For your consideration... New Year Movies

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 28, 2006 | Publication: Irish Times | Author: editors
Publication/Article Link:http://www.ireland.com

With the Oscars just around the corner, Michael Dwyer looks at movies on the way to our screens between now and April.

AFTER THE WEDDING

Susanne Bier's compelling Danish drama features Mads Mikkleson (Le Chiffre in Casino Royale) as an Indian orphanage volunteer faced with complications from his past when he returns home. Mar 9

APOCALYPTO

In Mel Gibson's action adventure set during the decline of the Mayan kingdom, a young warrior (Rudy Youngblood) runs for his life to avoid becoming a human sacrifice. Jan 5

ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES

Luc Besson blends animation and live action for a fantasy in which a boy (Freddie Highmore) encounters the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. Feb 2

BABEL

Amores Perros and 21 Grams director Alejandro González Iñárritu reflects on international conflict in a globetrotting thriller intersecting four narratives and featuring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal. Jan 19

BECAUSE I SAID SO

Michael Lehmann, who has yet to match his 1989 debut with Heathers, directs a comedy-drama starring Diane Keaton as a woman determined to find the right man for her daughter (Mandy Moore). Feb 16

BECOMING JANE

Anne Hathaway plays the 20-year-old Jane Austen getting involved with a young Irishman (James McAvoy) in a relationship that inspired Pride and Prejudice. With Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and James Cromwell. Mar 16

BLACK BOOK

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven returns home for a vigorous war movie starring Carice van Houten as a resourceful young Jewish woman willing to do anything to survive. Jan 19

BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE

A teen werewolf (Agnes Bruckner) is forced to choose between true love and pack loyalty when she falls for a handsome human (Hugh Dancy). Jan 26

BLOOD DIAMOND

A smuggler (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) and a journalist (Jennifer Connolly) get caught up in the search for a priceless diamond during the Sierra Leone civil war in 1999. Edward Zwick directs. Jan 19

BOBBY

Emilio Estevez's absorbing picture of overlapping stories is set over the June 1968 day when Robert Kennedy was assassinated at a Los Angeles hotel. With Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Helen Hunt, Freddy Rodrigeuz, William H Macy, Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood and Martin Sheen. Jan 26

CATCH A FIRE

Phillip Noyce's South African drama is based on the experiences of a Mozambique immigrant (Derek Luke) wrongly accused of bombing a Transvaal oil refinery. With Tim Robbins. Mar 23

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The new film of EB White's novel mixes live action and CGI, with Dakota Fanning as the farm girl befriending a spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) and saving a piglet from slaughter. Feb 9

CLIMATES

Uzak director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Turkish drama observes the relationship between a self-absorbed university lecturer and a TV production designer - played by the director and his wife, Ebru Ceylan. Feb/Mar

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER

Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat play imperial rulers fighting each other and their three sons for power in a lavish 10th-century drama directed by Zhang Yimou. Mar 2

DREAMGIRLS

Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson star in Bill Condon's movie of the Broadway musical charting the mixed fortunes of a Detroit girl group in the 1960s. Feb 2

EPIC MOVIE

Scary Movie writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer co-direct a spoof in which four orphans - one raised by a Louvre curator, another a victim of snakes on her plane - stumble through an enchanted wardrobe and encounter wizardry students and a flamboyant pirate. Feb 9

FAST FOOD NATION

Richard Linklater reshapes Eric Schlosser's non-fiction book as a narrative feature depicting fast food production as disgusting and dangerous. With Greg Kinnear, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Ethan Hawke. Mar 23

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

In Christopher Guest's witty showbiz spoof, the cast of a tacky melodrama are transformed for the worst when they get a whiff of Oscar nominations. With Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey and Ricky Gervais. Feb 9

THE FOUNTAIN

Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play multiple roles in Darren Aronofsky's ambitious film set across three eras - in 1500, 2000 and 2500 - and following a quest for the Tree of Life, noted in an opening quote from Genesis. Jan 26

FREEDOM WRITERS

Before their recent reunion for the Cecelia Ahern adaptation PS I Love You, Richard LaGravenese directed Hilary Swank as an inspirational teacher in this high school drama. With Patrick Dempsey and Imelda Staunton. Mar 2

GHOST RIDER

Nicolas Cage plays Johnny Blaze, the stunt cyclist who sells his soul and becomes a supernatural agent of vengeance in this Marvel Comics adaptation. Mar 2

GOAL! 2

In the second movie of the trilogy, the young footballer played by Kuno Becker is transferred from Newcastle United to Real Madrid. Feb 9

GONE

A thriller set in the Australian outback, where a young British couple (Shaun Evans and Amelia Warner) encounter a charming but sinister American (Scott Mechlowicz). Mar 9

THE GOOD GERMAN

Steven Soderbergh pays homage to 1940s cinema in a postwar thriller set in bombed-out Berlin, filmed in black-and-white and using only the equipment available to directors at the time. With George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire. Mar 9

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Robert De Niro directs Matt Damon as a Yale graduate rising through the ranks of the CIA in the Cold War era of the 1950s. With Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, John Turturro, Alec Baldwin and De Niro. Feb 23

A GUIDE TO RECOGNISING YOUR SAINTS

Dito Montiel's autobiographical movie follows a young man - played at different ages by Shia LeBeouf and Robert Downey Jr - who tries to break away from the mean streets of Queens in the 1980s. Mar 2

HALF NELSON

Ryan Fleck's edgy drama features the remarkable Ryan Gosling as a Brooklyn teacher whose drug addiction spirals out of control. Mar 2

HANNIBAL RISING

Hot on the heels of the recently published prequel by Thomas Harris comes Peter Webber's screen version, starring Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter in his teens. Feb 9

THE HILLS HAVE EYES II

In the sequel to the recent remake, young National Guard trainees come under attack from mutants in the New Mexico desert. Mar 2

HOLLYWOODLAND

Adrien Brody and Diane Lane star in a film exploring the mysterious death of George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who played Superman on TV in the 1950s. Jan 26

HOT FUZZ

Simon Pegg plays a detective posted to a sleepy town, where he and an oafish young constable (Nick Frost) suspect that some grisly accidents have involved foul play. Feb 16

INFAMOUS

Directed by Douglas McGrath, the second movie in a year dealing with Truman Capote and the Kansas killings that inspired In Cold Blood features Tony Jones as Capote, Daniel Craig as murderer Perry Smith, Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee and Gwyneth Paltrow as Peggy Lee. Jan 19

INLAND EMPIRE

David Lynch's experimental, critically divisive opus features Laura Dern as an actress signed on for a new movie, and Jeremy Irons as her director. Mar 9

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

Forest Whitaker could well win an Oscar as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in Kevin Macdonald's film that artfully blends fact and fiction as Amin employs a young Scot (James McAvoy) as his personal physician. Jan 12

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA

Named best picture of 2006 by several US critics' groups, Clint Eastwood's companion film to Flags of Our Fathers observes the 1945 war in the Pacific from the Japanese point of view. With Ken Watanabe. Feb 23

LIGHTS IN THE DUSK

Aki Kaurismaki concludes his trilogy on socially marginalised outsiders with a picture of a doleful Helsinki security guard who proves easy prey for exploitation. Mar 9

MEET THE ROBINSONS

In Disney's animated feature, a 12-year-old inventor meets a mysterious boy who takes him by time machine to a future world of flying cars and floating cities. Mar 30

MISS POTTER

Renée Zellweger plays author Beatrix Potter in a biopic co-starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Watson, and directed by Chris Noonan. Jan 5

MR BEAN'S HOLIDAY

Rowan Atkinson returns as the incompetent protagonist, this time wreaking havoc on the French Riviera and at the Cannes Film Festival. Mar 30

MUSIC AND LYRICS

Hugh Grant plays a washed-up singer, with Drew Barrymore as the young woman who helps him write a song for a teen pop star. Feb 9

NORBIT

Eddie Murphy doubles as a mild-mannered man and his mean-spirited fiancee, with Thandie Newton as his wholesome childhood sweetheart. Mar 9

NOTES ON A SCANDAL

Richard Eyre's film of Zoe Heller's novel features Judi Dench as a lonely teacher who befriends a younger colleague (Cate Blanchett), but resents her affair with a student (Irish actor Andrew Simpson). Feb 2

THE NUMBER 23

Jim Carrey plays a man obsessed with a book that seems to be based on his own life but ends on a murder that has yet to happen. Joel Schumacher directs. Feb 23

ONCE

John Carney's romantic musical affectionately observes the relationship that forms between a Grafton Street busker (Frames singer-songwriter Glen Hansard) and a Czech pianist (Marketa Inglova). Mar 23

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

The late Robert Altman's swansong is set during the last broadcast of Garrison Keillor's popular radio show and features Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Kline. Jan 5

PREMONITION

Sandra Bullock plays a woman who foresees the death of her husband (Julian McMahon) in a car accident and tries to avert the tragedy. Mar 16

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

Will Smith stars as a struggling salesman intent on turning his life around when he gets custody of his young son. Jan 12

THE RETURN

Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a young Texan determined to learn the truth about her supernatural visions of a murder that occurred 15 years earlier. Jan 19

ROCKY BALBOA

Now 60, Sylvester Stallone steps back into the ring, playing one of the oldest boxers in the world and doubling as director for the first time since Rocky IV in 1985. With Burt Young, Irish actress Geraldine Hughes and Mike Tyson. Jan 19

RUNNING WITH SCIRRORS

Joseph Cross plays a bright teen growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1970s. With Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brian Cox and Alec Baldwin. Jan 19

SCHOOL FOR SOUNDRELS

The US remake of the 1960 British comedy, which featured Ian Carmichael and Terry-Thomas, stars Billy Bob Thornton as an adult education teacher instilling confidence in a browbeaten traffic warden (Jon Heder). Feb 23

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP

Director Michel Gondry follows Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with a reputedly whimsical and visually inventive picture of an insecure graphic artist (Gael García Bernal) falling for his new neighbour (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Feb 16

SHOOTER

Antoine Fuqua's political thriller stars Mark Wahlberg as a guilt-ridden ace marksman drawn back into action to prevent an assassination attempt on the US president. Mar 23

SLEEPING DOGS LIE

Actor Bobcat Goldthwait directs a provocative sex comedy in which a college student (Melinda Page Hamilton) is challenged to reveal the grossest thing she ever did. Feb 23

SMOKIN' ACES

Joe Carnahan's dark action-comedy features Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds as FBI agents protecting a Las Vegas magician (Jeremy Piven) from mobsters. With Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia and singer Alicia Keys. Jan 12

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Cowabunga! The heroes in a half-shell - Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael - return to the big screen for the first fully CGI-animated movie in the franchise. Mar 30

TEN CANOES

Director Rolf de Heer collaborated closely with an Aboriginal community for a film rooted in ancient myths and triggered by a man's lust for his brother's youngest wife. Mar 30

THEM/ILS

This French horror-thriller faces a teacher and her novelist husband (Olivia Bonamy and Michaël Cohen) with creepy, inexplicable events in a remote house outside Bucharest. Jan 26

300

Zach Snyder's historical epic based on Frank Miller's graphic novel dramatises the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, when King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) led 300 Spartans against a massive Persian army. Mar 30


THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a woman suspecting her husband (Jimi Mistry) of infidelity when he fails to mention the anonymous Valentine's Day card she sent him in this romantic comedy. Feb 16

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER

Joan Allen plays a well-heeled alcoholic whose husband has left her and their four teen daughters, with Kevin Costner as an amorous former baseball star. Feb 16

VENUS

Peter O'Toole is on prime form as an irascible, ageing actor unexpectedly drawn to the 19-year-old grandniece (Jodie Whittaker) of his best friend (Leslie Phillips). Scripted by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Roger Michell. Mar 2

WHITE NOISE: THE LIGHT

Nathan Fillion plays a man surviving a near-death experience and discovering he can identify those among the living who are about to die in this sequel to the 2005 supernatural thriller featuring Michael Keaton. Jan 5

ZODIAC

Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Brian Cox, Chloë Sevigny and Gary Oldman feature in David Fincher's thriller based on a notorious serial killer who terrorised San Francisco in the 1970s, leaving cryptic clues to taunt the police. Mar 16

Release dates are subject to change