil­lion plays a man sur­viv­ing a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence and dis­cov­er­ing he can iden­tify those among the liv­ing who are about to die in this se­quel to the 2005 su­per­nat­u­ral thriller fea­tur­ing Michael Keaton. Jan 5 ZO­DIAC Jake Gyl­len­haal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruf­falo, Brian Cox, Chloë Se­vi­gny and Gary Old­man fea­ture in David Fincher’s thriller based on a no­to­ri­ous se­rial killer who ter­rorised San Fran­cisco in the 1970s, leav­ing cryp­tic clues to taunt the po­lice. Mar 16 Re­lease dates are sub­ject to change

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