Friday, September 7, 2012

Most Anticipated Films of the Rest of 2012

As I sit here the evening before I watch my first film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), my head spins with the impeccable line-up of movies programmed at the festival. As Roger Ebert likes to say, TIFF has become the unofficial launch pad for the awards season, where films of any serious reckoning start building buzz with the hope of getting to a deafening clamor by the end of the year. Pedigreed filmmakers and renowned casts from what seems like hundreds of films are all vying for our attention. Many prestige movies will get celebrated. But many others will disappoint. Some will come out of nowhere and stake a claim in popular consciousness. And others will fade away with the ignominy of having hewed too close to mediocre.

Even before I started considering the festival line-up, here were the 2012 unreleased films that were most highly anticipated by me. They are all on my "Please God, Don't Have This Film Suck" list.

1. Cloud Atlas

A film directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and the Wachowski siblings (the Matrix trilogy). With that cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant). Consider me sold.

I avoid watching trailers of movies as much as I can. But with Tykwer and the Walkowski siblings at the helm, I could not resist. And the funniest thing happened; the first two minutes of the trailer so lit up that part of my brain that responds to movies, that I had to click the trailer shut half-way, because I did not want to ruin my pleasure of watching the actual movie. The film scans across several centuries, and loops across time and space and seems the kind of go big or go home concept film that will either amaze or embarass. I do not even care if this film is an awful mess. I just want to show my support for ambitious, sprawling, probing, visionary films. So that the success of such films can encourage the big studios from making one less stupid horror movie aimed at teenagers.

2. Django Unchained
Tarantino in a script he has said has been his most challenging yet. Dicaprio as the bad guy. Nuff said.

3. Hello, I Must Be Going
There is something about this film that, again, ever since I first heard about it, tapped the right spots in my brain. Yes, it is a small unknown indie film with mostly unknown actors. But much of it screams that it is the kind of movie I will love. I hope I am not wrong.

4. Argo
I was one of few people to think that The Town, the previous film directed by Ben Affleck, was one of the best movies of 2011. Behind the camera, this guy's the real thing (sometimes in front of the camera too, but all too inconsistently). I am intrigued by the story, loosely based on real events, around the unbelievable-if-it-were-not-true effort to rescue American hostages from Iran in the late sixties.

5. Looper
I'm a sucker for time-travel and sci-fi films. This one looks like a doozy. And stars the cant-go-wrong right now Joseph Gordon Leavitt. And Bruce Willis. Don't betray my hopes, Rian Johnson (director of Brick and The Brothers Bloom).

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