"The Bling Ring," written and directed by Sofia Coppola
A year after Francis Ford's "Twixt" landed with a bit of thud in Toronto, both Sofia and Roman Coppola seem poised to bring their latest to the fall festival circuit. And their respective projects sure look interesting. Two years after controversially taking the Golden Lion in Venice for "Somewhere," Coppola could return with a film that stars Emma Watson as part of a gang of Beverly Hills burglars (its based on a real-life story... just ask Orlando Bloom). It just wrapped, so it might not be ready in time.
Cloud Atlas," written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer (from the novel by David Mitchell)
Mystery surrounds the German-produced adaptation of David Mitchell's postmodern instant classic novel "Cloud Atlas." In the novel, six stories across various times (from the distant past to the distant future) are told in cascading contexts; that is, one narrator tells the tale of the next. While the Wachowski's (who, of course, brought us "The Matrix") were not universally praised for their last go at directing, "Speed Racer," the film still has its ardent fans. And no one's stopped listening to the directorial duo. But let us not forget that the Wachowski's are not going this alone. They are joined by German director Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run"), who has been busy lately, with films like "Three" and "The International." With the Wachowski's and Tykwer's history in smashing genres and a killer cast (Susan Sarandon, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, Hugo Weaving, and Xun Zhou), "Cloud Atlas" has us on the edge with anticipation. It was recently announced the film would have an October 26 release date, so a flashy debut at one of the fall fests seems perfect.
"Imogene," directed by Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini.
"Imogene" has a really great logline: A playwright has to move in with her crazy mother after faking a suicide attempt to get her ex-boyfriend's attention. Now, hold on to your hats, because I'm about to tell you who's playing this mother-daughter pair: Annette Bening and Kristen Wiig. We're going to miss seeing Kristen Wiig on SNL every week, but if she's going to be taking on roles like this, we can't complain. Plus, it's being helmed by "American Splendor" directors Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini.
"The Lines of Wellington," directed by Raoul Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento, written by Carlos Saboga
Raoul Ruiz's widow, also his editor and director in her own right, Valeria Sarmiento took over the directorial reins to his 19th Century period piece "Lines of Wellington" after the prolific Chilean director ("Mysteries of Lisbon," "Klimt") died last year. The film takes a look at the 1810 Battle of Bussaco, documenting the French invasion of Portugal. It stars John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, and Mathieu Amalric, all actors that promise to stun in this dark and dreary look at an understudied moment in European history.
"Love Is All You Need" directed by Suzanne Bier, written by Anders Thomas Jensen
Bier and her regular collaborators, scripter Anders Thomas Jensen and cinematographer Morten Søborg venture into romantic comedy territory after Best Foreign Language Oscar winner "In A Better World," and Bier's equally dramatic Danish film's "After The Wedding," "Brodre" and "Open Hearts." "Love Is All You Need," set in Italy, stars Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Trine Dyrholm ("In A Better World") and Kim Bodnia. THR reports the plot revolves around a bunch of people looking for love, their passions and happiness, jealousy and loneliness -- which tells us nothing about the actual storyline -- but we're excited nonetheless. Sony Pictures Classics holds the US rights, and given it's an Italian co-production, Venice seems like a good bet.
“Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out,” directed by Marina Zenovich
Zenovich’s “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” got a major boost from its premiere at Sundance in 2008, followed by a Cannes screening, which not only had audiences chattering about the film’s lively resurrection of an infamous, decades-old celebrity scandal, but also prompted Polanski’s lawyers to re-attempt to dismiss the original case based on evidence presented in the film. “Wanted and Desired” won several Emmys after its HBO airing, and then Polanski was detained in Switzerland in 2009 and put under house arrest for 10 months. Throughout, Zenovich has trained her cameras on the fallout from the first film and Polanski’s evolving predicaments, much as Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky did when their “Paradise Lost” documentary affected real-life events. By early summer Zenovich was putting the finishing touches on the new doc, so barring any new developments in the case the fall fest circuit seems a likely launch pad.
"Untitled Greta Gerwig Project," written and directed by Greta Gerwig
We don't know anything about the new Greta Gerwig film, which the rising indie star wrote and directed last year. She dropped a hint about it during interviews for Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress," but otherwise, mum's the word. Gerwig hasn't stepped behind the camera since her mumblecore days, when she collaborated with Joe Swanberg on "Nights and Weekends."
“Zero Dark Thirty,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by Mark Boal
All eyes are on the Oscar-winning duo’s follow-up to 2009 best picture winner “The Hurt Locker,” which had been launched at Venice and Toronto the year before. To add intrigue to the super-mysterious hunt-for-Osama bin Laden project, Bigelow and Boal managed to stir up political controversy and a Congressional investigation because of the alleged leak of classified info to them by the Obama White House for use in the movie. With 2011’s indie darling Jessica Chastain in the cast, and Joel Edgerton primed for a Jeremy Renner-like breakout, the film could trace a similar awards path to “Hurt Locker” if it has the same vitality, grit and riveting characters. And if Sony hadn’t pushed the release back to Dec. 19, it could have affected the presidential election, too.