Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.
The Debt (Dir. John Madden)
The Debt looks like a compelling spy thriller. You almost can’t go wrong with top actress Hellen Mirren involved. Plus, Tom Wilkinson is hands down my favorite supporting actor in Hollywood right now.
Contagion (Dir. Steven Soderbergh)
Damon! Winslet! Law! Cotillard! Fishburne! Paltrow! Never has a “deadly disease movie” been so star-studded. It is like Valentine’s Day meets Outbreak. Except, I suspect that we won’t leave this movie feeling love-sick over celebrity attraction.
Moneyball (Dir. Bennett Miller)
People who are familiar with Billy Beane’s attempt to put together a baseball team on the basis of computer-generated analysis are somewhat skeptical as to whether the story will work on the big screen. I remain hopeful, though, that a screenplay from dialogue-king Aaron Sorkin can provide us with an intriguing narrative, particularly with Philip Seymour Hoffman involved.
Another Earth (Dir. Mike Cahill)
A Sundance award-winner, Another Earth looks as if it has all kinds of potential to be a powerful film. I suspect that the film may have much to do with the human desire for forgiveness – or, for a new earth where we can be made whole again.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Dir. Tomas Alfredson)
Of the movies yet to release in 2011, this whodunit story – based on John le Carré’s best-selling novel – is what I’m most excited for. Featuring some of the best British actors money can buy, this film finally gives Gary Oldman the lead role he deserves.
Hugo (Dir. Martin Scorsese)
Anyone else half-expecting this orphan tale to unexpectedly morph into a double-crossing gangster drama? Yeah, me neither. With James ‘Whitey’ Bulger successfully captured, it was time for Scorsese to finally give us a “family-friendly” film this holiday season. Should be interesting to see what the famous director has up his sleeve.
The Iron Lady (Dir. Phyllida Lloyd)
The proverbial “0ther-side-of-the-pond-biopic” also arrives this Oscar season. And is there any actress better suited than Meryl Streep to play former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher?
War Horse (Dir. Steven Spielberg)
Spielberg + War + Horse…sounds like Oscar math to me! (for better or worse!).
Movies Nick definitely wants to see in 2011: Dream House (Dir. Jim Sheridan); Machine Gun Preacher (Dir. Marc Forster); J. Edgar (Dir. Clint Eastwood); We Bought a Zoo (Dir. Cameron Crowe); Melancholia (Dir. Lars von Trier); Young Adult (Dir. Jason Reitman); The Whistleblower (Dir. Larysa Kondracki); Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Dir. Brad Bird); The Ides of March (Dir. George Clooney).
Other movies to see in 2011: Cowboys & Aliens (Dir. Jon Favreau); 50/50 (Dir. Jonathan Levine); The Muppets (Dir. James Bobin); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dir. David Fincher); The Adventures of Tintin (Dir. Steven Spielberg); Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Dir. Guy Ritchie); Restless (Dir. Gus Van Sant).