This oughta get us through most of November.
Movie: For Your Consideration (Christopher Guest)
High-Concept Synopsis: The Waiting for Guffman troupe tackles the movie awards season. Awww yeah.
Who Will Be Seeing It: People with the capacity for laughter, pretty much. People who've had the good taste to own Guffman and Best in Show and A Mighty Wind and watch them repeatedly. Misguided PR flacks looking for ideas for December.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: I'd say "The Amish," but they've been through enough. Mennonites, maybe? People who live in that John Lithgow no-dancing town in Footloose? The comatose? There's just no excuse.
Why I'd See It: Seriously? Do your research.
Movie: Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Steven Shainburg)
High-Concept Synopsis: Nicole Kidman plays legendary Diane Arbus, who may or may not have gotten her spark for photography from a fur-covered person-type-guy in her apartment building. Emphasis on "may not have."
Who Will Be Seeing It: Photography nerds, Kidman fans, and the hirsute. I do love the word "hirsute."
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Arbus fact-zillas who won't cotton to taking liberties with her life. Fans of Robert Downey Jr., who hate to see him covered from head to toe in fur, which I believe is the case here. Metrosexuals, who have reportedly said, in unison, "There isn't enough wax in the world..."
Why I'd See It: Kidman can be quite awesome, and Downey almost always is. Plus, I generally like perverting history like this.
Movie: Come Early Morning (Joey Lauren Adams)
High-Concept Synopsis: Ashley Judd...she's Southern...she's single...I'm going to assume a country singer gets involved.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Ashley Judd fans, obviously. Audiences curious to see what all the Sundance buzz was about -- buzz that bandied about comparisons to Judd in Ruby in Paradise. Diane Ladd fans, who know their lady is no stranger to a strong supporting performance.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Dubious non-fans of Joey Lauren Adams who find her irritating enough in front of the camera. Filmgoers a bit tired of seeing Judd play a lovelorn Southerner. Audiences who feel November is crowded enough without having to dig around for indie movies nobody seems to be talking about.
Why I'd See It: I'd like to see what Joey Lauren Adams can do, to be honest. She's not exactly an actor who makes me think "burgeoning director."
Movie: Fast Food Nation (Richard Linklater)
High-Concept Synopsis: An unconventional adaptation of a non-fiction expose of the -- wait for it -- fast food industry. I know. It's a narrative adaptation, and it apparently runs the gamut from migrant workers to marketing. It's news you can use! Starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Greg Kinnear, and Wilmer Valderama.
Who Will Be Seeing It: The Whole Foods crowd. Linklater fans, whose devotion has been thoroughly earned at this point. Maria Full of Grace fans eager to see Catalina Sandino Moreno get another chance to show what she can do onscreen.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Fast foodies. The veritable throng of aspiring Hollywood starlets who have had their vaginas cast aside by Valderama. Morgan Spurlock, who's shockingly territorial about who gets to slam McDonalds on film.
Why I'd See It: I won't, and this is coming from a dedicated Linklater fan. But I never read The Jungle, I never read Fast Food Nation, and I subscribe to the idea that I don't want to see the sausage being made. Sorry, Rick. Next time.
Movies: F*ck (Steve Anderson); and This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick)
High-Concept Synopsis: Both are documentaries; the former investigates the history and cultural impact of the worst word in the world, while the latter delves into the MPAA's often unfairly slanted process of rating films. That one's been out for a month or so, but most of America won't be able to see it until it makes it to DVD anyway.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Moviegoers who see some of the most exhilarating films of late as coming out of the documentary genre; Audiences interested in the ins and outs of cultural taboos; the filthy-minded.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Prudes, documentary-phobics, and those who think the mores of polite society are there for a reason and shouldn't be questioned, gosh-darn it!
Why I'd See It: Rated looks to tear the lid off a maddeningly mercurial process that frequently drives me crazy. F*ck contains interviews with Kevin Smith, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Medved, and Miss Manners. No effing way I'm missing that.
Movie: The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky)
High-Concept Synopsis: "One man's thousand-year struggle to save the woman he loves." That's the official word, and who are you to resist it? Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of heady, time-traveling, philosophical love stories. Aronofsky fans eager to see his follow-up to Pi and The Fountain. C.H.U.D. readers, curious about the rather glowing review the film got a couple months ago.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Film fans in the midst of overdosing on Jackman's four-films-in-one-calendar-year pace. Audiences who cooled on the film after the mediocre buzz out of Toronto. How should I put this diplomatically...light thinkers?
Why I'd See It: That C.H.U.D. review really got me interested. Any movie that can provoke a reaction like that is worth a shot. Also, even if I'm not watching them every Saturday night, Aronofsky has made two fantastic films.
Movie: Bobby (Emilio Estevez)
High-Concept Synopsis: The night of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, the Ambassador Hotel was apparently packed with dubious celebrities. Also William H. Macy.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Nostalgics who long for the good old days...when Bobby Kennedy was shot, I guess. Brat Packers, in full solidarity with their fellow alumnus Emilio Estevez. Believe-it-when-I-see-it types who can't fully sign on to the positive buzz that is (or was) circulating around the film.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Sirhan Sirhan. Co-star Lindsay Lohan's ever-increasing horde of pissed-off studio heads. Charlie Sheen, who's gotta be royally cheesed-off that brother Emilio found a part for their dad but not him.
Why I'd See It: To see for myself. The advance word on it has been so divergent ever since Toronto, with each side more concerned with planting their flag on the Bobby "issue" than having a genuine reaction to the film. At this point, it could be the best movie I've seen all year or the worst.
Movie: The History Boys (Nicholas Hytner)
High-Concept Synopsis: Film adaptation of the Tony-winning play about British prep-school kids making their way through the tangled web of academia or some such. It's supposed to be good.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Broadway backers eager to see a favored play on the big screen. History Channel viewers, eager to nitpick at the drop of a hat. And fans of star (and Tony-winner) Richard Griffiths, particularly if they know him as the lovable (?) pervert in Withnail & I.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Broadway backers who figure there's nowhere for the play to go but down. Broadway non-backers who are frightened to their bones because they think it's a musical. Hytner agnostics who find reason to worry when they catch his adaptation of The Crucible on HBO.
Why I'd See It: On the surface, it doesn't seem like the usual Dead Poets ripoff, and enough people seem to have enjoyed it. I'm nothing if not a follower of the crowd.
Movie: Inland Empire (David Lynch)
High-Concept Synopsis: This is the synopsis: "A woman gets mixed up in a mystery landing her in trouble in the Inland Empire near Los Angeles." Which could be any David Lynch movie, really. This one stars the Lynch all-star team of Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, and Harry Dean Stanton.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Lynch fans, Lynch fans, and more Lynch fans. Who else sees his movies?
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Fans of linear filmmaking; digital video haters, since this movie was apparently filmed on the cheap; and Kyle McLachlan, who is too busy enjoying being a Desperate Househusband to worry about going back to his Lynchian roots.
Why I'd See It: Whatever you can say about Lynch, his films are always worth a look. And sometimes you end up with a Mulholland Dr., still one of my favorite movies of the decade.
Movie: The Good German (Steven Soderbergh)
High-Concept Synopsis: Highly stylized black-and-white political thriller set in post-WWII Berlin and starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, and Tobey Maguire.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Soderbergh fans, who have got to be psyched that he's made one of his periodic decisions to start making good movies again. Black-and-white fetishists who still insist it's the only acceptable way to view a talkie. Germans, happy to see the word "good" associated with them again.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Soderbergh fans who, regardless, aren't quite convinced this won't be another Full Frontal. Bitter Casablanca fans, who will see the object of their affection clearly referenced in the film's poster. Audiences who simply don't have the energy to put up with another round of George Clooney's Carnivale of Unassailable Charm.
Why I'd See It: When Soderbergh's feeling it, he's not to be missed. And if the film's trailer -- among the best of the year -- is anything to go by, this should be something.