Saturday, February 7, 2009

Top 5 highly anticipated (mostly) independent films

This is the first list I have ever posted. It's more my personal preference rather than what I think the general public is excited to see.

5. Shrink

Jonas Pate makes his directorial debut with this story about a celebrity shrink whose life spirals out of control following a tragedy. While the film stars Kevin Spacey, it's bright young starlet Keke Palmer who has me wanting to watch this. I've followed her career since her riveting performance in The Wool Cap opposite William H. Macy, and though she's been busy with television, it will be great to see her back on the big screen.

4. Good Hair

Co-written by comedian Chris Rock, this documentary centers around the complicated relationship black women often have with their hair. I believe it will be aired on television instead of getting released in theaters. For me, the film will be worth watching mostly because as a black woman I have lived this story my entire life.

3. Cold Souls

This semi-sci-fi dramedy stars Paul Giamatti, playing an actor named Paul Giamatti. He lucks into finding a company that lessens emotional suffering by deep-freezing and transplanting souls; Giamatti's soul is exchanged in the process. The premise is what draws me. Admittedly it sounds like a combination of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but I find it intruiging in spite of its Charlie Kaufmanlike quality, not because of it.

2. Mammoth

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Mammoth chronicles the lives of an affluent New York couple and the Philippino nanny they've employed to care for their 8 year old daughter. Meanwhile in the Philippines the nanny's family tries to deal with her absense. The plot sounds like 2006's Babel (globalization seems to be a running theme for Bernal), but Gael Garcia Bernal and his co-star Michelle Williams consistantly make solid, well crafted films.

1. The Last Station

This is the second film on the list starring Paul Giamatti. The historical drama about the life of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy boasts one of the most talented casts in years with Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer (as Tolstoy), James McAvoy, and Giamatti. My Oscar predictions are the kiss of death for a film, so I'll just refrain from mentioning anything having to do with the Academy Awards in regards to this film.

What almost made the list:

Medicine for Melancholy - the story

It Might Get Loud - a documentary with my husband rocker Jack White

Paper Heart - Charlyne Yi's adorable face gets me every time

The September Issue - Forget the Devil Wears Prada, this is the real thing

Since the year is still young(ish) I will soon have a few more lists for my most anticipated movies – blockbusters, French films, comedies, etc. Which movies are you dying to see this year? It doesn't matter if they're independent or otherwise you can share in the comments section.

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