Alexander Payne's first feature film in over six years, "The Descendants," will be be arriving a whole month earlier as Fox Searchlight has slated the film for a Thanksgiving, November 23rd release to gets its limited roll-out going. Clearly, they want to give the film room to grow legs and pick up steam through the meat of the awards season race and it seems they think they've got a winner on their hands. Co-written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants” follows the story of a wealthy Hawaiian man named Matt King (George Clooney), who takes his daughters (Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller) on a road trip to find the man his wife has been having an affair with after a boating accident leaves her critically injured. Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Robert Forster, Mary Birdsong and Nick Krause all co-star in the film, which judging by the very early trailer, looks like yet another perfectly honed dramedy from the director.
Meanwhile, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt's forthcoming romcom, "Five Year Engagement," will try to win hearts on April 27, 2012. The film, described as being in the vein of “Annie Hall” or “When Harry Met Sally,” follows the roller coaster relationship of a couple across their titular pre-wedding period. Judd Apatow is producing the Nicholas Stoller-directed film and you can tell because it boasts a pretty terrific ensemble of supporting players including Alison Brie, Chris Pratt, Kevin Hart, Lauren Weedman, Mindy Kaling, Chris Parnell, Jim Piddock, Jacki Weaver and Dakota Johnson. No other competition on the weekend just yet, but the following week "The Avengers" will obliterate the box office.
Finally, Sundance hit "Martha Marcy May Marlene" has quietly moved back its roll-out date to October 21st. Led by an already much talked about performance by Elizabeth Olsen, the film centers on a young woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia who struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing a cult. Beautifully shot by writer/director Sean Durkin, the cast is rounded out by Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy and a creepy-as-fuck John Hawkes. Will Olsen be the Jennifer Lawrence of this year? She could very well be. [BoxOfficeMojo]