In a move which I'm sure will surprise no one, I have somehow let half the year go by before sharing my movie recommendations of the year. In my defense, I don't really consider it a "new" movie year until AFTER the Oscars. Try to forget that those took place back in March.
Inception. A mere fourteen days remain before the much-anticipated release of Leo's latest film. The plot was initially shrouded in secrecy, and while one can muster up a general idea of what's going to take place in the later trailers, it is sure to be riveting, twisty-turned hours of pure entertainment. Like Leo, director Christopher Nolan makes precious little mistakes in his work-he's has directed exactly 10 films, and those include Insomnia, Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight.
Never Let Me Go. The adaption of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel stars newbie darling Carey Mulligan, fresh off an Academy Award nomination for her first starring role. I am not entirely enamored of Keira Knightley, but I think the movie looks like it could be excellent. I plan on reading the book over the summer.
Dinner for Schmucks. How in the world can I not see a movie that stars Paul Rudd AND Zach Galifianakis? I'm practically guaranteed gut-busting belly laughter for 2 hours.
The Adjustment Bureau. Let the record show that I have never quite managed to warm to Matt Damon. He is not my fave. Emily Blunt, however, I absolutely adore. It's a bit alarming that the film was pushed forward two months from its original July release date, but it's hard to believe these two would have made a terrible choice when they signed on.
Updated: Welcome to the Rileys. This movie boasts a most impressive pedigree. James Gandolfini's movie roles are rare and most certainly carefully selected. Melissa Leo is an Oscar nominee. And of course, there's my Kristen Stewart, most promising young actress of her generation and a continually refreshing face amongst the riffraff of young Hollywood. Keep in mind that she could be traipsing about in tiny dresses and taking on roles in fluffy teenage romances. Instead, she goes for gritty, challenging films that she full well knows may never even reach the big screen. A prescription for those who doubt her ability: The Cake Eaters. It's one of the best things I've seen her do. Updated with first trailer, released 7/8/10. I can tell it's going to be really, really good.
Blue Valentine. I saved the Sundance/Cannes/Toronto darling for last. Reviews for the heartbreaking, painfully realistic portrayal of a young marriage have been nothing short of stellar. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams reportedly turn in some of the best work of their already extremely respectable careers. Oscar buzz hovers over the movie like a cloud. I've heard that watching it is no picnic-the subject matter is not light and far from uplifting. It is, however, reputed to be one of the best films of the year. Even without all the hype, I'd see it.