Plan your movie viewing from now until Christmas,
IN RECENT times, the last quarter of the cinematic year has conformed to an unlovely pattern. As the leaves turn brown, we are offered a series of stinking duds – neither December serious nor summer escapist – that you wouldn’t let even the dog watch. Then, as Christmas looms, one or two family films creep in, followed by the worthy Oscar contenders and the latest film in the Lord of the Narnia Potters cycle.
Happily, the last quarter of this year (indeed, this decade) looks a darn sight more promising. October is, for once, packed with interesting prospects: the new Pixar; the latest from Ricky Gervais, Shane Meadows and Wes Anderson. Those few films that are yelling at the Academy seem reasonably intriguing: Rob Marshall’s Nine, Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant, The Coens’ A Serious Man. And neither of the two potential blockbusters – James Cameron’s Avatar and Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are – are sequels.
The industry will, of course, be paying closest attention to Cameron’s 3-D, computergenerated puzzler. Is Avatar The Jazz Singer of the new century or just another exercise in hyper-hype?
You’ll know in about three months.