Autumn brings impossible colors and crisp nights. It also beckons the best films of the year to the screen. We have suffered through the winter drought, the spring chick flicks (no offense ladies) and the summer explosions to finally emerge on the other side. We are now in film art territory and I couldn’t be happier. By my loose count there are approximately 212 films to be released between now and December 25th. Certainly not all of these are worth the ticket price. If you bought a ticket for all of them you would shell out about $1,600. Not going to happen.
I am performing a great public service. I’ve done the hard work by separating the wheat from the chaff and narrowed the list to what looks to be the best chance to see great acting, invisible editing and superb directing.
- The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson will definitely help us get really big heads. Full review.
- Flight – Denzel Washington as an airline pilot which means only one thing; must see. Full review.
- Paperboy – Nicole Kidman likes death row inmates (OK, I’ll bite)
- Arbitrage – Richard Gere as a master of the universe gone way wrong (finger on the pulse) Full review.
- Life of Pi – The latest from one of my favorite directors and always under appreciated, Ang Lee. Full review.
- Argo – One of the few retro pictures of the season set in the geo-political world of 1979. Full review.
- Lincoln – Steven Spielberg tackles the Emancipation Proclamation from inside Lincoln’s mind with the help of Daniel Day-Lewis. Full review.
- Skyfall – The 23rd James Bond outing (slipped that in nicely didn’t I) Full review.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth in 3D and at 48 frames a second; precious
- Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker” fame turns her lens to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Full review.
- Frankenweenie – Tim Burton, check
- Django Unchained – Quinten Tarentino brings back Christoph Waltz (thank you)
I continue to maintain that the most powerful film titles employ only one word. Steven Spielberg solidified this with “Jaws” and here we have 6 of the 12 films on my list carry that torch of simplicity. Well played. Will I actually make it to all these screenings? Doubtful. But it looks like a bumper crop. Enjoy.