This is what I'm posting to keep my mind off of the words "Screech in a sex tape"
Movie: Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñaritu)
High-Concept Synopsis: Tragedy connects disparate individuals, separated by language, if not georgraphy. Another day at the office for the director of 21 Grams and Amores Perros.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Schizophrenics who can follow Iñaritu's typically Byzantine storylines. Fans of Brad Pitt, who could conceivably score an Oscar nomination out of this one. Film fans eager to latch onto the presumptive critical favorite of the year.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences tired of Iñaritu's soul-crushingly depressing worldview. People with a capacity for joy. Darren Aronofsky, who must be bitterly jealous that Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett pulled it together long enough to star in another movie, after they both pulled out of The Fountain.
Why I'd See It: I thought Amores Perros and 21 Grams had their problems, but also had a good number of virtues. I think Brad Pitt is capable of very interesting performances. And the critical reaction to the film has been near-universally enthusiastic.
Movie: Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood)
High-Concept Synopsis: It's the story of the men who raised the American flag in the famous photograph at Iwo Jima in World War II.
Who Will Be Seeing It: WWII and Greatest Generation junkies, who never seem to go hungry for content for very long. Viewers who enjoyed the last collaboration between screen screenwriter Paul Haggis and director Clint Eastwood, Oscar-winner Million Dollar Baby. Hot boy oglers easger to take in a cast that includes Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, Paul Walker, Jamie Bell, and Barry Pepper.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences tired of the fifty-billionth WWII film to hit movie screens. Audiences who were underwhelmed by the Haggis/Eastwood awardsapalooza of the last three years. Viewers horrified by the prospect of Ryan Phillippe starring in back-to-back Oscar contenders.
Why I'd See It: Much as I wish he'd pull back on the Oscarbait, I can't dislike Clint Eastwood. And I can think of worse ways to spend two hours than staring at Bell, Bradford, Walker, et al.
Movie: Infamous (Douglas McGrath)
High-Concept Synopsis: Truman Capote struggles to write his masterpiece In Cold Blood, about accused murderer Perry Smith. Uh...again. Yeah, it's essentially the same story as last year's Capote...but this time around Sigourney Weaver, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Isabella Rossellini play his famous socialite friends!
Who Will Be Seeing It: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who will caress his Best Actor Oscar in his seat, confident that Toby Jones won't be able to repeat history this year. Capote biography readers who prefer to see a movie that delves, however briefly, into all the dishy celebrity friends Truman kept (so, you know, Sarah and I). Also, Capote himself will be watching from some spiritual plane, as I don't guess he'd have much of a problem with the overkill.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Viewers who have exhausted their ability to care about the eccentric author. Gossip bloggers, too busy dealing with the latest Paris Hilton cooter-flashing to bother with a film about their patron saint. Gore Vidal, that bitter old bitch.
Why I'd See It: I'm hoping we get to delve into the Babe Paley/Slim Keith parts for more than a few glorified cameos. Plus, even with all the bad buzz about how the story is played out, no one has said it's a bad movie.
Movie: Driving Lessons (Jeremy Brock)
High-Concept Synopsis: Harry Potter's Rupert Grint comes of age as he's taken under the wing of an eccentric former actress played by Julie Walters.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Potter fans eager to see Ron Weasley step out of the Hogwarts shadow. Fans of British older-lady-teaches-adolescent-a-thing-ot-two-about-life movies. The three whole people who have ever heard of this movie before.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Potter fans weirded out by the prospect of Mrs. Weasley taking her son Ron out to pull tail. Daniel Radcliffe, who will be too busy nakedly blinding horses in London (I'm sorry...Equus, you say?). Viewers scared away by co-star Laura Linney's sketchy British accent.
Why I'd See It: The trailer looks cute and the actors are appealing. Plus, I'm eager to see what will become of the Potter kids once the movies are finished. And: Laura Linney.
Movie: Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
High-Concept Synopsis: Life in the French court of Louis XVI is nothing but a big, stupid prison for naïve little Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst). '80s pop music and anachronistic drug use audaciously follows.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Coppola's work on her earlier films, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. Fans of historical perversion. Fans of Judy Davis, who -- judging by the trailer -- looks to be hammng it up fantastically.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Dunst's legions of non-fans, with whom we tend to cast our lot. Audiences who heed the buzz from Cannes, where the film was pretty well savaged. Historical purists, to whom the idea of French royalty mingling with New Order gives their hives hives.
Why I'd See It: I've very much liked Sofia Coppola's previous films, and while I'm no Dunst fan, this is the kind of movie I'm going to have to see to believe.
Movie: The Prestige (Christopher Nolan)
High-Concept Synopsis: Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are rival magicians in olden times. Watch them kiss girls and make things disappear!
Who Will Be Seeing It: With Jackman and Bale front and center, I think we can safely say "fans of man" will be in line. And I don't mean it like Pacino does in The Devil's Advocate. Or do I? Also: "Mindfreak" Criss Angel, drawn in by the subject matter, and a good sport about this kind of thing. And David Bowie fans, psyched to see the Goblin King back on screen.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Comic book fanboys mortified to see Wolverine and Batman playing sissy magicians. David Blaine, "Street Magician," who will most definitely not be a good sport about this kind of thing. And conscientious objectors to the edict that Scarlett Johansson must be in everything this fall.
Why I'd See It: Magicians? So hot right now. Plus the casting is insane, Christopher Nolan knows his way around a camera, and the trailer makes it look like a thriller not to be missed. That's some good marketing.
Movie: Catch a Fire (Phillip Noyce)
High-Concept Synopsis: We follow the making of a South African freedom fighter in the guise of Friday Night Lights' Derek Luke.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of political drama. Fans of Luke, who has continued to show great promise without that one great role to hang his hat on. Fans of serious movies, whose only other option that weekend is Saw III.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Racist white devils and/or fans of Saw III. Filmgoers whose "three strikes" policy on Tim Robbins has already been invoked after Mystic River, War of the Worlds, and Zathura.
Why I'd See It: I do enjoy a good political drama, and this one seems to have a little more heft to it that Edward Zwick's also Africa-related Blood Diamond.
Movie: Running With Scissors (Ryan Murphy)
High-Concept Synopsis: Augusten Burroughs is abandoned by his father to a fucked-up mother who in turn gives him up to her psychologist and his fucked-up family. The book is quite funny, naturally.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the book, whose possible fears for the adaptation were allayed by how fantastic stars Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, and Alec Baldwin look in the trailer. Fans of Murphy, who has delivered "compellingly fucked" quite well with TV series Nip/Tuck and Popular. Bening freaks who think this might be the Oscar movie.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Fans of the book who are less encouraged by some of the less-fitting casting choices like Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Feinnes, and Evan Rachel Wood. Nip/Tuck regulars still pissed about that Rhona-Mitra-is-the-Carver stuff. James Frey, who has got to be pissed at Burroughs for not only avoiding the Oprah-slap, but getting a big studio movie deal out of his fake-ass memoir.
Why I'd See It: The book is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I still think it's a tightrope act to make a movie about it, but Joseph Cross -- the absolute lynchpin of this movie; if he doesn't work, nothing will -- looks really great in the trailer. I'm hopeful. Plus, I think Ryan Murphy's great and I want him to succeed.
Movie: Volver (Pedro Almodovar)
High-Concept Synopsis: According to the press release: "Volver is a meeting of Mildred Pierce and Arsenic and Old Lace..." which we would claim to be the gayest sentence ever if we weren't already talking about Almodovar here. Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Pedro's numerous and none-too-quiet partisans. Cineastes looking to follow the buzz out of Cannes and Toronto, both of which seemed to love it, and Cruz in particular. The two people who haven't given up on our Penelope yet.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Moviegoers frightened by the devil sounds of a foreign language. Those who remain fierce Penelope Cruz agnostics. Tom Cruise, who was turned off by the "fakeness" of Penelope's relationship with Matthew McConaughey.
Why I'd See It: It's supposed to be excellent. Though -- don't tell Nathaniel -- I haven't seen anything by Almodovar other than Bad Education. Which, in all fairness, I thought was superb.
Movie: Stranger Than Fiction (Marc Forster)
High-Concept Synopsis: Emma Thompson is a writer, struggling with how to kill off her main character. Will Ferrell is that character, only he's real, and he can hear Emma narrating the events of is life.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Charlie Kaufman-esque reality bending. Emma Thompson fans, eager to take anything they can get from her. Audiences receptive to the hype surrounding Zach Helm's supposedly-brilliant screenplay.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Forster non-fans not ready to drop the whole Finding Neverland thing. Blocked writers, pissed off to see one more possible idea get taken off the market. Jim Carrey, who used to get the kind of role Ferrell nabbed here.
Why I'd See It: If the script is half as awesome as it's supposed to be, it should be a can't-miss movie. Plus, dudes, Emma Thompson. How often does she get to play something cool these days?
Previously: Fall Preview, part 1