So my schedule this semester has the benefit of class-free Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but the drawback that three courses on Monday leads to my often having to sift through a couple hundred pages of reading every Sunday. So Trailers of the Week posts may get a little rarer, but have no fear – no awards bait shall escape my sight!
Depending on who picks up this film out of Toronto, the Best Actor race could suddenly get very interesting indeed. A one-man show is a tough sell, but when that one man is Christopher Plummer, paying tribute to another great acting legend in John Barrymore (Drew’s grandfather)? Mild indie success is all a good distributor would need to mount a campaign. Of course, Plummer’s turn in “Beginners” was already thought a shoo-in for a Supporting Actor nod; could the venerable veteran go for an impressive double dip? Will Plummer ride the “rewarding a great career” narrative all the way to a win? Or would competing roles split his vote? In any case, “Barrymore” looks like a powerhouse performance.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
This is the latest from John Madden of “Shakespeare in Love” fame, and looks like a similarly fluffy bit of romanticism. Normally this is the kind of Julia Roberts-starring material I couldn’t care less about, but when your cast has Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and a hopefully-resurging Dev Patel? OK, maybe I’ll put in on my Netflix queue or something.
The Rum Diary
Still hard to say where this one will go; I’m personally hoping the actual film plays up the trippy, darker side of Hunter S. Thompson’s work a bit more than this fairly breezy trailer makes out. But it’s nice to see Johnny Depp doing something that is not a Tim Burton film or the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel these days, and we know from Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” that Depp has a certain affinity for Thompson’s material.
We Bought a Zoo
Hmmmm. Everyone’s praying that Cameron Crowe’s latest is a little more “Almost Famous” and a little less “Elizabethtown,” but lines like “I like the animals, but I love the humans” are not doing the writer/director any favors. Not to mention, you know, Scarlett Johansson hanging around with MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL tattooed on her forehead. This is one of the last big unseen awards plays of the season, and I gotta say I’m not overly optimistic. It could certainly be charming in that saccharine way that Crowe’s film often are, but it seems like the Academy has better options to play to their emotional, romantic side this year.
Finally, an odd little time capsule; if you’re wondering why all the famous actors in this film look so strangely….young, that’s because Kenneth Lonergan’s film was inexplicably shelved for six years before Fox Searchlight finally decided to just release the damn thing this fall. So that leaves us with a pre-“True Blood” Anna Paquin, “Bourne Identity”-era Matt Damon, and a whole lotta “who cares?”