For your 2013 viewing pleasure

2012-12-30 10:00

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A whole new year at the movies awaits. Here’s what to look out for next year

The Biographies

We finally get to see Daniel Day Lewis do Abraham Lincoln - the man lauded as the best actor alive playing one of the world’s best dead leaders, should be a winner.

Add to that Steven Spielberg in charge and you’ve got a sure fire Oscar favourite and Day-Lewis is likely to get his fifth nomination.

Hitchcock, a film about Alfred Hitchcock’s romance with his wife during the filming of his most famous film, has Anthony Hopkins immortalising the English director.

For those of us for whom Psycho is still one of the scariest films ever, this behind-the-scenes look is irresistible, especially with Scarlett Johansson donning Janet Leigh’s shower curtain. Helen Mirren, Toni Collette and Danny Huston also star.

The biography South Africans will particularly be waiting for is Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. With Justin Chadwick who made the wonderful First Grader as director and the writer of Gladiator and Les Miserables, it bodes well.

As for the cast - for those who hadn’t heard Idris Elba will be Madiba while Naomie Harris (a Bond girl in Skyfall) will be Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, while our own Terry Pheto of Tsotsi fame will be Evelyn Mandela.

The Comic book Heroes

After Superman Returns sunk like Superman chained with Kryptonite in the pool in 2006, Hollywood decided to remix it with wonder boy director Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch) at the helm and Henry Cavill in the Christopher Reeve role.

The cast includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Russell Crowe as Jor-El, a role Marlon Brandon owned in the original.

But if anyone can do it, Crowe can.

Marvel comics meanwhile continues to deliver one superhero after another after the wild success of The Avengers this year, which was the film that celebrated the economic coupling of Marvel and Disney.

The sequel to Thor comes in 2013 as does Robert Downey Jnr’s third outing as Iron Man. The sequel to Captain America though is only due out in 2014, in preparation for the second Avengers film in 2015.

The Tarantino

That’s right - Quentin Tarantino, the man who makes his statements in buckets of red is back with Django Unchained, a film styled like a spaghetti western but with a hardcore look at slavery at its core. Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio star in what threatens to be a spaghetti western with (meat)balls, slow drawls and quick draws.

Our Oscar Hopeful

Darryl Roodt’s latest film, Little One, has been forward for Foreign Language Oscar consideration in 2013.

The film is set in a rural area where a young child is brutally attacked and raped and the story is about the aftermath of this all-too-common occurrence in South Africa.

The film stars Thuli Msimang as the child’s mother and threatens to have those with the courage to see it sobbing for days.

The Fairytales

We’ve had two versions of the Snow White story this year, and the fairytale trend continues in 2013.

Although with a twist. First up is Jack the Giant Slayer which looks very promising.

With a team of writers that include the guy who wrote Jack Reacher, and Bryan Singer - the X-Men director - at the helm as well as a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy and Stanley Tucci, what’s not to like?

Nicholas Hoult takes the lead as a farmer’s son who goes to the land of the giants when the peace between humans and giants is threatened.

Then there’s Hansel and Gretel Witchhunters, which really does put a spin on an old favourite that scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid.

With former Bond girl Gemma Arterton and Avenger Jeremy Renner as the protagonists who travel the world slaying witches, this one’s got serious cool factor.

Rounding out the fairytales is Oz the Great and Powerful, which is not a remake of the Judy Garland classic but rather a prequel to the whole Yellow Brick Road adventure.

James Franco is a magician who finds himself in a fantasy world being pursued by a trio of enchantresses (Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis) - definitely a fantasy world!

The Literary Greats

Perhaps the most anticipated literary adaptation of 2013 is Les Miserables - I have seen it and it lives up to all the hype and then some.

Absolutely magnificently filmed with the actors singing live (just like the poor actors have to do every night on the West End!) - this is an epic weepy you don’t want to miss.

It’s also going to carry the Oscars away and might just make the musical component of the Oscars ceremony bearable for once.

Russell Crowe is Javert and Hugh Jackman is Jean Valjean, while Anne Hathaway’s rendition of I Dreamed a Dream is an award clincher and Eddie Redmayne of My Week With Marilyn fame unearths a magnificent singing voice as Marius.

Two other literary masterpieces that make it to the silver screen (again) are Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Keira Knightley is Anna Karenina, being a Russian heroine you can be sure nothing ends well and I for one am always happy to see Knightley come to a sticky end.

Word is though that director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard have done wonders, filming it like a stage show.

Leonardo Di Caprio takes up the challenge of Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, with Carey Mulligan (An Education) putting on Diasy Buchanan’s flapper style.

Directed by Baz Luhrman famous for his singular styling (remember Moulin Rouge?), this one’s high on my anticipation list too.

Worth mentioning

Tom Cruise and Will Smith both revisit an Apocalyptic future in Oblivion and After Earth respectively.

After Earth is directed by M Night Shyamalan who hasn’t had a hit in a while, but with Mr Box Office headlining what can go wrong?

Except that Smith’s son Jaden Smith also stars - a child with as little talent as his father has a lot.

Oblivion is a comic book adaptation directed by Joseph Kosinski, also pretty bleak.

Twenty years ago T-Rexes roamed free on an island with a slightly mad Richard Attenborough, who can forget that goat tethered to a rope?

Well, Jurassic Park is being re-released in 3D in 2013, will its CGI stand the test of time?

It’s also the precursor to a new one in the franchise again with Steven Spielberg driving it.

Also in 2013 Johnny Depp will immortalise the great Tonto, while Armie Hammer will no doubt be outshone as The Lone Ranger himself, Ben Affleck goes spymaster with Argo and Kathryn Bigelow of The Hurt Locker fame goes East again to tell the tale of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.

And finally with the sparkly vampires vanquished from our screens we can all enjoy Jennifer Lawrence reprise her role of Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games.

Pass the popcorn, here’s to another year at the movies!

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