I always get excited about this time of year. Summer isn’t quite over yet, yet all the retail stores are stocked full of back-to-school supplies, and Fall seems to be just around the corner. Each time I comment about all those great back-to-school displays, my kiddos begin a familiar whine about how much it stinks that summer is almost “ooooverrrrrrrr.” (Did I get the whining tone right?)
From a movie-lover’s perspective, I really enjoy summer, but fall and winter movie releases always end-up being my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big, loud summer blockbuster as much as the next girl, but we are headed into the time of year where studios start to release films that are positioned for consideration for critics best of the year lists, as well as award nominations (Golden Globe, Academy Awards, etc.). Hear are four films that I am really looking forward to seeing, several of which I think you’ll be hearing much more about closer to the end of the year as we enter into “Oscar Season.”
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake, Joseph Mazzello
Director: David Fincher (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Panic Room,” “Fight Club”)
Category: Theatrical Film
Release Date: In movie theaters nationwide October 1,2010
Based on: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. From director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin comes The Social Network, a film that proves you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey, Garrett Dillahunt, Sheryl Lee, Tate Taylor
Director: Debra Granik
Category: Theatrical Film
Release Date: Roll-out release throughout U.S. cities in Fall/Winter of 2010
Based On: Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
This Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Picture is one of the most positively reviewed films on the horizon, and the film that is the number one slot on my “Want-See-List.” Rolling Stones film critic Peter Travers says in his review, “It means to shake you, and it does.” Read his review of the film here. David Denby at The New Yorker writes that the film is “…a work of art that grabs hold and won’t let go.”
“Winter’s Bone” is the story of seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), who sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.
Read an excerpt from Daniel Woodrell’s book here.
NEVER LET ME GO
Cast: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins
Director: Mark Romanek (“One Hour Photo”)
Category: Theatrical film
Release Date: In select movie theaters beginning September 15, 2011
Based on: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This highly acclaimed novel from Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”) made Time Magazine’s list of Top 100 books of the Century, and is a remarkable story of love, loss and hidden truths. Ishiguro poses the fundamental question: What makes us human?
Now director Mark Romanek bring Ishiguro’s hauntingly poignant and emotional story to the screen. Kathy (Oscar® nominee Carey Mulligan, “An Education”), Tommy (Andrew Garfield, “Boy A”) and Ruth (Oscar® nominee Keira Knightley, “Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement”) live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.
Listen to Ishiguro read the opening passage of Never Let Me Go here.
Cast: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Bruce Altman
Director: Anton Corbijn (“Control”)
Category: Theatrical film
Release Date: In movie theaters nationwide September 1, 2011
Based on: A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth
Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of this suspense thriller, filmed on location in Italy. Alone among assassins, Jack (Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of “In Bruges”), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian stage and screen veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.
On a side note, fellow BEB Bookette Anne Brown posted a great article yesterday with fun suggestions for Book-to-Movie themed parties. I have thrown a few movie themed parties in the past, but noting nearly as cool as what Anne described in her post! I highly recommend you check out her article, then take a look at this month’s list of books on their way to the big screen, and maybe you too will be inspired to throw your own Book-to-Movie party! I would love to hear your feedback about great ideas for themed parties from any of the films listed here. Go ahead and leave a comment and share are your wonderfully creative ideas!