directed by John Patrick Shanley
There’s Oscar bait, then there’s Doubt. Where to even start? Meryl Streep is looking for her 13th nomination (not counting her two wins), Philip Seymour Hoffman is hoping to pick up his second statue and it looks like Amy Adams is on track to win her first. Prolific producer Scott Rubin jumped the Weinstein ship to work on this project in hopes to win another Oscar. Writer-director John Patrick Shanley won an Oscar in 1987 for writing Moonstruck. But this is his first directorial outing since 1990’s surreal Joe Vs. The Volcano, so we’ll have to see how he handles drama. This movie is based on the fifth longest running Broadway play of the same name. Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx, it revolves around the tension between a nun and a new priest. While a perfect storm of award material like Doubt doesn’t always perform (Crash, anybody?), this picture is sure to impress.
directed by Stephen Daldry
The only story with more drama than The Reader is the story behind the making of The Reader. First Kate Winslet replaced a pregnant Nicole Kidman. Then producer Scott Rudin left the project after losing a battle with Harvey Weinstein over the release date (Rudin and Daldry wanted to push it 2009, Weinstein wanted it out in time for February’s Oscars). Then reports were circulating that Weinstein was harassing producer Sydney Pollack on his death bed. Rudin went on to produce Doubt, which is also coming out this weekend. Another interesting coincidence with this film is that Kate Winslet may be competing against her self for an Academy Award due to her reunion with Leo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road. The story takes place in Post-WWII Germany. A young man who had an affair with an older woman is reunited with her 10 years later when she is defending herself for war crimes.
The Day The Earth Stood Still
directed by Scott Derrickson
Remakes have become an increasingly popular way for Hollywood to make money without doing anything new. This time they have taken a look at what made money and doing it all over again, but bigger, flashier and more Keanu-ier. In fact, this remake isn’t just a remake of the 1951 ordinal, it’s a remake of every movie Keanu Reeves has ever been in. Reeves acted once in 1992, and ever since then we’ve just been seeing the same footage edited into project after project to save money. The real Reeves is on a beach somewhere having a fruity drink in a pineapple, surfing and wildly shooting a gun into the air. It’s not that he is a bad actor, it’s just that he can give one performance and one performance only. That said, his part in this movie looks to be pretty well cast. The 1951 original is a standard, well-revered classic that most of today’s movie-going public has never heard of. I don’t know how many people will be leaving the theater complaining about how they changed the ending, but it may discover a whole new audience.