2010 Advance Warning (Introduction, #16-17)

Now that the US summer is over, it’s time for quality cinema to reign. Aside from Inception and Toy Story 3, is there any other noteworthy 2010 release that comes to your mind? None, I thought so. The latter part of the year is filled with prestige films, arthouse fare, Oscar baits, and films “for your consideration”. Why do producers and distributors do whatever it takes to secure a 4th quarter release date for their films? The answer is simple. They want to be fresh and easily remembered by the time film critics make their top 10 lists and hand out their critic’s choice awards. And so, a tidal wave of quality films will come crushing down on us in the next four months.

Looking back

2009 set a number of milestones in the landscape of cinema. Avatar became the gold standard in 3D filmmaking and box-office success. Katheryn Bigelow stumbled upon Oscar gold and became the first woman to win Best Director. As Hollywood slaughtered originality for remakes, sequels, and squeakquels, independent cinema offered a viable alternative. Elsewhere in the world, South Korean and Romanian directors continue to astound everyone with their distinct filmographies. If these are signs of things to come, 2010 promises something bigger.

Moving forward

The factors that influenced my level of anticipation for these films are the following: the director’s reputation, the star wattage in the cast, the film’s story and style, and the buzz generated from early reviews. Given that Venice and Toronto Film Festivals are just around the corner, promotional materials are already abundant. There are already teasers, trailers, and posters which gave me a taste of how the final product may turn out. With that said, let me share the 17 films I am dying to see in 2010.

17. The Town

Directed by: Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively

Can you believe that Ben Affleck will turn out to be an acclaimed filmmaker? He will try to convince non-believers that Gone Baby Gone is no fluke, so he directs himself in this crime saga that looks as intense and as gripping as his debut film.

16. The Tree of Life

Directed by: Terence Malick (The New World , The Thin Red Line)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn

My excitement for this film is not as great as everyone else for the mere reason that I haven’t seen any Malick film. But since The Tree of Life is on everybody’s lips, it’s hard not to get carried away by the pandemonium. According to Wikipedia, this is the tale of a Midwestern boy’s journey from the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as a lost soul in the modern world and his quest to regain meaning in life.

Up Next: One-man shows by Ryan Reynolds and James Franco


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