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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2015

Written by on January 12, 2015 

20. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)


The three features Miguel Gomes has produced thus far represent a major and idiosyncratic voice, one as concerned with the various effects of structural conceits as the significance of any particular image. We’re lucky to have him making films, especially when his next will take things even further: adapting one of literature’s best-known collections by conforming its core to events that occured in Portugal over the course of a single year — by the sound of it, marrying the long-established with that which is just in the distance. If all goes well, Arabian Nights will undoubtedly be one of 2014’s greatest films. – Nick N.

19. Love in Khon Kaen (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)


Apichatpong Weerasethakul — or, if you want to prove that you’re a real cinephile, simply “Joe” — has undeniably seen his profile rise with the surprise Palme d’Or win of his last feature, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Yet instead of succumbing to the temptation of a (comparatively) big-budget international production, he’s decided to make the latest endeavor completely in line with the resources behind all his previous features. It should come as no surprise, then, that the story concerns something completely familiar to him: dreaming, which he’ll undoubtedly make stranger than anything your sleep could ever produce. – Ethan V.

18. Erran (Jacques Audiard)


After rising in the international ranks with The Beat That My Heart Skipped, A Prophet, and more, France’s Jacques Audiard delivered his highest-profile project a few years ago with the Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts-led Rust & Bone. His next drama Erran is a bit more low-profile, following a Sri Lankan Tamil fighter who fled his country to become custodian of public housing in the suburbs of Paris. Partially inspired by Montesquieu‘s Persian Letters, it focuses on “culture shock and this refugee’s perception of modern-day French society.” If Audiard has the picture ready, it could certainly land at Cannes. – Jordan R.

17. Every Thing Will Be Fine (Wim Wenders)

This, admittedly, would probably not chart if only known as a grief-centered 3D drama starring James Franco — but context matters, and the contextual key, here, is Wim Wenders returning to a format he so amply applied only a few years back. The question of how well his technical trickery and a (from the sound of it) traditional dramatic outline will congeal — well, supposing they remotely do — is reason enough to keep our eyes peeled. – Nick N.

16. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien)


Hou Hsiao-hsien has been working on The Assassin for more than a decade, and the anticipation that’s built in this time might leave this, his first film since 2007’s Flight of the Red Balloon, incapable of meeting expectations. But if one of our greatest living filmmakers’ — the greatest living filmmaker, if you ask more than a few respected voices — stunning oeuvre can stand as any sort of evidence, let’s not worry too much. – Nick N.

15. Sunset Song (Terence Davies)


A second film adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel, Terence Davies’ latest begins with a suicide attempt that changes the lives of two daughters forced to manage a farm. Featuring Peter Mullan, Agyness Deyn, Kevin Guthrie, Ian Pirie, the film is now deep in post-production after a shoot on 65mm, and we hope a bow is in store for Cannes. Following his extraordinary The Deep Blue Sea, Davies has prime source material to create another intensely emotional work. – John F.

14. Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog)


With rumors that it would arrive last year, the wait continues for Werner Herzog’s first narrative feature in half-a-decade, the story of legendary cartographer Gertrude Bell may be hitting theaters this year. Led by Nicole KidmanRobert Pattinson, James Franco, and Damian Lewis, Queen of the Desert follows Bell, a diplomatic explorer, who negotiated with Arab nations and helped establish the countries of Iraq and Jordan. Considering that Herzog is the man who gave us such epics as Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, we’re looking forward to a return with what looks to be his most visually ambitious work in some time. With fall line-ups getting announced shortly, check back for updates. – Jordan R.

13. Macbeth (Justin Kurzel)


After landing on our radar with the stellar, dark drama Snowtown, director Justin Kurzel will be returning this year for what will likely be his major break-out. In taking on Shakespeare, his Macbeth adaptation secured two of our finest working actors, Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender, a potent combination we can’t wait to see come to life. Also starring Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor and Elizabeth Debicki, the picture’s long since wrapped, so perhaps we could see it come to Cannes. – Jordan R.

12. Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry)


Of the two “narratives” one can graft onto Queen of Earth — on the one hand, that Alex Ross Perry is following the excellent Listen Up Philip so quickly; on the other, that he’s following it with what, by most accounts, is something of a tonal diversion from prior work — which is more exciting? That either feels so significant is a testament to the place this writer-director’s carving out for himself: the simple prospect of another film is as enticing as the film-by-film progression we’re witnessing. – Nick N.

11. Louder Than Bombs (Joachim Trier)


After financing fell apart, things were finally pieced together for the English-language debut from Joachim Trier, the Norwegian director behind the stellar Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. Co-scripted by Eskil Vogt (Blind, and frequent Trier collaborator), Louder Than Bombs stars Jesse Eisenberg, David Strathairn, Amy Ryan, Isabelle Huppert, and Gabriel Byrne, and follows a family grieving over the loss of a war photographer. If the restrained emotion found in Trier’s previous films continues here, there’s no doubt it’ll be one of the best of the year. – Jordan R.

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