By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 5, 2012 at 11:12AM
Synopsis: On the verge of his sixtieth birthday, hedge fund king Robert Miller tries to sell his company before his terrible fraud can be discovered.
What You Need To Know: In the era of Enron and Lehmann Brothers, can you make a fraudulent scumbag a sympathetic lead? That's the question that Nicholas Jarecki (the brother of documentarians Andrew and Eugene) hopes to answer with "Arbitrage," and he couldn't have asked for an actor with a better track record in morally ambivalent males than Richard Gere (who replaced Al Pacino in the part). Gere's involvement seems like a microcosm of the film in general; while Jarecki might have been courting the likes of Pacino, Eva Green and rapper Drake, he's ended up with a pretty terrific cast, with Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, William Friedkin (?!), Nate Parker and rising star Brit Marling supporting Gere, and if nothing else, the plot couldn't be more timely. We didn’t catch it ourselves at Sundance this year, but word is that it’s a solid, if not quite top-flight, drama, marking Jarecki as one to watch, and that Gere gives one of the finest performances of his career (which could end up landing him awards buzz).
When? September 14th both in theatres and on iTunes.
Synopsis: A divorced 35-year-old moves back in with her parents, only to begin a relationship with a boy close to her half her age .
What You Need To Know: The return to direction of "High Fidelity" star Todd Louiso, who was behind the undervalued "Love Liza," and the already forgotten "The Marc Pease Experience," would be enough to gain a modicum of interest, but really, there's main reason we’re excited about "Hello, I Must Be Going": a long, long overdue lead role for the great New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey. Having made her debut aged only sixteen, opposite Kate Winslet in Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures," she's been working steadily ever since, but has really wowed (quietly) in the last few years with supporting turns in "Up in the Air," "The Informant!" and "Win Win," among others; she's been ready for a breakout for a while. According to James Rocchi, who saw the film for us at Sundance, Lynskey “hurls herself into the part with enthusiasm and charm,” but it also happens to be a “smart, smutty and sweet” film that “deserves a hearty welcome from moviegoers looking for an honest and frank comedy that never forgets to help us care about its characters.” Hurrah!
When? September 7th.
Synopsis: Documentary about Vreeland, the seminal columnist, journalist and editor who headed up Vogue during its 1960s heyday.
What You Need To Know: While we wouldn’t quite describe ourselves as dedicated followers of fashion, the world of haute couture is an undeniably fascinating one, and Diana Vreeland one of its most important figures. A columnist for Harper’s Bazaar for 25 years from 1937, she was one of the first people to treat fashion as an artform, and was responsible for discovering Lauren Bacall, among many others, as well as advising everyone from Jackie Kennedy down on what to wear. She then moved over to arch-rivals Vogue, heading it up for 9 years, before curating exhibitions at the Met. Nearly 25 year after her passing, this documentary, directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland (granddaughter-in-law of her subject), Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, and Frederic Tcheng, has been picking up rave reviews ever since premiering at Venice and Telluride a year ago. It’s not going to be for everyone, clearly, but anyone interested in that world, in one of its key figures, or simply after a fascinating documentary, should be in for a treat.
When? September 21st
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic dystopia, the lawmen act as judge, jury and executioner. The remorseless Judge Dredd is teamed with a young psychic, Rookie Anderson, to battle the dealers of a new drug, SLO-MO, but the duo find themselves trapped in a giant tower block, Peach Trees, with everyone out for their blood.
What You Need To Know: The '90s were not kind to the comic book movie, but few were quite as bad as the Sylvester Stallone- starring "Judge Dredd," which took the beloved 2000AD character and watered it down beyond recognition. But DNA Films are trying another, more faithful stab with Karl Urban as the Dirty Harry-inspired supercop (who won't remove his iconic helmet, as in the comics), "Juno" star Olivia Thirlby as his apprentice, and Lena Headey as scarred villain Mama. The production seems to have been a troubled one, with writer Alex Garland (“28 Days Later”) and director Pete Travis (“Vantage Point”) seemingly clashing, but the film won over fans when it premiered back at Comic-Con in July. Todd Gilchrist wasn’t quite with them when he reviewed it for us, finding the film “empty,” and saying that “it doesn’t seem like there are larger ideas” in the film. But he did find the visuals, courtesy of Lars Von Trier and Danny Boyle collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle, “remarkable and unique, lending the action a grisly but poetic feel,” and concluded that “the performances are strong, the characters thoughtfully developed and the visuals beautifully executed.” So it sounds like action and comic book movie fans won’t be too disappointed.
When? September 21st.
Synopsis: Two young LAPD cops become the number one targets of a vicious drug cartel after pulling off a major bust.
What You Need To Know: More than anything else, this is the film we’re a little less certain on. David Ayer’s career to date as a director has consisted of variations on the theme of his breakout script, “Training Day,” some successful – “Harsh Times” – others less so – “Street Kings.” This is along similar lines, but with the ever talented central duo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena taking the lead roles (with Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo and David Harbour among those in support). But there’s one crucial difference – Ayer’s using a found-footage aesthetic, with the film made up entirely of CCTV footage and cameras mounted on the two leads, their weaponry and their car. It should at least be an interesting experiment, and if it pays off, could make for a truly visceral experience. And indeed, we’ve heard wildly mixed things to date – some have called it unwatchable, some have suggested it could be a dark horse Oscar contender. Whether the latter are on the money, or if it follows films like “The Grey” and “50/50” as films whose awards chances are massively over-hyped by excitable bloggers remains to be seen, but we’ll be finding out soon – the film premieres at TIFF in only a few short days.
When? September 21st