5. Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh; Oct. 12th)
Martin McDonagh made one of this millennium’s better debuts with In Bruges; here, he’s expanding the scope. On paper, Seven Psychopaths gives the impression of a bigger-scale version of that film, yet the previews hint at something with more ambition and depth. It’s not so silly to think the writer-director can pull it off, especially with a cast that includes Colin Farrell — from whom McDonagh already obtained career-best work — Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson. Heck, I’m already quoting the trailer’s line about cops. – Nick N.
4. Lincoln (Steven Spielberg; Nov. 9th)
Do I set a bad precedent by anticipating a lead performance more than the film which contains it? Well, yes, Daniel Day-Lewis’ turn as the country’s 16th (and probably greatest) President has the potential to trump everything else that stands around it — we’ve suspected this for some time. But let’s not discount the prospects of Spielberg finally going all the way back to the Civil War, nor should we ignore all that lies in Lincoln’s mammoth collection of supporting players. As we sit around and debate the merits of one current candidate over another, it might be for the best to look back at a time when the question of right and wrong was so much more clear. Maybe it says something that this comes out right after the election. – Nick N.
3. Looper (Rian Johnson; Sept. 28th)
With an official premiere in just a mere matter of days, the sci-fi genre seems to have a smart, riveting addition with the next film from Rian Johnson. Proving he knows his way behind both a pen and a camera and in both Brick and The Brothers Bloom, the director is using Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and his biggest budget yet to give us what many are calling his best work yet. While I can’t quite by into the early comparisons to Back to the Future and The Terminator, this feature is certainly one I’m dying to experience. – Jordan R.
2. Cloud Atlas (Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer; Oct. 26th)
Certainly the most ambitious film of the entire year, the jury is still out on whether or not the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer captured what was thought to be unfilmable with Cloud Atlas. Spanning six generations from the 1850s to a post-apocalyptic future, the story follows actors such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Keith David, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant all playing different characters. With the filmmakers saying they want Cloud Atlas to mark a return to the spectacle films of the 60s and 70s, this is a journey I couldn’t be more excited to go on with them. – Jordan R.
1. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino; Dec. 25th)
No, it’s not even close. Quentin Tarantino is following up what may very well be this writer’s favorite movie of the ‘00s — not that this creates any set of expectations — and will tackle a genre he’s flirted with for nearly a decade with some amazing people on his side. If that weren’t enough (but why isn’t it?) there’s more energy and wit in the non-contiguous footage shown than almost any other film I’ve seen in 2012 thus far. I’d say the helmer’s earned enough trust to assume he’ll carry it through. And let’s face it: The zoom-in reveal of Leonardo DiCaprio’s slave owner could place it at the top of this list from the start. – Nick N.
The Film Stage’s 2012 Fall Preview
What are you looking forward to most this fall?
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