We maybe fast heading towards the depths of Winter, but don’t let the cold or early nights get you down. Instead, bathe in the warm feeling that these final weeks of the year look to see the release of the serious contenders for next year’s awards season. So here at Inside Media Track, we’ve picked our top five films to see this month.
Directorial genius that is Paul Thomas Anderson is back with his first film since 2007’s Oscar-winning masterpiece There Will Be Blood. Having redefined the cinematic landscape with almost every film he’s made, The Master could have a massive look in at the Oscars, and potentially snap up a Best Director award for Anderson that he’s fully deserved for some time. Set after the Second World War, Army dropout Freddie Quell (played by Joaquin Phoenix) follows the teachings and guidance of businessman Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). But Freddie begins to slowly realise he’s wrapped up in more of a cult following than a religion, with comparisons to Scientology. Wrote by Anderson himself, he looks to address themes of religion that hasn’t always been well received by Hollywood in the past. But maybe for once, the Academy will recognise technical film making quality, over its subject matter.
Based loosely on the true story of six American diplomatic hostages rescued from Iran in 1979, Argo sees Ben Affleck‘s return behind the camera since he had success with The Town. With bureaucratic squabbles and civil unrest, CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Affleck himself) leads a team of operatives looking to rescue American hostages, with the only disguise for them getting into the country being Hollywood film makers looking to make a made up Sci-fi movie in Iran, named Argo. With a great supporting cast including John Goodman and Bryan Cranston, it’s already received praise in America, with its mix of humour and heroism being its main appeal. Hopefully, it will get the right balance between the comedy approach and its serious approach, and make for a truly heroic story.
With its story telling coming in all different points of view from its main two characters, this looks to be an interesting take on the conventional action movie. Following the lives of two LA police officers (played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena), looking to hunt down the underworld criminals in drug dealing, the film looks to have all the hall marks of a video game feel, along with high intensity of action coupled with a heart-felt story around family, all rolled into one. The basic premise looks to make the movie like your ordinary shooting action thriller, yet it’s already received top praise and actually works together quite well. Directed by David Ayer whose already been involved in many police thrillers, it has the potential of providing a thoughtful take on the law without just resorting to gun fights and car chases.
Debuting at the end of the London Film Festival, director Mike Newell‘s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel looks to be a big, bold, and indeed British take on the story of Pip (played by Jeremy Irvine) whose affection and help for an escaped convict lands him with an unforseen fortune. With a talented cast including Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, this has all the potential to get BAFTA nominations despite Newell’s films not being that highly thought of late. Sticking closely to the novel’s text will determine the film’s success as the story is already fantastic as a stand alone piece, with any big deviation from the source resulting in audiences being dismissive. But it certainly looks to keep Dickens’ vision firmly in view.
Clint Eastwood‘s producing collaborator Robert Lorentz directs what looks to be a heart warming father/daughter relationship in the midst of the sporting world, with Eastwood taking a break from directing this time round. Eastwood plays a retiring baseball coach who decides to spend time and bond with his daughter (played by Amy Adams) during his final season. On paper, it may just be a straight forward film about reconciliation and family with the sporting side becoming a back drop for the story. But films that have involved baseball, in the same way as boxing movies, such as Field of Dreams and recently Moneyball have somehow always made the sport the underlining subject from the main purpose of the film, and has worked really well.