You may have noticed, yesterday's start to my list of this year's most anticipated movies got off to a bit of a cynical start. Well, I hope to change that with today's batch of ten films as I think we are getting into better and better territory and a group of films I feel far more genuinely excited to see, and a couple of which that may end up being the most talked about films of the year.
Again, featured directly below is a navigation for this year's most anticipated feature, linking to yesterday's ten films and I will be updating it with links for the installments to come.
Most Anticipated 2014 Navigation
The Fault in Our Stars
I get the feeling this is a film that will either be just another sappy, melodramatic adaptation of a much-loved novel, or, and this is what I'm hoping for, it will be a film that sneaks up and surprises us just like Perks of a Wallflower did in 2012.
The film stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as the two leads and co-stars Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern and Mike Birbiglia. I have high hopes for this one.
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.
I feel like I've been talking about Susanne Bier's adaptation of Ron Rash's novel forever, but maybe that's because we got a first look at the picture you see above back in April 2012 and since then I've had it on my most anticipated list of 2013 and on a list of potential Oscar contenders for 2013.
It's still without a distributor, which isn't a good sign, but I know (or at least am fairly confident) this will play a film festival this year and my money is on Toronto.
Serena is based on Ron Rash's acclaimed novel of the same name, which was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
The film follows newlyweds George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence) who travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina where they begin to build a timber empire in 1929. Serena soon shows herself to be the equal of any man: overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man's life in the wilderness. Together, this king and queen rule their dominion, killing or vanquishing all who stand in the way of their ambitions. But when Serena learns that she can never bear a child, she sets out to murder the woman who bore George a son before his marriage. And when she starts to suspect that George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage begins to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.
March 21 / April 18
I don't know whether it's appropriate to anticipate Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac or just shrug and move on. I'll admit my anticipation here is more out of curiosity than anything else, but it also feels like one of those films I have to see just to make sure I'm in on the conversation.
Watch the trailer below, but be warned, this is very not safe for work and contains considerably explicit images.
Nymphomaniac: Part I is the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is discovered badly beaten in an alley by an older bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), who takes her into his home. As he tends to her wounds, she recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young-adulthood (portrayed in flashback by Stacy Martin). PART ONE also stars Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier.
Nymphomaniac: Part II picks up with the story of Joe's (Charlotte Gainsbourg) adulthood, and stars Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr in addition to Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, Martin and LaBeouf.