I love the last month or so of the year. You have Thanksgiving, my birthday, Black Friday, Christmas, loads of paid time off… and Sundance festival announcements. Yep, it’s time that again to start planning my trip over to Park City to see some of Sundance’s slate of indie films. In the last week or so, the majority of the films have been announced in the competition and out-of-competition categories. Not much to go on right now, but there are some pretty good potentials to look forward to based on summaries, initial movie stills and filmmakers/screenwriters/actors attached. Here is my short list of films that are on my radar come January:
Two Mothers / Australia, France (Director: Anne Fontaine, Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton) — This gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendship charts the unconventional and passionate affairs of two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Cast: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frechevile. Why I want to see it: Complex subject matter to tackle and an interesting one to see how it all comes together without it being too contrived. Plus, I constantly am looking forward to Naomi Watts matching her performance in 21 Grams, one of my favorite movies of all time, where she was simply great.
It’s Leap Day so I decided to revisit the film Leap Year (2010) in observance. Developed to be a romantic comedy based around Irish traditions, this film unfortunately failed to entertain me, enlighten me on the Irish culture, or really make me believe that these characters would end up and stay together. The only salvageable thing was a pretty decent romantic ending but that alone couldn’t help my opinion of this movie. Sure, it could use tons of re-writes to make the script bearable (honestly, Hollywood should have issued an apology specifically to the Ireland for this train wreak of a film), but it can also could use a good ol’ fashion recast to better strengthen the characters (Sorry, Amy and Matthew, you weren’t doing it for me). So, if you so choose to watch this film for yourself or if you have already, you choose to think back on your movie-watching experience, picture my following picks on who would have been better in the lead roles. (Does Hollywood ever remake romantic comedies? Maybe they should look into it…)
Synopsis: A woman named Anna who has an elaborate scheme to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, an Irish tradition which occurs every time the date February 29 rolls around, faces a major setback when bad weather threatens to derail her planned trip to Dublin. With the help of an innkeeper named Declan, her cross-country odyssey just might result in her getting engaged.
Emily Blunt (Anna): …sans English accent, of course. She’s got the goods to play the pampered princess with enough gusto to try and get what she wants (see: The Devil Wears Prada) but is still likable enough for you to root for her in the end. I also think she would have made more of the little humorous moments meant to show the character’s vulnerabilities.
Orlando Bloom (Declan): He comes from the UK so I have no doubt that he can convincingly pull of an Irish accent. He has the looks, style, and charm that makes him irresistible to women no matter how cynical he is, a very important aspect to the story. Last, but not least, who could deny that he and Emily Blunt would look great as an on-screen couple? Bonus: This would, in my mind at least, make up for the rom-com mess that was Elizabethtown.
“Look, you can’t blame me for trying to hide the fact that I had an affair with her. I know that it’s not the most honorable thing to cheat on your wife, but that does not make me a murderer.”