2013: Coming Up

Thankfully we all survived the anticlimactic Mayan apocalypse, and I for one would not have gone down without a fight because I knew 2013 had far too many tantalising cinematic treats in store! I’d like to thank the alien invasion (or whatever else was predicted for the end of the world) for postponing, and giving us at least another year to watch as many films as possible.
As usual, January brings with it an overwhelming amount of what you can look forward to over the coming months – so I’ve narrowed it down and picked five films that I’m jumping up and down to see!

Zero Dark Thirty (January)
Katherine Bigelow vs. the Academy Round II. After the success of The Hurt Locker back in 2008, can Bigelow’s luck strike twice with her chronicle of the hunt for Osma bin Laden? Her stark yet sensitive approach towards soldiers and the military in war zones displaying the unseen side of conflict earned her Best Director, and with a female lead this time around, perhaps Jessica Chastain can continue this stroke of feminine luck with a Best Actress win in February.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Django Unchained (January)
Tarantino makes a film; millions rejoice. Tarantino made Christoph Waltz a household name after Inglorious Basterds and I hope that casting him in Django leads to a lifelong actor/director partnership as when they meet, magic occurs. Glorious, violent, hilarious magic. I defy you to watch the trailer and not get really, really excited. Slaves, plantations, the KKK, shoot outs and lots of facial hair. That shot of blood splattering cotton plants also reminds us that Tarantino’s cinematography is second to none, and lastly – who doesn’t want to see Leo Dicaprio with that gorgeous beard and rather amusing southern accent?!

Side Effects (March)
Channing Tatum’s big test! A thrilling expose of the negative repercussions of prescription drugs, starring teen heart throb Tatum. My first reaction to the trailer was “Damn, the boy can actually act” and I won’t lie, this still remains my biggest draw to the film. (While I’m at it, this seems to be THE year of reconciliation between actor and director – Tatum last starred in Magic Mike with Soderbergh at the helm). However, Rooney Mara also entices as the guinea pig for the new anti-anxiety drug that accidentally sends her off the rails. It’s all very dark, sexy and dangerous and made even more so against the backdrop of New York. I think if you’re a fan of Soderbergh, this should definitely make your list in 2013.

The Place Beyond the Pines (April)
Gosling forever.  Ryan Gosling has his second turn as a stunt rider (for those of you who’ve seen Drive) but this time it’s motorbikes instead of cars. I would watch a film in which all Gosling does for 100 minutes is ride around on a motorbike. Unfortunately for me however, reunited with Derek Cianfrance (director of Blue Valentine), Gosling presents us with another acting master class. Portraying a father attempting to reconnect with his new son and former lover, he faces the moral dilemma of attempting to take care of his family whilst being tempted into a string of bank robberies. Probably not for devotees of Crazy Stupid Love.

Biker boy: Ryan Gosling
Biker boy: Ryan Gosling

The Great Gatsby (May)
Baz Luhrmann makes Literature students cry a little bit. Again. I’m not too sure what all the controversy is about; as a Lit student I can appreciate a modern and very stylistic reimagining of Fitzgerald’s much loved book. I know the trailer is a bit out there, but isn’t the story all about excess and immorality anyway? It would be a shame to sugar coat and re-parcel another safe version with emphasis on it being a ‘classic’. I will admit to being ambivalent towards the use of 3D though. (We’ll just have to see whether or not it adds to the experience in the cinema). Either way, I cannot wait to see the mansion party scenes in detail up on the screen; if they live up to the kind of crazy soirees we’ve seen depicted in Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, I’ll leave a very happy audience member indeed. Whether you’re in the Luhrmann camp or not, put it this way; it looks A LOT more fun than the Robert Redford version from the 1970s.

Some honourable mentions which I’ll leave you to find out about on your own:
Springbreakers, in which James Franco and a bevvy of Disney ladies including Selena Gomez get up to no good on the infamous American college holiday. Please just watch the trailer – he has braids! The World’s End is the final instalment from Edgar Wright of the ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ trilogy – a pub crawl turns apocalyptic – and in Stoker a family is torn apart after the death of the patriarch, with mother and daughter as rivals for ‘Uncle Charlie’ and his affections – Mia Wasikowska stabs someone with a pencil.

That should keep you busy up until the summer.
In the meantime, tweet @BigLensFilm and let us know what you’ll be seeing!

Alice Elliott

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