I know I put forth my weird and winding 2009 movie preview a few weeks ago, but it cannot be stressed enough how much I'm looking forward to the new year's crop. And I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate, once again, in The Film Experience's annual "We Can't Wait" roundtable series, where Nathaniel and a select group of internet loudmouths (here's where I come in) bat around our most anticipated titles of the upcoming year like so many balls of yarn.
The countdown starts tomorrow, so make sure you're locked on The Film Experience to catch all the goodness. In the meantime, how's about we go over the titles from my list (we each submitted a ranked Top 20) that didn't make the cut. (And by the way, even though I made such a list on this here blog right after New Year's I was surprised at how much things had changed)
5. Public Enemies: Johnny Depp and newly-minted rage junkie Christian Bale in the story of John Dillinger and the birth of the FBI. I've been underwhelmed by director Michael Mann lately, but he definitely has it in him to deliver the goods. An aesthetically friendly supporting cast inclusing Billy Crudup, Channing Tatum, and David Wenham can't hurt either.
11. This Side of the Truth: The full-on Ricky Gervais Experience comes to the movie screen for the first time -- I'm considering this my stand-in for the Christopher Guest movie that apparently isn't getting made this year, and my expectations will be large. Tina Fey, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman will go a long way to fulfilling them.
12. The Fighter: Aronofsky's latest. Mark Wahlberg. Brad Pitt. Done.
13. Untitled Nicole Holofcener Project: No title yet, but we know it's about the comings and goings in a New York apartment building, and it stars Catherine Keener (natch), Rebecca Hall, and Amanda Peet. Holofcener writes some of the best roles for women anywhere, period, and this should be no exception.
14. Young Americans: In my mind, this movie is spiritually tied with Observe and Report, the Seth Rogen comedy that has tragically becomed destined to be known as "the other mall cop movie" now that Kevin James has ruined it for the rest of us. Anyway, both co-star Anna Faris, which is what makes them worth looking forward to, and Americans gets the edge because: cuter guys (Topher Grace, Robert Hoffman, Seth Gabel) and a one-crazy-night post-graduate plot, which is a trope and a half, but one that always gets the job done for me.
15. An Education: The reports out of Sundance really sold me on this coming-of-age-in-'60s-London movie. It supposedly features a breakout lead performance by Carey Mulligan, supporting turns by Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, Sally Hawkins, and Emma Thompson (!!!), and a Nick Hornby screenplay. Literally zero of those things aren't awesome.
16. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Okay, for one thing, I'm an X-Men loyalist no matter how bad the last one was. But the bottom line here is this: I am but flesh and blood, people. And Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schrieber, and Taylor Kitsch doing the mutants-with-muscles thing is really pretty okay by me.
18. The Boat That Rocked: Richard "Love, Actually" Curtis directs this story about an illegal, nautical radio station in the 1960s (what is it about me and the '60s this year? It seems like half of my most-anticipateds -- including my #1 that actually DID make the Film Experience list -- are from that time period). Anyway: Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, January Jones. Say no more.