Already past 2012’s halfway point, I’ve taken a look at the upcoming and currently showing films for the year, and ranked them in order of my interest and anticipation. There were a lot of candidates for the top ten but work through them I did, and in the process confirmed what I have long suspected; that this year looks really good for films. Anyway without further ado, here are my suggested top ten most promising films for the rest of the year.
10. Anna Karenina
This film is certainly not downplaying its rich literary heritage; an adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel, the film aims to impress with striking visuals and an approach that looks highly ambitious. It’s definitely trying to convey that this film will feel epic. Despite this, it was the fact that Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay which really made me stop and take notice, being a big fan of the playwright’s previous work. Keira Knightly is reuniting with director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) and will be playing the title role with Jude Law cast as her husband and Aaron Johnson as the her lover Count Vronsky. Whether the film ultimately will manage to meet the level it has set itself or not, the trailer certainly suggests it will be a spectacle worth seeing in the cinema as opposed to catching later at home.
With Frankenweenie, Tim Burton is returning to his short film of the same name and expanding it out into a full length picture. A return to the past in more ways than one; Burton will be reuniting with multiple previous collaborators including Winona Ryder whom he worked with during Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. As the name suggests, the story has parallels to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, except with a young Victor bringing his pet dog back to life instead of the original monster. If the script can be expanded successfully and so therefore doesn’t feel stretched, then this should be a really great entry this year. Also, as great as they are, it’s refreshing to see neither Johnny Depp nor Helena Bonham Carter on the cast list.
8. Killing Them Softly
Looking set to be a gritty, dialogue heavy thriller, Killing Them Softly stars Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini and has been pretty well received by critics thus far. Pitt’s character is sent out by a hitman, in order to bring justice upon two small time crooks who decided to rip of the mob. Strangely, despite Pitt starring, this choice doesn’t seem to have had too much exposure or hype built around it yet, but with reported scenes of really tight dialogue, contrasted by moments of uncompromising brutality, this appears to be an exciting and tense watch.
7. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
I can’t fully understand what has drawn me to this film, but perhaps it’s the unexpected move to have Keira Knightley cast in a role such as this, playing opposite Steve Carell in a dark comedy. The two characters will embark upon a road trip, hoping to meet up with Carell’s first love before an approaching meteor destroys all life on Earth. It’s certainly a bleak premise however, it has the potential to be both very funny and very emotional if this film is well balanced. Maybe it’s the oddball of my choices here but I have a good feeling about this one and am going to go with my gut reaction.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man
Do we need it, do we not – who cares. This film has looked pretty entertaining from the beginning, and yes, it is another superhero origins film, however the film will be covering different ground to the Tobey Maguire franchise. The focus appears to be upon Peter Parker’s need to investigate his parent’s absence, unlike in the previous series, and he will be fighting the classic villain; The Lizard, instead of a returning Green Goblin. It’s always exciting to hear about new Spiderman films, despite the varying levels of quality produced, and now, with positive reviews beginning to spill in, it looks as if it will be able to hold its own against the insanely popular Avengers film and the approaching Dark Knight Rises.