BY STEVEN ARMOUR
Check the Movie House website for further information on the following upcoming releases.
The Impossible (2nd January):
Most of us are likely to remember that fateful day in 2004, when tragic news spread across the world that a catastrophic tsunami had devastated most of Southern Asia. The Impossible tells the horrifying true story of one vacationing family caught up in the chaos of that day, along with the traumatic aftermath as they struggle to reunite with one another and put their lives back together. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor evoke a strong emotional response as the desperate, ravaged parents of the family, and overwhelmingly realistic sequences of the tsunami itself are assured to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Les Miserables (11th January):
The recent resurgence in popularity of the musical’s classic song, “I Dreamed a Dream”, will have already guaranteed enthusiastic anticipation for Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) adaptation of what promises to be one of the first musical epics. With an impressive all-star cast (Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway), the truly remarkable aspect of the film is that all of the actors will be singing live, meaning that the singing voices we hear in the film will be unaltered, which should make for a particularly raw, engaging experience.
Django Unchained (18th January):
Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming films are always something to look forward to, and Django Unchained seems to be no exception. Taking a similar history-bending approach to his 2009 war drama Inglourious Basterds, his latest project deals with the controversial subject of slavery, but in a slightly more sensationalised manner. Jamie Foxx plays the title role of the wronged, recently freed slave Django, on a mission to save his wife from the malevolent clutches of monstrous plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio playing very against type). With his token dark humour and larger-than-life characters, Tarantino’s long awaited take on the Western promises to be an explosive event.
Zero Dark Thirty (25th January):
After recently becoming the first woman to ever win the Best Director Oscar for indie hit The Hurt Locker(2009), Kathryn Bigelow returns to familiar territory with Zero Dark Thirty, which gives a dramatised account of the nail-biting operation to capture Osama Bin Laden. Already tipped to be a major awards player this year, a solid ensemble cast including Jessica Chastain (The Help), Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) make up the team who relentlessly hunted one of the most dangerous men in the world. Judging by the trailer alone, its safe to say this will guarantee a gripping watch.
Cloud Atlas (22nd February):
A just shy of three-hour epic on the scale of the Lord of the Rings series, Cloud Atlas is an ambitious, star-studded drama/comedy/sci-fi/thriller (stick with me) spanning five centuries and telling six very different, mesmerising stories, all of which are crucially connected. Based on the best-selling novel, the film succeeds in capturing its spiritual essence and proves to be a faithful adaptation, and for a film of its length it never has a dull moment, as we are kept transfixed by awe-inspiring visual effects and an almost lyrical narrative. Particularly interesting to note, the main cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving) all play multiple roles throughout the timeline of the story, sometimes even swapping ethnicities and genders.
Stoker (1st March):
Director Chan-wook Park’s (Oldboy) English-language debut sees Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre) play the young, unusual India Stoker, who seems to be in a perpetual state of melancholy following the unexpected death of her father. Making matters worse, and much more intriguing, is the fact that her mother (Nicole Kidman on wicked form) seems to be mostly unfazed by the event, and her enigmatic, estranged uncle (Matthew Goode) has appeared out of the blue for a prolonged visit with the family. It’s not long before strange incidents begin to occur in India’s town, and Uncle Charlie’s dark intentions soon come to light. Sure to be a psychologically twisted, palpably atmospheric genre piece – fans of Park won’t want to miss this one.