Friday, October 7, 2011

At the Movies – October 2011 – Part 3: This Month’s Best Films

Must-See of the Month:

The Ides of March (George Clooney) – Political Drama – Oct 7
Summary: Rumored to be a veiled commentary on the Howard Dean campaign (at least Beau Willimon’s play is, for which the film is based), the film is about an idealistic campaigner staffer, Stephen Myers, who gets a crash course on dirty politics while working on Presidential hopeful Governor Mike Morris’s campaign. Filmmakers: Actor George Clooney is back in the director’s chair for his fourth feature and is also producing. He is working with (the hardest working man in the movie-business, he has scored eight movies this year alone) composter Alexandre Desplat (The Tree of Life), cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (Sideways), production designer Sharon Seymour (The Town), and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio. Cast: The film stars Ryan Gosling and features a great supporting group with Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, and Jennifer Ehle. Expectations: Advanced reviews have been oddly mixed. I say this because on one hand this is among the ten likely Best Picture nominees for 2012’s Oscars in most expects’ predictions but on the other hand the buzz out of the Toronto Film Festival has been not great. I have not been a big fan of any of the films Clooney has directed to date, as well. So then why is this the must-see of the month you ask? Well, it has a great cast, crew and potential – plus, this is a weak month, movie wise. All that said, it will probably be a good to decent political drama. Check out the trailer. Review.

Worth Checking Out:

Like Crazy (Drake Doremus) – Romance – Oct 28 [limited]
Summary: The film is about an American who falls in love with a British girl. Her visa expires but she stays in the States for him. She is found out and deported. Now, they must deal with being in a long-distance relationship, while also coming to terms with meeting new people and maybe not being together. Filmmakers: Writer-director Drake Doremus has made three indie features and some shorts prior to Like Crazy, but none have received the same acceptance and gotten the same traction as this. He is working with an indie crew including pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran, cinematographer John Guleserian and production designer Katie Byron (the latter two have worked with him before, while all three are again working with him on his next feature). Cast: The cast features excellent young actors Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones (a star to watch) and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Charlie Bewley and Chris Messina. Expectations: The film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (and Jones won the Special Jury Best Actress Prize). It looks like a very good romance, more on the dramatic side of the things than comedy, but critics have loved it during its festival run – though, average moviegoers not as much. Check out the trailer. Review.

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