Friday, January 4, 2008

Preview Break

Before I delve into Oscar madness, I'd like to take a pause to highlight three films I'm looking forward to most in the coming year. Each of them comes from a visionary director who rarely disappoints, and each boasts an excitingly talented cast. As 2008 begins, here's a look at a trio of releases for which I can't wait.

My Blueberry Nights

Chinese master Wong Kar Wai makes his English language debut, directing Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz and David Strathairn in the story of a young drifter and the people whose paths she crosses. Wai's films, like 2046, In the Mood for Love, and Chunking Express are gorgeous expressions of romance, and I'm hoping his style translates well with American actors and audiences:

Cassandra's Dream
Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Tom Wilkinson star in Woody Allen's latest London outing, following Match Point and Scoop. While this trailer looks a bit typical, Allen's movies are always elevated by his characters, story and dialogue, and his attempts at darker fare have proven to be surprisingly successful in the past:

Funny Games
Director Michael Haneke remakes his own sadistic 1997 thriller about two young men who terrorize a family of three, with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt taking on the lead roles. Haneke's last fim, Cache' was a haunting, dangling masterpiece of restraint and unanswered questions. This preview makes Funny Games appear a worthy follow-up.

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