And so we find ourselves in the winter season, where our new releases are an odd mixture of prestigious award hopefuls, studio dumps, and bottom-of-the-barrel trash.
As an example of the first group, we welcome Michael Haneke’s Amour (trailer), the 2012 Palme d’Or winner at Cannes and Oscar nominee for Picture, Director, and Actress. As everyone’s no doubt aware, I’m a big Haneke fan, so this is a big event for me regardless of its awards cachet, and I’m very anxiously awaiting the chance to see it. Probably next Tuesday, hopefully.
The film stars French legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, the latter of whom I very much adore in Melville’s Leon Morin, Priest. I’ve deliberately avoided reading too much about the plot, and the opaque trailer is nice in this regard, but I gather it’s about an old couple, on of whom are experiencing a severe stroke or some other similar affliction. No doubt it’s a challenging film, but nonetheless this week’s Oscar nominations show that Haneke has a degree of mainstream acceptance that I would’ve thought impossible just a few years back. Who could’ve dreamed that he’d get a Best Director nomination someday?
As an example of the middle group, Warner Bros. is dumping Gangster Squad (trailer) into the January wasteland, where it will no doubt make some money and then disappear from everyone’s collective memory shortly after its opening weekend. You may remember that this was originally scheduled to come out last year, but had its release date pushed back in response to the theater shooting in Colorado. Now, as then, it doesn’t really look like anything special (too much Gosling), and in all honesty I think this is a better time of year for it then its original date was anyway.
And as perhaps the best example possible of the third group, one of the Wayans is in A Haunted House (trailer), another in an endless ripoffs of Scary Movie, which was itself a ripoff of a movie that was already a parody (not to mention other spoofs in the Airplane vein). I don’t have the slightest idea who actually pays money to watch this stuff, but here it is.
In other news…
We have a couple of releases from India, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola and Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu, as well as the documentary $ellebrity (trailer). The Siskel is playing a reissue of Claude Sautet’s Max et les ferrailleurs, a movie I admit I know nothing about. Facets is playing the indie drama The Trouble with the Truth (trailer), starring a couple actors I’d mostly forgotten about in John Shea and Lea Thompson. And the Music Box is showing Somewhere Between (trailer), a documentary exploring the ramifications of China’s one-child policy.