Out: 13th Jan
From director Steven Spielberg comes War Horse. Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets – British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter – before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land. Already a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit and now many are predicting Oscar glory. The trailer alone brings tears to the eyes.
The Iron Lady
Out: 6th Jan
Although she has been nominated 2000 times before Meryl Streep hasn’t actually won an Oscar since 1983 (Sophie’s Choice). Hopefully 2012 will end the drought for her exceptional turn in The Iron Lady an intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world.
The Darkest Hour
Out: 13th Jan
The Darkest Hour follows five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D action-thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects from the minds of visionary filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch) and director Chris Gorak. Emile Hirsch leads the good looking young cast.
Out: 20th Jan
Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black turns his Oscar winning scriptwriting talent to bring another true gay story to the big screen – this time for director Clint Eastwood. The film explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets (including being gay) that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Leonardo gives an incredible performance.
Out: 20th Jan
Madonna directs her first dramatic feature film about fragile but determined women – Wally Winthrop and Wallis Simpson – separated by more than six decades. In 1998, lonely New Yorker Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate love story: King Edward VIII’s abdication of the British throne for the woman he loved, American divorcée Wallis Simpson. But Wally’s research, including several visits to the Sotheby’s auction of the Windsor Estate, reveals that the couple’s life together was not as perfect as she thought. Weaving back and forth in time, W.E. intertwines Wally’s journey of discovery in New York with the story of Wallis (Andrea Riseborough) and Edward (James D’Arcy), from the glamorous early days of their romance to the slow unravelling of their lives in the decades that followed. Unfortunately, this is not very good, sorry Madge.
Out: 27th Jan
Take your tissues to this one. From the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. A very good film and one of the big Oscar contenders this year.
Tom Cruise is circling a film called All You Need is Kill an adaptation of the Japanese novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with a futuristic alien invasion storyline that centres on a raw recruit (Cruise), pressed into battle against an alien species, gets killed in action. However, he is reborn each day to suffer the same fate.
Originally scheduled to hit theatres next summer, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2 is now scheduled for May 2013 and will be made in 3D.
Helen Mirren will be playing Alma Rainville, the wife of world-renowned filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, in the upcoming biography film that we really hope ends up getting a better title, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.
When the late filmmaker Ken Russell passed away last month at the age of 84, he’d been planning to remake the infamous 1976 X-rated Alice in Wonderland musical in which Alice is taken on a tour of Wonderland by a randy White Rabbit. And who had Russell hoped to bring along on his naughty trip down the rabbit hole? Lady Gaga, of course!