Friday, October 17, 2014

Image = 'Tis the Season for Great Indies

I am more excited about this current season of films than I have been in a very long time.  It’s a wonderfully unusual year because it is chock full of indies with no big studio period saga in sight.  My how times have changed since the ‘80s…

It is also most definitely the year of the actor. 

Most of the buzz that has already come from festivals like Toronto & Venice is about films that feature a strong male lead – and there are many.  The one that I am most looking most forward to is Birdman – opening today.  I have always felt that Michael Keaton was incredibly underrated as an actor and Riggan in Birdman could be the role that changes this forever.

I’ve already seen St. Vincent, which is wonderful and I would be shocked if Bill Murray is not recognized for his multi-layered performance.

I can’t say that I am actually looking forward to seeing Foxcatcher (although I will most definitely see it!) because I know it will be dark & disturbing, but I am looking forward to hearing Steve Carell’s name A LOT during awards season.

On more than one viewing, I couldn't make it through the trailer for The Theory of Everything without sobbing and I am a sucker for a love story.  It looks like a gorgeous, heartbreaking tribute to a genius and Eddie Redmayne is a shoo-in just for the physicality of the performance.

It’s always good to play “gay for pay” and that’s what Benedict Cumberbatch does in The Imitation Game – yes a period piece, but still an indie.

And Whiplash could very well change the career & Hollywood status of already deeply respected character actor JK Simmons.

There may also be a few roles in very small films that get recognized.  Bill Hader is subtly great doing drama for the first time in The Skeleton Twins and Jenny Slate is one of my favorite performances of the year in Obvious ChildPlease don’t let me down, Independent Spirit Awards!

And it’s not technically an indie (or a small film) but I hope no one forgets about The Fault in Our Stars, one of the best written films I have EVER seen and a breakout performance by Ansel Elgort.  

The one & only film that has acclaim for an actress so far is Wild and Reese Witherspoon is already an Oscar winner so it’s tough to get too excited about that.  One film that may change this is Into the Woods.

But it’s all about the boys this year, which is fitting since the season kicked off with a little film called Boyhood.