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Looking Ahead to 2013′s Films (Part 1)

February 28, 2013
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So, yeah, we’re already two months into 2013, but for the most part all we’ve done so far is wade through the January Junk period, some quick-buck horror movies and some of the 2012 arthouse stragglers.

We’ve had a few anticipated releases, like Side Effects and Die Hard, but March is really when the year begins. Oz the Great and Powerful opens next week and The Host opens later this month, both should be big (though probably not Hunger Games huge). Needless to say, we track this kind of thing pretty closely and usually list it up in the paper, but with the changing landscape of Alt Weeklies, we haven’t been able to find space for it on the precious paper real estate. So here we offer a few of the domestic releases we’ve been looking forward to the most.

The Place Beyond the Pines – Derek Cianfrance
Personally, I found the backstory for Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine more interesting than the film itself (though, my married friends loved it), so it’s not without hesitation that I look forward to his next hook up with Ryan Gosling in this crime drama. Gosling plays another stunt driver, like in Drive — but motorcycle this time — who lives outside the law, but he has a reason in this go: his family. The film won over Toronto audiences, and features the newly minted Harry Osbourne, Dane DeHaan, as well as Bradley Cooper. (March 29th, Limited)

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Inside Llewyn Davis – The Coen Bros
There is no such thing as a Coen Bros film that we don’t want to see, but the lack of buzz about Inside Llewyn Davis is kind of surprising, giving off roughly the same surprise about the lack of buzz for Burn After Reading (admittedly, not their best). Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake play siblings who take in a singer-songwriter named Llewyn David (Oscar Iassac) in the 1960s West Village folk scene. We’re thinking something like Positively 4th Street, only on MacDougal Street. (TBD)

Touchy Feely – Lynn Shelton
Ellen Page plays a massage therapist who develops an aversion to bodily contact in this comedy from Humpday director Lynn Shelton. Page has had us suffer through some pretty woeful missteps when it comes to her and comedy, like Super, Smart People, Whip It and To Rome with Love (we’ll forgive Juno for a moment), but Shelton’s brand of comedy has a different feel to – weird, but not too weird, and mainstream, but not too mainstream. It could be the perfect fit for Page, who herself is weird, not too weird, and mainstream but not too mainstream. (TBD)

Frances Ha – Noah Baumbach
Baumbach sort of came out of nowhere with this romantic comedy when he released it to the festival circuit last year, getting rave reviews for himself and his lead, Greta Gerwig. Like Page (her castmate in To Rome), Gerwig has both stunned and annoyed in various turns since she found her niche with Joe Swanberg’s Hannah Takes the Stairs. Her attempts to go Hollywood haven’t worked out that well, giving us the likes of the dreadful Arthur remake, but neither have Baumbach’s after his indie success with The Squid and the Whale. Margot at the Wedding and Greenberg were both underwhelming, but maybe Frances Ha will turn the tide for him. (May 17th, Limited)

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Upstream Color – Shane Carruth
It’s been almost a decade since Carruth blew up Sundance ‘04 with his wicked, hard to follow (in a good way) time traveler, Primer. He’s finally finished work on the follow-up, Upstream Color, a seemingly freefloating love story about identity and… bathtubs? Well, anyway, the big question is, can he pull it off again? If the film lives up to the trailer, he’s got it made. All in all, it should be a pretty big year for co-star and Florida native Amy Seimetz, who also has her own film, Sun Don’t Shine, coming out as well as being added as a series regular on The Killing. (TBD)

Her – Spike Jonze
Only Spike could get away with the concept of “Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his operating system,” but this follow-up to Where the Wild Things Are that seems to be something from the same place in his brain that the compu-personality short film I’m Here came from is one of the most anticipated 2013 openings for us and we don’t wish to know another thing about it, lest we ruin the nutty Jonzian surprise. (TBD)

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