The releases of George Clooney’s Ides of March - a political drama, and The Adventures of Tintin - a family film, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson mark the start of the very competative holiday season, where films not only bid for audience’s attention but also for a place amongst the upcoming awards nominations. So, it is therefore worth having a look at what is to come in terms of film and prepare oneself for some successful (or less successful) cinematic experiences and collaborations.
Arthur Christmas – opens 11 November 2011
Directed by Sarah Smith, with characters voiced by James McAvoy (Arthur), Jim Broadbent (Santa), Imelda Stanton (Mrs. Santa), Bill Nighy and Hugh Laurie, the film not only presents the entire Christmas family but also reveals the answer to the mystery of how presents are delivered by Father Christmas every year. Well, let me tell you something – it turns out to be a rather complicated operation. However, when one child is forgotten and doesn’t get her present, it is up to the most inexperienced member of the family to do that – Arthur.
Hopefully, this film would kindle the Christmas spirit earlier than expected.
My Week with Marilyn – opens 25 November 2011
Now, there are several films about the Hollywood icon made for TV (Norma Jean and Marilyn, 1996, Blonde, 2001) but suddenly studio execs have come to the conlcusion there aren’t enough of them for the big screen. The first of two films to be released about Marilyn is My Week with Marilyn, where Michelle Williams is taking up the challenge to portray the legendary actress. The film, directed by Simon Curtis, deals with the period Monro spent in England while filming The Prince and the Showgirl, acting opposite Lawrence Olivier, who is played by Kenneth Brannagh, after Ralph Fiennes left to direct and star in Coriolanus.
The film also features Dame Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi and Emma Watson, who is done with her Hermione-stage.
Hugo – opens 2 December 2011
Based on the book by Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret, directed by Martin Scorcese (yes, a children’s film directed by Martin Scorcese) and produced by Johnny Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil (also producing The Rum Diary and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows) – that is one impressive background to start with. The film tells the story of Hugo – an orphan living in 1900s Paris, who comes across a peculiar piece of machinery and tries to unravel its secret. What is more interesting is that part of Brian Selznick’s inspiration to include machinery in the story was drawn from Georges Méliès and his collection of wind-up figures, also known as automata. Maybe that is part of Scorcese’s inspiration to make the film, as well.
The film stars Asa Butterfield as Hugo and Chloe Moretz as Isabelle, a girl Hugo meets (you might remember her from films like Kick-Ass and Let Me In and will see her in the upcoming Dark Shadows). The rest of the eccentric characters the film introduces are played by Ben Kingsely, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory.
Oh, did I add it is to be in 3D?
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – opens 16 December 2011
Two years ago on Boxing Day came out a new adaptation of the adventures of the famous detective as seen through the eyes of director Guy Ritchie. Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson gave us a more contemporary/slightly steam-punk version of Conan Doyle’s characters, which happened to appeal to audiences. Well, guess what – they are back.
This time Holmes and Watson are joined by actress Noomi Rapace as Sim (Ramis starred in the original Swedish adaptations of the Millenium trilogy), a fortune-teller, in their battle against Professor Moriarty, Holmes’s rather well-known nemesis, played by Jared Harris.
Who knows – maybe it will be as successful as its first part and might set the foundations for a third film, turning into one of many action-adventure trilogies.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – opens 26 December 2011
Talking about films that came out on Boxing Day and the Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s international best-seller trilogy we cannot fail to mention the Hollywood/American version of the first book.
David Fincher, who has given us films like Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and, most recently, The Social Network, now brings out his take on Lisbeth Salander’s story. Having auditioned some of the most popular young actresses around (including Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Emma Watson and Ellen Page), the director cast Rooney Mara (The Social Network) as the punk investigator. Joining her will be Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard, Robing Wright and Christopher Plummer in what would hopefully be different from the previous interpretation of Larsson’s story.