Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Fall into the past with these upcoming autumn films
With only a few short weeks before the fall movie season begins,I find it's easier to look over the list of upcoming cinematic candidates to earmark those films you most want to see by singling out the ones that share a little something in common.
While there are plenty of comedies,dramas and kiddie fare ready to arrive,some of us like to slice the genre cake extra thin and go for the sweet taste of period films,those stories set in the past that can bring a real old fashioned flavor to the popcorn proceedings.
Let's start off with a bang and a gander at Django Unchained,Quentin Tarantino's take on the spaghetti western. Jamie Foxx stars as Django,a slave in the Deep South who is given a chance at freedom by Dr. King Schultz(Christoph Waltz)a bounty hunter seeking his assistance in tracking down the notorious Brittle Brothers.
Along with his freedom,Django is also interested in finding his wife Broomhilda(Kerry Washington)who is in the clutches of a particularly nasty plantation owner(Leonardo DiCaprio,doing a rare villain role). Tarantino's love of old school genre films is no secret and lately,he seems to be rather comfortable with period pieces,so this movie promises to be a real wild ride and then some:
For the literary crowd,a new version of Anna Karenina is on the way with Keira Knightley in the title role. She's joined by Jude Law as her husband Alexei and other well known film folks such as Kelly Macdonald,Olivia Williams and Matthew Macfadyen.
While it might seem like the same old doomed love story,this take on Karenina is being given an elaborate face lift in the visuals department. The theme appears to be "all the world's a stage",which could liven up the show considerably:
If you'd rather have a historical film that is an out-and-out theatrical experience,then you will be thrilled to hear that the award winning musical version of Les Miserables is set to raise the curtain at a multiplex near you this Christmas.
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are two of the big names appearing in this most popular rendition of Victor Hugo's classic novel and as we know from their duet during an Oscar night opening number,those two know how to sing. Climbing on board this Broadway band wagon with them is Russell Crowe,Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen,in this epic tale of the French Revolution that still resonates strongly with us today:
For something a bit more lighthearted but still a tad serious,Hyde Park Over Hudson should fit the bill nicely. The story takes place in 1939,when the King and Queen of England pay a visit to President Franklin D. Roosevelt(Bill Murray)and his First Lady(Olivia Williams,really making her mark in the period piece section) at their country estate in upstate New York.
During this time,FDR is getting rather friendly with Margaret Suckley(Laura Linney),his distant cousin who later becomes his lover. The culture clashes during that visit,as well as the personal tensions amongst the Roosevelt clan,sound like a fun yet factual mix of hidden history worth seeing on the big screen:
Many say that historical fiction of any sort is just a way for people to escape the hard times facing them in the present and while there is some truth to that,it's also true that exploring the problems of those previous time periods can give you a better perspective on the current state of affairs.
So,feel no shame in enjoying a period film even if you're only interested in checking out the costumes. A truly good story can give the audience entertainment along side education,plus show us that no point in time is trouble free yet the solutions can be found in the most unexpected ways:
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