Today we reach the top of the list as we come to the top ten movies I'm anticipating most over the next 12 months. The group is a mixture of festival hopefuls and studio titles I'm sure many of you expected, especially considering they weren't listed on my three previous installments. Perhaps that makes this less top ten a little less exciting, but I also hope I have a few on here you did not expect and perhaps hadn't even heard of.
On paper, 2012 looks like it will be an amazing year and if all goes well my top 40 is only scratching the surface. That said, on top of my top ten in this post, below and at the bottom of page two, are links to my previous three posts detailing all 40 of my most anticipated films:
Most Anticipated 2012 Navigation
But before you go rushing off to look at those lists, have a look at my top ten most anticipated films from 2012 and in the comments please share your top ten most anticipated.
I'm really enjoying this latest iteration of the James Bond franchise and while I realize I am in the minority in enjoying the last installment, Quantum of Solace, even more than Casino Royale, from what we know about Skyfall it looks as if it may end up being the one we can all agree on as the best of the three. Fingers crossed.
Directed by Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) and with Daniel Craig returning for a third stint as Bond, Skyfall also adds Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Albert Finney to the cast. It's hard for me to not get excited for this one.
Another Cannes hopeful and a follow-up from a director who made my top ten in 2009 with a film that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival where it ended up winning the Palme d'Or. That film was The White Ribbon and, like A Prophet, it also went on to be picked up by Sony Pictures Classics and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar. Well, I'm hoping director Michael Haneke will return to the Croisette again this year with Love.
The film centers on cultured octogenarians Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), who are retired music teachers. Their daughter (Isabelle Huppert), also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne suffers a minor stroke. When she leaves the hospital and returns home, she is paralyzed down one side. The love that binds this old couple will really be put to the test.
Also starring in the film is William Shimell whom some may recognize from Abbas Kiarostami's excellent 2010 Cannes offering, Certified Copy.
UPDATE: Variety reports Love has just nabbed distribution in Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, Brazil, Greece, Argentina, Mexico, Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands. Sounds like the demand is out there.
Rust and Bone
I had no idea who Jacques Audiard was until I saw and was floored by A Prophet back in 2009 when I placed it #1 on my top ten list that year. I promptly watched the director's 2005 feature The Beat That My Heart Skipped after that and have awaited his next film ever since. As it turns out, 2012 just might be the year we finally get to see it.
Rust and Bone stars Marion Cotillard and is an adaptation of Craig Davidson's 2005 collection of short stories (buy it here) said to be take place in a savage world populated by fighting dogs, prizefighters, sex addicts, and gamblers. The title story involves an afflicted boxer whose hand never properly heals after a bone is broken. The fighter's career descends to bouts that have less to do with sport than with survival: no referee, no rules, not even gloves.
I don't know much more about the story and obviously Cotillard isn't the central figure based on that description. Additional known members of the cast include Matthias Schoenaerts, Bouli Lanners and Celine Sallette. The film presumably completed filming in November and if you're trolling sites like TMZ you probably saw those naked pictures of Cotillard as she was filming a scene for this specific project.
Audiard's A Prophet was a big hit at Cannes where it won the Grand Prize in 2009 and I can only assume they would love to have him back this year, but can he finish in time?
The Dark Knight Rises
I don't think a lot needs to be said about this one. The Dark Knight is largely considered the best comic book superhero movie of all-time and it's certainly the most successful and it's not often quality matches with monetary gains.
On top of interest in the franchise for its character and tone, you could also be just as excited to see The Dark Knight Rises for its director, Christopher Nolan, or the man playing the film's lead villain, Tom Hardy. Hell, even the chance to hear what Hans Zimmer will do with the score this time around and how Wally Pfister will tackle the shoot can be reasons to want to see this one.
The Dark Knight Rises is likely to be the biggest blockbuster of the year and I for one hope it's not only great, but manages to propel the use of IMAX cameras instead of 3D with box-office gains to prove blockbusters only need be good to get people to watch them and that studios and exhibitors don't need to continue to raise ticket prices to meet the bottom line.
Woody Allen is hit and miss, but when he hits he nails it and in the last few years with Vicky Cristina Barcelona (my #1 film in 2008) and Midnight in Paris he's given us some great stuff and as a fan of his work I can't help but look forward to what's next especially as Allen continues to explore foreign locales.
As for Nero Fiddled, it was recently picked up by Sony Classics for distribution and it will be set in Rome with Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Riccardo Scamarcio, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, Alison Pill, Ornella Muti, Flavio Parenti and even Allen himself taking on a small role. It's said to be made up of four separate vignettes, but the details on those aren't entirely clear.