We're already 13 days into 2011, and I'm woefully behind on all sorts of posts. The new year, new job, new responsibilities, and that whole nasty business of the Love and Squalor domain name change (loveandsqualorfilm.com, anyone?) have been throwing me off my game. Excuses, excuses. Anyhow, while I've been deliberately holding off on my list of the best films of 2010 (to coincide with the Oscar nominations, yes, so I can rant and rave about what the Academy managed to overlook this year), it's time to cut to the chase and list the 30 movies I'm anticipating the most in 2011. Nope, I'm not excited about Green Lantern or Thor.
2. The Tree of Life (5/11) - Terrence Malick's long awaited, metaphysical sci-fi family drama already looks like a beauty. Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (as father and son, believe it or not), the expectations for this film are running at an all time high. Will it be the cerebral, almost literary meditation on innocence and experience film aficionados are hoping for? Or, will it be Benjamin Button part II?
9. Hanna (4/11) - Director Joe Wright, who brought us the really rather lovely adaptations of Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, is switching gears to bring us the cold blooded tale of a 14-year old little girl killing machine. Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular character, a girl assassin on a mission, stealthily evading agents (led by Cate Blanchett) out to bring her in. Yessssssssss.
10. Sucker Punch (3/11)- In all likelihood, Sucker Punch will be absurd. In spite of this, I still really want to see it. I'm a big fan of Zack Snyder's aesthetic, and merging wild visuals with bad ass heroines, imaginary realms, and an anime brand of logic sounds like fun to me. Bring it on.
12. Damsels in Distress (?) - No, it's not what it sounds like. No princess nonsense here. Damsels in Distress is the first film from writer/director Whit Stillman since Last Days of Disco in 1998 (its alternate title has been noted as Diorissimo). As such, what you can expect is a talky, dialogue-driven story about social classes, affluence, and posturing. This one in particular is centered on a group of college girls bonded by their obsession with the elegance of the past. Prepare for some WASPy chatter with Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody.
13. Super 8 (6/11) - What is Super 8? Shrouded in mystery, that's what. It's a JJ Abrams movie, it's a big deal, it's a secret, but maybe it's something about Area 51? Don't ask, you're going to see it anyway.
14. Source Code (4/11)- Duncan Jones (fresh off of Moon) makes a Groundhog Day style action thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Only, he'll probably make it more interesting than that.