Screen encounters of the third kind
Continued from previous page JULY 20 FIREHOUSE DOG A pampered pooch, Hollywood’s top canine star, gets lost and is adopted by the staff at a rundown fire station where he befriends a 12-year-old boy (Josh Hutcherson) and his dad (Bruce Greenwood). HAIRSPRAY The movie of the hit Broadway musical of the delightful 1988 John Waters movie features John Travolta – in drag and fat suit – in Divine’s original role as Edna Turnblad, whose plump teen daughter (Nicole Blonsky) lands a place on a TV dance contest. With James Mardsen, Michelle Pfieffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah and Allison Janney. Directed by Adam Shankman. PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES/COEURS The indefatigable Alain Resnais, who turns 85 next month, directs this transposition of an Alan Ayckbourn play to Paris where six characters are looking for love. With Lambert Wilson, Laura Morante and Sabine Azema. JULY 27 SHERRYBABY Maggie Gyllenhaal impressively immerses herself in the role of a volatile ex-convict desperately trying to reconnect with her young daughter and to stay off drugs. Laurie Collyer directs. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE After 18 years on the air, the animated TV comedy finally comes to the big screen, as Homer has to save the world, no less, from a catastrophe of his own creation. Series creator Matt Groening leads the team of screenwriters, with David Silverman (who co-directed Monsters, Inc) at the helm. TRANSFORMERS Having tasted commercial failure with The Island, director Michael Bay is aiming for a comeback with the lavish live-action movie based on the robot toys introduced in the 1980s.The cast includes Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson and Jon Voight. AUGUST 3 EVAN ALMIGHTY The sequel to Bruce Almighty, which starred Jim Carrey, shifts the spotlight on to the character of rival newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), who has been elected to congress when God (Morgan Freeman) commands him to build an ark. NANCY DREW Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric and niece of Julia) plays the teen detective who, on a visit to Los Angeles with her father (Tate Donovan), uncovers clues to a murder mystery involving a movie star. Andrew Fleming directs. *PRICELESS/HORS DE PRIX Amélie star Audrey Tautou plays a gold-digger in Pierre Salvadori’s French comedy, with Gad Elmaleh as the young man she mistakes for a millionaire and then drops when she discovers he’s a waiter. *SERAPHIM FALLS Set in the aftermath of the American Civil War, David Von Ancken’s handsomely photographed western takes the form of an extended chase involving two men who fought on opposite sides in the war, with Pierce Brosnan as the prey and Liam Neeson his dogged pursuer. AUGUST 10 * THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY/LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON US artist-turned-filmmaker Julian Schnabel, who made Basquiat and Before Night Falls, directs the movie based on the autobiography of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (played by Mathieu Amalric) who in 1995, at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralysed his entire body, apart from his left eye – which he blinked to dictate the contents of his book. RUSH HOUR 3 Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return as the mismatched cops for an action comedy set in Paris where they inadvertently get involved with a Triad gang. The truly eclectic supporting cast includes Vinnie Jones, Max von Sydow and Roman Polanski. SURF’S UP Presumably working from the theory that cute penguins assure box office success (as Happy Feet and March of the Penguins proved), this animated feature follows the progress of a teen penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica as he competes in a surfing contest. Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder, Jeff Bridges, James Woods and Zooey Deschanel head the voice cast. *TRANSYLVANIA The new film from Exils director Tony Gatlif stars Asia Argento as a Frenchwoman travelling to Romania in search of the musician who has left her pregnant. AUGUST 17 ARCTIC TALE This documentary illustrates the harsh realities of living in the Arctic through the experiences of a walrus and her calf and a polar bear and her cubs. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM In Matt Damon’s third outing as the amnesiac agent, Jason Bourne is lured out of hiding by a journalist (Paddy Considine) who is following his story. With David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles and Chris Cooper. It bodes well that Paul Greengrass, who directed The Bourne Supremacy and United 93, is back at the helm. HOT ROD An amateur stuntman (Andy Samberg) plans to clear 15 buses to fund a heart operation for his abusive stepfather (Ian McShane). With Sissy Spacek. LICENCE TO WED This comedy stars Robin Williams as a cleric putting an engaged couple (Mandy Moore and John Krasinski) through a gruelling pre-marriage course. * THE SINGER/QUAND J’ÉTAIS CHANTEUR Gerard Depardieu does all his own singing as an ageing, divorced dance hall performer who falls for an estate agent (Cecile de France) less than half his age. AUGUST 24 1408 The title of this Stephen King adaptation refers to the number of a New York hotel room with a chequered history. John Cusack plays an author who specialises in debunking supernatural phenomena and checks into the room despite the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L Jackson). Directed by Mikael Hafstrom.
* GARDENS IN AUTUMN/JARDINS EN AUTOMNE The new film from Paris-based Georgian director Otar Iosseliani features Severin Blanchet as a French government minister who resigns after a scandal and settles into a new laid-back existence. In the most overt example of the movie’s offbeat humour, veteran Michel Piccoli dons drag to play his dowdy mother.
KNOCKED UP (see panel) AUGUST 31 HALLAM FOE Jamie Bell plays the eponymous disturbed teen besotted with an Edinburgh hotel manager (Sylvia Myles) who closely resembles his recently deceased mother. David Mackenzie, who made Young Adam and Asylum, directs. LADY CHATTERLEY Pascal Ferran’s new treatment of the formerly controversial DH Lawrence novel collected five prizes at this year’s French cinema awards, the Cesars, including best picture and best actress for Marina Hinds in the title role. With Hippolyte Girardot as her paralysed husband and Jean-Louis Coulloc’h as the gamekeeper who provides her with sexual relief. Release dates are subject to change. * indicates that the release date is to be confirmed
Poaching the gamekeeper: Marina Hands as Lady Chatterley