Bid good riddance to lightweight summer fare and brace for a fall film slate to make adults sit up and maybe even applaud
CanWest News Service
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Is everyone gone now? Have the superheroes departed, and the intergalactic creatures, and the left-over bits and pieces of the Star Wars cast? Are the guns all put away? Have the car chases ended? Is Rob Schneider safely back in wherever it is he spends his time between Deuce Bigalow sequels?
Is it safe for the adults to come back to the movie theatre?
Well, yes and no. After a summer of lost chances and comic-book excesses, the fall film season is the palate-cleanser between, say, The Devil's Rejects and The Chronicles of Narnia, which is part of an even more promising Christmas season. Fall is time to see the early Oscar contenders and the prestige movies: new versions of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Oliver Twist, this one directed by Roman Polanski; the movies they made from the Broadway musical Rent and the London play Proof, the latter of which pairs Gwyneth Paltrow with Anthony Hopkins; biographies of Johnny Cash and of Truman Capote during his In Cold Blood years.
For the children - the thinking children - there is the feature-film debut of the incomparable Wallace & Gromit, a Tim Burton adventure, and the fourth Harry Potter film. For the reading public, there are movies of best-sellers like An Unfinished Life, Everything Is Illuminated, Jarhead, and Bee Season. There's a new Terrence Malick film, always an event for film buffs, and a David Cronenberg work that just might be the movie of the year.
On the other hand, there is also the usual cast of silly comedies and naughty teen romps, a couple of horror movies, and - in a category all its own - the return of Tom Green. And we can't swear that one or two extraterrestrials might not still be lurking about somewhere.
For the most part, though, things look promising this autumn. Here are film opening dates to watch for, starting with the 10 best bets for the best time of the year.
excerpts behind the CUT!
Flightplan: Jodie Foster gets onto a cavernous, state-of-the-art aircraft for a Berlin-New York flight with her 6-year-old daughter. Halfway through the flight, the daughter disappears. Is there any hope for her luggage?
Elizabethtown: Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst star in this Cameron Crowe romance set against the backdrop of an elaborate memorial to a Kentucky patriarch.
Stay: Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star in this thriller about a psychiatrist who tries to prevent one of his patients from carrying out a threat to commit suicide.
North Country: Charlize Theron stars in this drama, based on a true story, about the first successful sexual harassment lawsuit in the U.S.
Rhinoceros Eyes: In this offbeat love story, a smitten man goes to great lengths to find authentic props for a movie production designer. Michael Pitt, Paige Turco and Gale Harold star.
Corpse Bride: In Tim Burton's stop-action animation, Johnny Depp is whisked to the underworld to marry Helena Bonham-Carter - who is not only dead and buried but has a maggot living inside her head - while his true love waits behind on Earth. It's The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving. Sept. 23
A History of Violence: David Cronenberg's drama stars Viggo Mortensen as a small-town restaurateur whose life is turned upside down when he has to defend himself against two violent criminals who try to rob him. A hit at Cannes, it's like Cronenberg's version of an old Western, and in its combination of character study, controlled violence and plot twists, it is both smart and hugely entertaining. Sept. 23
Wallace & Gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit: In their first full-length movie, the clay-animated cheese-lover and his faithful dog - familiar from such award-winning shorts as Creature Comforts and A Grand Day Out - must find the creature that is eating everyone's vegetable gardens. It comes from Aardman Animation, the people behind the masterful 2000 comedy Chicken Run. Oct. 7
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: No. 4 in the film series finds Harry (still Daniel Radcliffe) being chosen for the Quidditch team even as Voldemort's dark forces are gaining strength. Can Harry vanquish evil and ride a broom at the same time? Nov. 18
Opening dates subject to last-minute change.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2005
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