The fall season is upon this and with the changing leaves comes the Oscar season. So long, superheroes, hello, adults with problems! Needless to say, it's usually my favorite time of the year (although this spring and early summer will probably give the next few months a run for their money). To celebrate this season's commencement, I thought I would change things up a bit and share the performances I'm looking forward to the mos. Here they are in no particular order:
Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
Since A Dangerous Method's premiere at Venice, the words "loud" and "in-your-face" have been used almost exclusively to describe Knightley's performance. Reaction has been mixed as to whether or not it works, but I absolutely love gutsy, go-for-broke performances. And Knightley has only grown in my esteem since Atonement.
Michael Fassbender, Shame
I could say that I'm mostly excited for this performance because Fassy is reteaming with his Hunger director Steve McQueen, but we all know I'd be lying. As soon as I heard the words "full frontal," my ticket was already bought. But Fassy is a great actor and he has been receiving rave reviews for this performance, so I'd be interested in this performance even if we didn't get a glimpse of the goods.
Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
I don't care what anyone says, I'm still proudly a member of Team Sandy and her Oscar win back in 2009. This is why I'm curious to see if her first post-Oscar film will continue my fascination with this woman. Provided Stephen Daldry's adaptation of this acclaimed novel hits the right notes, I don't think Sandy will have a problem nailing this.
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
The recent trailer left me cold, but if it did nothing else, it certainly raised my already considerable interest in Armie's performance in this film. The way I'm reading the trailer, he's playing the supportive wife role, which makes me smile because the thought of 6 foot 5 Aryan God Armie Hammer playing the docile supporting wife is hilarious in its own right. Plus he gets a shouting scene! Can you say "Oscar clip"? If we couldn't get Andy Garfield a nom last year, this should be an easier sell, right?
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Lars von Trier has a way with actresses that is almost unparalleled (hello, Nicole Kidman in Dogville!). The fact that he decided to work with as unlikely of an actress as Dunst, whom will always be in my good graces for Bring It On alone, makes me think that he saw something truly special in her that will translate well in his apocalyptic film.
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Theron has never been a favorite actress of mine (my three favorite performances of her are Monster, the "Crossfire" music video and that Dior ad where she undresses as she walks through a long corridor), but I know a lot of people who love and trust her even when her filmography might not warrant such devotion. The real story here is screenwriter Diablo Cody, who made even the insufferable Megan Fox temporarily interesting in Jennifer's Body. If she can work that same magic with the much more tolerable Charlize Theron in this film about a divorced loser returning home to rekindle an old romance, the results will be golden.
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
The fact that a member of the Olsen clan who is not one of the Olsen Twins is getting Oscar buzz is enough for me. What a delicious little story: sister of billionaire media moguls wows in low budget indie film.
Zac Efron, New Year's Eve
A bit of a silly choice, I know. But it has simply been far too long with out Efron on our movie screens (about 16 months by the time this comes out). On the plus side, New Year's Eve is a comedy, which is truly Efron's forte and Garry Marshall was able to get at least one interesting performance out of his last film in this vein, Valentine's Day.
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
I have to say I'm mostly curious about watching the introverted, cerebral Williams portray an actress like Monroe, who achieved stardom with charm, warmth and massive sex appeal. The result could either be a beautiful disaster or a triumph. I, for one, am intrigued either way.
Jason Segel & Amy Adams, The Muppets
I was going to pick Sterling Knight & Selena Gomez as the duo from this film I'm most excited about, but I realize that they are probably only cameo roles and I don't want to get overexcited for 90 seconds of screentime. I don't, however, want to make it sound like I'm not interested in the main romance between Segel & Adams. These two are adorable on their own, so I don't know if we can handle their combined adorableness. I'm certainly willing to try, though.