I'm most excited about: Sicario
Director Denis Villenueve (Prisoners) fought for Emily Blunt in the lead, a role that producers wanted to go to a man. I love Emily Blunt-she's gorgeous, funny, MARRIED TO JIM!, and never fails to stand out. It's exciting to see her take on something so gritty and intense.
Biggest awards contender of the season: Spotlight
Everything I have read so far about this movie has been extremely positive. The cast is absolutely top-notch, and I'm excited to see how such a dire, tragic story is brought to the big screen. I didn't know this at the time, but the events of 9/11 occurred at the height of the investigation, and the story had to be held back for several months. It makes the desperation of the journalists all the more poignant.
Even though I hate space and the entire idea of climbing to heights where one can't breathe: The Martian and Everest
I wrote about how much I loved this book in my last post, and I am totally excited to see the movie. It took me a while to learn to love Matt Damon, but now I can't imagine not enjoying one of his movies. He's going to make a great Mark Watney, is infinitely watchable, and joined by a (mostly) great cast. I can overcome my dislike for Kate Mara by enjoying Michael Peña, Jessica Chastain, and Mackenzie Davis.
I have no idea why anyone would want to go up into such extreme conditions, in the bitter cold, upon terrifying cliffs covered in ice and snow, just to glimpse the highest points in the world. They are LITERALLY climbing to their deaths, in many cases. I am shivering and cringing as I type. Despite the fact that I can't connect with these people, every documentary I have seen about Everest or K2 has been riveting, and I was captivated by Into Thin Air, the Jon Krakauer book on which this film is based. Michael Kelly, most known for House of Cards, is playing Krakauer in the film which like many others on my list, has a star-studded cast. And now is probably the time to confess I have a bit of a Jake Gyllenhaal problem.
Feeling ambiguous about: Room
I haven't read Room. It's a disturbing story, and I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. I have a hard time with untraditional narration, and the whole story is written from the perspective of Jack, the young boy. The film debuted to strong reviews at the Toronto Film Festival, heralding a star-making turn for Brie Larson, who has been putting forth strong performances for a long time (see Short Term 12). I might need to change my mind about reading the book.
Best book adaptation of the season: In the Heart of the Sea
Most exciting cast: The Big Short
And the rest: Steve Jobs, Joy, Macbeth, The Revenant, STAR WARS (the JJ Abrams version)
It's going to be a good year at the movies.