The Drop was a nice surprise, so who knows what other unexpected treasures are on the way. Lots of potentially good stuff to look forward to, however.
The Zero Theorem: Terry Gilliam’s latest will probably streak in and out of one theater somewhere hereabouts. Hope I’m in town when it happens.
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya: The latest (and last?) film from the neglected co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata. Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991), and Pom Poko (1994) lead me to expect great things from this adaptation of a traditional Japanese folk story.
Into the Woods: Disney does Sondheim? This could go terribly wrong, but I’ll see it even if it’s a trainwreck. The musical is a bit like Terry Gilliam’s Brothers Grimm in that it mashes together a bunch of fairy tales into a new story. Meryl Streep plays the wicked witch, and Johnny Depp plays the well-hung wolf.
Maps to the Stars: It’s David Cronenberg, which is almost enough said, but I’m also intrigued that the screenplay is by Bruce Wagner, whose I’m Losing You (1998) was one of the strangest, most riveting Hollywood melodramas I’ve seen in recent years. It also has Olivia Williams, who I’ve had a weird, no doubt unhealthy thing for ever since seeing her play Mrs. Darling in the 2003 Peter Pan.
Gone Girl: David Fincher adapts another potboiler thriller. I adored his version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Pure pop for now people.
Interstellar: I don’t love Christopher Nolan, but this big budget sci-fi blockbuster sounds promising enough. 2014 has been a great year for oddball science fiction, and Nolan will have a hard time topping Snowpiercer, Under the Skin, or The Congress in my personal pantheon.
Inherent Vice: Paul Thomas Anderson adapts Thomas Pynchon. I just read the novel, which I thought was a cool concept with shaggy execution. I’m very curious to see what Anderson does with it.
Big Eyes: This is being hyped as Tim Burton’s return to low-budget non-fantasy territory à la Ed Wood, but the big attraction for me is Amy Adams playing Margaret Keane.
Clouds of Sils Maria: Olivier Assayas’ first English-language film is perhaps most intriguing for its casting of Kristen Stewart, who I thought was terrific in Adventureland but completely dull in Snow White and the Huntsman. Everybody is comparing this one to All About Eve.
Song of the Sea: Speaking of unexpected treasures, The Secret of Kells (2009) by Tomm Moore was a total delight that appeared as if out of thin air in my little world. He turns his animated sights on selkies in this one. Selkie stories are for losers.
Cymbeline: I have no idea whether this will get a theatrical distribution, but I love Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000), and this modernized version of one of the Bard’s late romances sounds fascinating. Milla Jovovich, Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, and Ed Harris? I think so!
Of course there are zillions of interesting foreign and oddball indie films that have played festivals over the past year, and I have no idea when or if they’ll play in Seattle. I never know what’s going to pop up on the schedule in any given week. The surprises are sometimes better than the ones I’ve been long anticipating.