22 Films to look out for in 2011 – Page 2

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

8. The Tree of Life

Director: Terrence Malick
If there’s one film that towers above all others in 2011’s cinematic landscape, it’s Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’. The six years since the Greatest Living Film Director™’s last film, ‘The New World’, have been filled with rumours and hearsay, culminating in a last-minute cancellation at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. But now there’s a trailer, a full cast list – which includes Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and lots of people we’ve never heard of – and a purported release date of May. A tale of youth and lost innocence, ageing and regret, modernity and miracles set in 1950 Midwestern America, the film sees Malick return to the period and locale of his first and arguably greatest work, 1973’s ‘Badlands’. The trailer may be a tad heavy on the dreamy voiceovers (something we’ve come to expect from Malick), but the photography is astonishing, the performances look rock solid and, hell, he hasn’t let us down yet. Roll on May.Watch the trailer here

9. The Woman in the Fifth

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Documentary director-turned-socially-aware-fiction filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski returns with an adaptation of Douglas Kennedy’s 2007 novel about a married flaneur and film lecturer (Ethan Hawke) who heads to Paris after a scandal at home in Ohio and is then swiftly seduced by a mysterious Hungarian émigré played by Kristin Scott Thomas. The film was shot on location in Paris, but any details of when or where it will play first have yet to be announced. Needless to say, we’ll be there with bells on when it is. Senna.jpg

10. Senna

Director: Asif Kapadia
Senna’ marks a wild (handbrake) U-turn for British director Asif Kapadia after his lyrical debut ‘The Warrior’ (2001) and his truly bizarre Arctic-set follow-up, ‘Far North’ (2007). His latest is a documentary on the life of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna who died at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. It’s been mooted that this isn’t your standard barrage of talking heads all parroting what a great guy he was, but a portrait of a man striving to be a world champion in a chosen field but who is constantly faced with the threat of death. The film premieres at Sundance in the new year in their World Cinema Documentary strand, and is being released in Japan shortly after to coincide with the Japan Grand Prix. UK audiences should be able to see the film in June this year. We Need To Talk About Kevin.jpg

11. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Something of a kindred spirit to Terence Davies (see page one), Lynne Ramsay kickstarted her career with two remarkable movies – 1999’s ‘Ratcatcher’ and 2002’s ‘Movern Callar’ – but because they also happened to be uncompromising and leftfield, work quickly dried up for her: She famously lost the gig of adapting ‘The Lovely Bones’ for the screen to Peter Jackson, who famously went on to make a complete nalls up of it. Finally she’s back doing what she does best, behind the camera for an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s haunting, Orange-prizewinning novel, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, which tells of the aftermath of a high school massacre from the perspective of the killer’s mother. According to the film’s star, Tilda Swinton, we should be in for a bit of a treat: ‘Hold onto your hat,’ she told website indieWIRE. ‘I think it’s going to be what the Americans might call a “doozy.”’

12. W.E

Director: Madonna
OK, so Madonna’s first foray into filmmaking – the universally panned urban ensemble comedy ‘Filth and Wisdom’ – was something of a calamity, so we stand before this follow-up effort with a mixture of trepidation and downright dread. ‘W.E’ has been described as a two-tier romantic drama which sets the courtship between Edward VII and Wallis Simpson against that of a contemporary couple. It certainly sounds ambitious, and the film has been given something of a pre-release leg-up what with ‘The King’s Speech’ giving a handy introduction to the characters and milieu. But one wonders if Madge will be able to get the best out of her lead, Andrea Riseborough, who is currently turning heads in the remake of ‘Brighton Rock’? Principle photography started in the 5 July last year, but there have been no whispers as to when the film might receive its (inevitably star-spangled) premiere.The Future.jpg

13. The Future

Director: Miranda July
If Phoebe from ‘Friends’ made movies, you imagine they wouldn’t be a million miles away from the kook-heavy missives by performance artist, singer, writer, actor and director Miranda July. In 2005, she made the ambling, brightly-coloured comedy, ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’, and now her belated feature follow-up, ‘The Future’ (nèe ‘Satisfaction’), will soon be coming to a international film festival near you (that’s Sundance followed swiftly by Berlin). July has described the film as a comedy drama that follows a thirtysomething couple whose future together is put in to jeopardy due to their, ahem, ‘dreamlike state of existence’. We’ll be interested to see this one, but on paper it looks a little ‘Dalston hepcat’ for our tastes. We'll see...

14. Super 8

Director: JJ AbramsIn one of the great come-hither marketing coups of recent times, the first trailer for this mysterious, Spielberg-produced, JJ Abrams-directed enigma burst onto the blogosphere in May, before principal photography had even begun. Anyone seeking hot news or plot revelations should look elsewhere: we’re just as much in the dark as you are. The trailer seems to promise some kind of escaped-aliens-on-the-rampage romp (‘Paul’ meets ‘Species’, anyone?), but knowing these two multiplex giants, there’ll be a twist in there somewhere. Suffice it to say, our interest has been well and truly piqued.Watch the trailer here | Return to page one | Head to page three |

Author: Tom Huddleston & David Jenkins



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