It’s the start of yet another year and it’s opening month looks to provide us with an array of musicals, historical epics and political thrillers. This January looks to hit the ground running to begin start another whirlwind year in film, with some huge awards contenders all looking to stake their claim to audiences and voters for the upcoming awards season. So here at Inside Media Track, we’ve picked out the top five films to delve into, hopeful in starting 2013 with a bang.
Based on the true events of a family split apart by the events of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play the loving couple, on holiday in Thailand with their two sons, who look to reunite after the tragic disaster in the Indian Ocean whilst witnessing the true horror and aftermath of an event which affected the lives of an unprecedented amount of people. Most disaster films look to emphasise on the spectacle rather than the heart of the film, mainly for advertising purposes and losing audiences engagement. But this looks to focus more on the character-driven drama and just follow an already incredible story that looks to pay off well.
Les Misérables (In Cinemas: 11th January)
Director Tom Hooper‘s follow up to his Oscar-winning The King’s Speech sees him adapt the ever popular stage musical to film. With a varied ensemble cast including Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, set in 19th century revolutionary France, Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman) is on the run from a hardened police enforcer Javert (played by Russell Crowe). A classic cat and mouse tale, set amongst the backdrop of their home country changing its political ways due to rebellion and uprising. It seems a master stroke to have Tom Hooper on board, as he seems to have a successful knack of bringing stage to screen and eradicating any feeling of viewing a theatre production and bringing in film making sensibilities.
Quentin Tarantino is back with his new written and directed film, an exploitation western, starring Jamie Foxx as the titular character Django, a slave who gets taken under the wing of Dr Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz) who uses his new friends help to hunt down a group of killers to whom only Django knows the whereabouts of. Addressing themes of slavery and the lavish lifestyle of the slave masters within Deep South America, all in the same mix with Tarantino’s crazed humour and explicit violence. Also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson, this looks to stamp Tarantino’s unique writing and visual style, to a new genre he hasn’t attempted before, to full effect.
An account of his time as United States President, Daniel Day-Lewis looks to book his place in the Best Actor awards nominees as he plays Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg‘s take of the abolition of slavery during civil-war America. Already praised in early reviews, this looks get the balance right in Lincoln’s attempts to stick to his domestic views and ideas of uniting America both out of the depth’s of war and out of the depth’s of racism. Also with Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, Spielberg looks to dismay any political grey areas and produce a highly detailed, definitive take one of the most influential men in America’s history. Any high praise of an American hero always gets the Oscar talk increasing, but with Day-Lewis always delivering no matter what, this looks to be a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director Oscar for her last feature The Hurt Locker and she looks to provide another war-torn political hit about the operations to find Osama Bin Laden during the length of the war on terrorism. Yet another political story hoping to get the facts right, starring Jessica Chastain and Mark Strong, Bigelow has shown she’s able to portray human stories of danger and the traumas of war, all whilst addressing a bigger political story in the background. Even though this ticks the boxes in terms of pleasing the home crowd, it still looks to be an engaging thriller with its heightened tension and action set pieces in abundance.