As December leaves us and we move into January we are squarely into the realm of Oscar bait, take a look at last years big hits with the awards and you’ll not be surprised to find the majority of which came out this time last year. So for your consideration, here is my round up of what should be worth your time this month:
Joy – 01/01
The trailers have been everywhere, and by now you should know that this is a reunion of our Silver Linings Playbook team; Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell and Robert De Niro. This time tackling the life story of entrepreneur Joy Mangano and the trials and tribulations she faced in her rise to success. The few reviews that are already in from earlier screenings don’t give us a great picture but then again there are those who believe American Hustle was a decent film (sorry, wanted it to be but it’s just not) so it’s all a game of personal opinion and I’m looking forward to it.
Reviewed here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/review-joy/
Sleeping With Other People – 01/01
Now this one may be more of a surprise, as the sheer amount of releases that will happen in January, it will probably just be canon fodder, but with a decent cast and a trailer that makes it seem like a quiet but very enjoyable comedy, it makes my list for watches this month. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Natascha Lyonne and quite a few more, the story of two people of fairly questionable morals who find the help in each other they didn’t expect and find something more along the way.
Danish Girl – 01/01
Ever since the first image was released of Eddie Redmayne dressed up as Lili the internet went crazy predicting that this could line up a consecutive Oscar win, and with the story being heavy on the emotions it’s more than possible. With Alicia Vikander by his side, this could well be the power couple to watch out for at awards season, the only problem being whether a transgender story will be able to resonate with the general public or will it alienate some audiences? For me this looks like another good work out for Redmayne’s talents and one not to miss.
The Hateful Eight – 08/01
This is fairly self-explanatory, it is the newest in the line of films from the mind of Quentin Tarantino and there has been precious little disappointment from him, so I would be crazy not to include it. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and a host of other stars, it tells the story of a bounty hunter and his prisoner finding shelter in a storm among an interesting bunch of characters, and should have some surprises in store.
Creed – 15/01
It’s no easy thing, taking a beloved franchise and trying to renew it without rebooting it, and make something worthy of the originals but different and that’s the challenge upon the shoulders of Creed. From what’s been learned from trailers and other information, it looks as though it might just succeed at the task, lead by Michael B. Jordan, a man of varying success (Chronicle, Fruitvale Station, Fantastic Four) playing the son of Apollo Creed and beginning his boxing career with the help of the old pro himself, Rocky.
Reviewed here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/review-creed/
Room – 15/01
Making it’s way through the world’s film festivals it has come out pretty strong, lining up to be the female performance of the year by Brie Larson. The story of a mother and her five year old son Jack who escape captivity and re-enter the world giving Jack the chance to experience things he never realised were even a possibility. This is definitely one to be pulling on those heartstrings, and with Larson’s career rising, could be the game changer.
Reviewed here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/review-room/
The Revenant – 15/01
This is the one that may claim Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar after years of being denied, but time will tell. In the 1820’s Hugh Glass is mauled by a bear and left for dead, with the strength to strike back he hunts down those who did him wrong and prepares for vengeance. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and also starring: Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Paul Anderson.
Our Brand Is Crisis – 22/01
This one may be slightly less obvious, but for me if it’s betting on a comedy of any variety starring Sandra Bullock, I’m backing it. Bullock stars as an American political consultant sent to help re-elect a controversial Bolivian president, with Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy and Zoe Kazan. This one could be a flop, but it’s one I’m willing to take a chance on it.
Big Short – 22/01
Purely for the fact that this one has such a high star count, it goes on the list because it could be anything from okay, to great, to fantastic, to awful, it’s difficult to tell as of yet. The idea of a film about trying to take down the greed of the financial world starring Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling and directed by Adam McKay is unusual to say the least, but anything could happen.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – 29/01
This is a film that surprises me by the little traction it has been getting, though it’s release is only a few weeks away there’s so very little advertising out there. Directed by Michael Bay and starring John Krasinski as well as some other familiar faces, the story of a security team dealing with the chaos caused by the assassination of an American Ambassador in Libya, and a much untold tale of a few heroes saving the lives of over 30 people. This is another where it really could go either way, but it seems worth a shot.
Spotlight – 29/01
This one surprises me for a different reason, namely that it wasn’t made sooner, the worldwide scandal of the abuse that occurred within the Catholic church going unexposed for so long happened over 10 years ago, and yet the material rich idea has only just come into the feature world. With Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, John Slattery and Standley Tucci, it’s definitely another of this months heavy hitting casts, but can the story win over audiences with it’s moral high ground?
Also out: Dragon Blade (15/01), Ip Man3 (15/01), Ride Along 2 (22/01), The Fifth Wave (22/01), Backtrack (29/01), Dirty Grandpa (29/01), The 33 (29/01), Youth (29/01)