October 21, 2011

Fall Movie Guide

There was a time, a lifetime ago (early 2011), that I posted movie reviews fairly regularly on this blog. Kari and I have been walking to the theater for a strong eight years running now, a love that has only grown with each new film season. We used to joke around and say that if tragedy ever struck us, we figured it would be the movies that would heal our broken hearts. So as Oscar season approaches, we'll head back down the street to the movies, facing the irony, hoping a few good pictures might lift us up, even for a moment.

These are the twelve movies I want to see this fall in preparation for Oscar night 2012, a night which is met in this household with more vigor than we have for most major holidays.

As a side, I should mention that I have already watched Drive (twice), which was so perfectly perfect I can hardly imagine anything better, and Moneyball, an incredible adaption of the stunning book I read in 2009. So here are the rest, and PLEASE let me know if I am missing something.

We Need To Talk About Kevin: Tilda Swinton alone is almost enough to get me into this movie. Adding John C Reilly to the mix is like icing on the cake.

Hugo: A Martin Scorcese film in 3D? I'm in.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: The preview for this film practically gave me goose bumps. Gary Oldman looks freaky good.

The Descendants: One, George Clooney is in it. And this guy always seems to pick films I love. And two, it's directed by Alexander Payne, the famed director of Sideways and Election.

War Horse: Okay, so the story of a man and his horse doesn't exactly pull me in. But Steven Spielberg directing and Richard Curtis writing (he wrote Love Actually) means this could be a nice epic little film.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Finally! The book, by Jonathon Safron Foer, is one of my all time favorites. I have been hearing about this movie for years and it's finally here. What gives me hope for this film is director Stephan Daldry (The Hours). What scares me is Sandra Bullock.

We Bought A Zoo: I'll admit, the only reason I want to see this movie is because Cameron Crowe is directing. I just hope the Cameron Crowe from Jerry McGuire shows up, and not the Cameron Crowe from Elizabethtown. And if Sandra Bullock scares me as an actress, then Scarlett Johansson is like a terrible nightmare. We'll see on this one.

The Ides of March: One, Ryan Gosling is in this film. Two, George Clooney is directing. Three, George Clooney is writing. [Clooney also wrote and directed Good Night and Good Luck, a film I still think about six years later). Four, Paul Giamatti. FIVE, Philip Seymore Hoffman. That's four more reasons than I needed.

The Rum Diary: Johnny Depp and rum and Hunter Thompson seem like a nice concoction.

Young Adult: I honestly don't know how director Jason Reitman has done it. His first three directed films have all been insanely good. He followed up the brilliant Thank-You For Smoking with JUNO. And after Juno, he directed Up In the Air. Can he really pull off a fourth straight great film? I hope so.

A Dangerous Method: A movie about Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud? Directed by David Cronenberg? With Viggo Mortenson playing Freud? I'm in.

J. Edgar: L. Dicaprio


Mary Beth said...

Let us know how the films are--I haven't been to a movie in over a year--embarrassing! But I loved the book Extremely Loud . . . and there are a couple there that look really great. Have fun!

Brooke said...

I want to see many of these -- especially Young Adult and A Dangerous Method. And The Ides of March. Not War Horse though. I didn't ride horses growing up, but I develop freakishly intense emotional connections to horse characters in books/movies and cannot bear to see movies about horses because I am anxious the entire time that something will happen and they horse will die.

What would Freud say about THAT? I probably don't want to know...

Groves said...

"The Ides of March: One, Ryan Gosling is in this film. Two, George Clooney is directing. Three, George Clooney is writing. [Clooney also wrote and directed Good Night and Good Luck, a film I still think about six years later). Four, Paul Giamatti. FIVE, Philip Seymore Hoffman. That's four more reasons than I needed."

My husband and I used to dream of a section in the video store labeled, "This You Will Love." That was before Netflix; now they think they know.

Meanwhile, we'll get our recommendations here, because from this post - you're hired. Not to mention that you listen to the soundtrack from Fantastic Mr. Fox!

We would watch movies every single night if we didn't feel guilty. And if the Coen brothers directed all of them...

But none of this is the most important: That's Margot, and Kari, and Stella, and you.

Your writing, what you write about, the way you capture grief and love and life and relationships and loss and beauty and death and struggle and all of it; too much. Too much richness for one comment to capture, ever.

My breath is knocked clean out by your posts (here, and at GITW), your comments on other blogs (I have never seen a lame one, not even close) - so much so, that often I say nothing. Which feels flat wrong because silence is not the right response at all.

Thank you, Josh.

The worst is, if Margot had not died, I'm sure I wouldn't "know" your family at all. No justice.

Cathy in Missouri

Anonymous said...


brianna said...

You forgot the remake of Footloose. I hear that it is spectacular ;)

brianna said...

OK, no but in all seriousness, is it weird that I think the Muppets movie should be up there somewhere? I mean, there's no George Clooney or John C. Reilly but there is the Swedish Chef and Pepe the King Prawn, both very serious character actors. Are you aware that Pepe's real name is Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzales? That is an Oscar-worthy name.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Josh, for such a thorough breakdown of what appears to be a great movie list! Ken and I go to the movies quite frequently, and some of these I have not even heard of, but they have tempted my movie-going urges.

You will love "The Ides of March!"

P.S. Tell Kari I saw her folks a couple weeks ago at church when we visited Stef and Mike. I love them! :)

Hugs, Micki :)

surfjams said...

Take Shelter was pretty intense, the kind of movie that stays with you for a few days. Amazing cinema photography, according to my acting husband, and powerful dialogues. Tension from A to Z!

Missy said...

So very excited about Rum Diary! I've been using my timeout to catch up on some movie watching skills. Wishing I could say it was time well spent. Movies these days... I think the best movie I've seen was Hesher.. such an interesting take on coping with grief. Thinking of you my friend and your beautiful Margot~

loribeth said...

These all sound like great picks to me. : ) Dh & I LOVE going out to the movies -- nothing better than a large container of hot freshly popped popcorn for lunch on a Sunday afternoon. ; )

We just saw The Ides of March. The plot is nothing really new, but the script & the acting, as you might expect, are superb.

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