Forget 3D, sequels and franchises; film’s not about the mainstream anymore but the main screen—the big versus the little. So, even if these picks of 2014’s pics don’t first make a splash in that mega-multiplex or your local art-house, they’ll be flowing into your smaller home-entertainment consoles within weeks (Exhibit A: if last year’s Cannes winner Blue is the Warmest Color doesn’t hit E-town by February, it’ll be on disc via the Criterion Collection a few weeks before that LA red-carpet awards ceremony which is sure to overlook it). Without further to-do, here’s a to-Vue list:
After only mainframing major cities in mid-December, Spike Jonze’s near-future romance-drama Her, about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falling for his operating system, should reroute its way here, via one device or another, before spring. Asghar Farhadi’s tangled Parisian drama The Past arrives trailing awards (two from Cannes alone) and the glory of his previous, A Separation. Another Cannes good, Paolo Sorrentino’s Rome-rumination The Great Beauty, is due in cinemas February, then on disc (Criterion) by March. Also coming from Criterion: Alexandre Moors’ take on the 2002 Beltway killers, Blue Caprice (January), and Shaul Schwarz’s doc about the pop-cult growing up around Mexico’s drug-cartels, Narco Cultura (February).
The Wind Rises, the story of a 1930s Japanese plane-designer and writer-director Hayao Miyazaki’s supposed swansong for Studio Ghibli, should land in February. Also from Japan comes Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son, in which a man discovers the boy he’s been raising for six years is not his. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the place and the ’20s is the time for Wes Anderson’s latest wry and whimsical escapade, come March.
Jim Jarmusch’s Detroit-set take on the fang-thriller, Only Lovers Left Alive, sinks its teeth into April, while Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) gets Under the Skin with his poetic take on Michel Faber’s novel about an alien woman (Scarlett Johansson) preying on men. David Gordon Green returns to his indie, artsy roots with Joe, starring Tye Sheridan as a Mississippi teen desperate to escape his alcoholic father and make some money.
The Small Screen
More fuel for those pundits blazing on about TV being the new cinema—the first, Southern Gothic season of procedural True Detective, directed by big-screen up-and-comer Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), starring A-listers Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and set in Louisiana, debuts on HBO in January. Hot on its heels comes Looking, co-created and directed by Andrew Haigh (Weekend), about three gay men in San Francisco on the lookout for relationships. And the channel will climax its torrid threesome of film-director-led projects in the fall with comedy series Togetherness, from mumblecore brother-directors Mark and Jay Duplass. (Meanwhile, it’s not clear when or even if Agnieszka Holland’s Burning Bush, an HBO Europe miniseries that aired there, about the 1969 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, will be released here.)
Next week: leftovers from 2013 and freshly-wrapped films whose ETAs are unknown, from docs and animation to foreign flicks and strange lit-adaptations.