Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Reel Preview: The Year in Film 2015, Episode XI

The race towards Oscar is about to enter the homestretch. Here are the notable films for the packed month of November.

It all blows up with…

SPECTRE – The 24th film in the James Bond franchise is the fourth time out for Daniel Craig as 007. This time the super-spy battles a global criminal organization. Craig is joined by Christoph Waltz (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS), Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), Ralph Fiennes, and Monica Belluci. Sam Mendes, who directed SKYFALL, returns.

THE PEANUTS MOVIE – Charles Schultz’s beloved comic strip returns in a 3D animated form. It is the first feature film based on the characters in 35 years, and is wrtten by the son and grandson of Charles Schultz.

SPOTLIGHT – This heavyweight contender of a movie is about the Boston Globe’s historic coverage of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal. It stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci. It is directed by Thomas McCarthy, who wrote Pixar’s UP (2009), and directed THE STATION AGENT in 2003.

BROOKLYN – Based on the novel of the same name, Saoirse Ronan (ATONEMENT), plays a young Irish immigrant in 1950’s Brooklyn.

TRUMBO – Bryan Cranston (TV’s MAD MEN), plays screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted from Hollywood because of his political beliefs in 1947. He is joined by Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Alan Tudyk. Jay Roach (MEET THE PARENTS, AUSTIN POWERS), directs.

BY THE SEA – This romantic drama is written and directed by Angelina Jolie. She stars in it along with her hubby, Brad Pitt.

THE 33 – Antonio Banderas leads the way in the true story of the 2010 mining disaster in which 33 miners were trapped underground for two months.

LEGEND – Tom Hardy (WARRIOR, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES), pulls double-duty by playing two roles; that of the Kray Twins…twin brothers who were gangsters in London in the 1950’s. Hardy is joined by Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston, Paul Bettany, and David Thewlis. It is directed by Brian Helgeland, who directed the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42 in 2013.

THE NIGHT BEFORE – If you need a break from the Oscar hopefuls, there is always this holiday comedy about three idiots who go out on the town on Christmas Eve and have everything go wrong. Stars Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie.

SECRET IN THEIR EYES – This is a remake of the 2009 Argentine film which won Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. This crime drama in which FBI investigators re-open an old case stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 YEARS A SLAVE), Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Michael Kelly, and Alfred Molina.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 – Another break from the awards contenders comes in the form of the second part of the third book which is the fourth movie of people dressing weird for no reason. The finale to the series (thank God) stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and the kid who looks like a Lego-man, Josh Hutcherson.

CAROL – Cate Blanchett (ELIZABETH, THE LORD OF THE RINGS), and Rooney Mara (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), play two women in 1952 New York City who fall in love. Co-stars Sarah Paulson and Kyle Chandler. It is directed by Todd Haynes, who helmed FAR FROM HEAVEN in 2002.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – What would happen if the Earth never was hit by an asteroid and the dinosaurs survived? That is the question posed by Pixar Animation Studios in their second film of 2015. It features the voice-talents of Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, Steve Zahn, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, and Raymond Ochoa.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN – In what may be the 879th adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 1918 novel, James McAvoy (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) plays the doctor who plays God by bringing a stitched-together corpse to life. Daniel Radcliffe (HARRY POTTER himself), plays Igor.

CREED – Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa again, only this time he’s befriending and training the son of his old friend Apollo. Michael B. Jordan (FRUITVILLE STATION) plays that son.

THE DANISH GIRL – Our reigning Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne, plays one of the first men to go through gender reassignment surgery in the 1920’s. He is joined by Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastain Koch, and Amber Heard. It is directed by Tom Hooper, who directed the Oscar-winning THE KING’S SPEECH in 2010 and the Oscar-nominated LES MISERABLES in 2012.


Next month, Reel Speak previews the final month of 2015.


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