22 Films to look out for in 2011

Tom Huddleston and David Jenkins count down the 22 titles they're most eager to catch in 2011

That's it! Adios 2010, ola 2011! But what should be looking forward to in the cinemas this year? Well, Tom Huddleston and David Jenkins have put on their horn-rimmed glasses and deerstalkers and gone in search the great cinematic prospects of the coming year.

1. The Congress

Director: Ari FolmanOne thing that the Cannes Film Festival does well is its programming of modern, leftfield, adult-oriented feature animation. Israeli director Ari Folman had a major breakthrough with ‘Waltz with Bashir', his 2008 film fleshed from harrowing memories as a ground-level grunt during the war in Lebanon in the early eighties. He's set to follow that film up with ‘The Congress', an animated adaptation of a short story by Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem ('Solaris') about a dystopian reality where hallucinogenic drugs play a major part in day-to-day life. It's been rumoured that an early cut of the of film was being shown to buyers in May 2010, so a Cannes berth in 2011 looks like a distinct possibility if the animators put a few late nights in.

2. The Skin That I Live In

Director: Pedro AlmodovarNo, it's not a typo. The title of the new movie by Spain's Pedro Almodovar does appear to have a rhythmically superfluous ‘that' wedged into the middle of it. Still, you doubt that Almodovar will be making such simple cosmetic errors with the film itself, which sees him working with leading man Antonio Banderas for the first time since 1990's ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!'. The actor is set to star as a brutal plastic surgeon who works from an operating theatre in the basement of his chateau where his girlfriend, Eva (Elena Anaya), becomes his human pin cushion. On paper, it sounds a little like George Franju's seminal 1960 body horror ‘Eyes Without a Face', but Almodovar has assured in interviews that while the film could be considered part of what he coins the ‘terror genre', it's more disturbing than scary. The film has been pencilled in for a March release date in Spain, and should go on (as is now customary for the director) to Cannes in May.the-deep-blue-sea_2.jpg

3. The Deep Blue Sea

Director: Terence Davies
This is easily one of the most exciting cinematic prospects of 2011, not least because it's being made by one of Britain's greatest living filmmakers – Terence Davies – but also due to the fact that a from our recent visit to the set, everything about is just looks like perfect marriage of director and material. The film marks Davies's highly personalised version of the 1952 stage play by Terence Rattigan which already received an unwieldy screen adaptation in 1955 by Russian expat director, Anatole Litvak. Concerning a fraught love triangle and set amid the ruin of post-war London, the film is at once a Sirkian-ode to suppressed female expression and, of course, another of Davies's finely-honed, visually rhapsodic memory patchworks. Rachel Weisz plays the starring role of Hester Collyer, and Tom Hiddlestone and Simon Russell Beale play the men she needs to choose between. The film wrapped shooting just before Christmas, and is set to go in to post-production in the New Year.

4. Melancholia

Director: Lars von Trier
Not to be confused with the 1989 film by Andi Engel, the late founder of UK distributors Artificial Eye, this is in fact the latest from Danish devil, Lars von Trier, and it looks to be his most technically ambitious project to date. Having shirked the pristine production values of early works like ‘Europa' in favour of tactile DV grot in films like ‘The Idiots', Von Trier appears to returning to that original, plusher style (though in fact, you can never really tell with him until you see the movie) in a film that sees him turning the thumb screws on a hapless group of people who are fleeing from earth due to the small fact that it's on collision course with another planet. Kirsten Dunst, who in an interview described Trier as one of ‘the best director's she's ever worked with', plays the lead, while Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Brady Corbet and Trier regular, Udo Kier join her. And again, Cannes 2011 looks like it'll be a lock considering the film is scheduled for release in Denmark shortly afterwards. UPDATE: UK release has be scheduled for 1 July, 2011.A Dangerous Method.jpg

5. A Dangerous Method

Director: David Cronenberg Those hoping that David Cronenberg might one day return to his body-horror roots should brace themselves for disappointment, as the director heads back to the UK for a stately historical biopic about the fractious relationship between psychiatrist Carl Jung, his respected mentor Sigmund Freud and the troubled woman who came between them. Marking his third collaboration with Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen stars as Freud, keeping his ‘Eastern Promises' sidekick Vincent Cassell on as Austrian analyst Otto Gross. The cast is rounded out by Keira Knightley as the love interest, Michael Fassbender as Jung and a grab-bag of miscellaneous European talent in the smaller roles. It may sound a touch dry and stuffy, but with Cronenberg in the chair and noted screenwriter Christopher Hampton (‘Dangerous Liaisons') wielding the pen, this should be 2011's period drama to beat.

6. Wuthering Heights

Director: Andrea Arnold
It's going to be a good year for the Bronte sisters: alongside Cary Fukunaga's supernaturally charged ‘Jane Eyre', 2011 will also see the release of ‘Fish Tank' director Andrea Arnold's bold new take on this A-level classic. For those who skipped the 6th form, the story takes place high on the wiley, windy moors (cheers, Kate Bush), where ill-tempered foundling Heathcliff, played here by newcomer James Howson, has a charged and fractious romantic relationship with prissy lady-of-the-house Catherine Earnshaw, played by the equally unknown Kaya Scodelario. Anyone familiar with Arnold's previous work will anticipate that this won't be a traditional BBC-style take on the material: expect naturalistic performances, plenty of heavy weather and one hell of an emotional kick.coriolanus01.jpg

7. Coriolanus


Director: Ralph Fiennes
It's ‘The Expendables' for grown-ups, as Ralph Fiennes gathers a motley, muscular posse of scowling man-thesps for his directorial debut, a modern-day adaptation of one of Shakespeare's lesser-known blood-soaked tragedies. Fiennes takes the title role of the battle-weary General who refuses to play the political game and sparks a riot on the streets of Rome. Though in this case, the majesty of the ancient world has been traded in for a filthy East European battleground: Fiennes shot the film in Belgrade this year, ditching swords for sidearms and togas for military khakis. Gerard Butler, William Hurt, Eddie Marsan and Brian Cox round out the testosterone-heavy cast, and the film will receive its world premiere in Berlin this February.| Head to page two |

Author: Tom Huddleston & David Jenkins



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