15. Flight (Robert Zemeckis; Nov. 2nd)
After rewatching several Tony Scott films in lieu of his confoundingly tragic passing, I was reminded not only of how accomplished most of his late-period movies were within the Hollywood system, but also of the sheer magnetism of Denzel Washington. Washington is one of the primetime movie-star personas currently working, and based on what we’ve seen of Flight so far, this looks like a tremendous opportunity for him to sink his no-nonsense teeth into a very deep, very serious character. Understandably, it’s Robert Zemeckis’ return to the live-action arena that has most people anticipating Flight, but the potential of Washington’s performance remains my chief source of promise. – Danny K.
14. The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev; Oct. 19th)
Premiering on the festival circuit last year, this small drama unfortunately went unseen by this site, making it high on our most-anticipated. With many of the major studio films delivering a predictable plot, I have no idea what to expect from this indie, which follows a trio of backpackers in Georgia (one being the always excellent Gael Garcia Bernal). Said to have stunning cinematography and atmosphere that seeps into your very skin, this is one trip I look forward to. – Jordan R.
13. Life of Pi (Ang Lee; Nov. 21st)
Returning after the disappointing Taking Woodstock, Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee is set to sail the high seas with an adaptation of Yann Martel‘s hit novel Life of Pi. Following a boy (led by newcomer Suraj Sharma) and a tiger, Lee seems to be incorporating an impressive scope with a heartfelt story. Set to open the New York Film Festival, this looks to be one family film that can’t be missed. – Jordan R.
12. This Is 40 (Judd Apatow; Dec. 21st)
Making the “sort-of sequel” to a terrific film creates high expectations, so I can’t fault Judd Apatow for resting on his laurels. We’ve already become situated with and, hopefully, sympathetic to This is 40’s two protagonists by now — watching a movie at different points over the course of five years will do that — which, for some reason, only attracts me more and more to its supporting cast. (That is, Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and even Megan Fox.) If Apatow can get half the humor and emotional truth that marked its sort-of predecessor, This is 40 should be something special. – Nick N.
11. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson; Dec. 14th)
Certainly the biggest blockbuster of the fall, The Hobbit tells the tale of Bilbo, Frodo’s cousin (played by Ian Holm in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, who will be sharing the role with lead actor Martin Freeman for this film), and will serve as the first part of a trilogy prequel to the wildly successful trio of films that made Peter Jackson a household name for moviegoers everywhere a decade ago. Not only has Jackson brought back much of the cast and crew from the original trilogy, but he has also been shooting in many of the New Zealand locations that enraptured us years ago. Though the movie has taken much longer than any of us expected, the behind-the-scenes web diaries Jackson has been cleverly releasing on facebook to help build up hype and keep the fans in the loop have looked nothing short of spectacular. It’s certainly time to go there and back again. – Winn P.
The Film Stage’s 2012 Fall Preview
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