December always leaves with a whimper with most people (us included) too pre-occupied with Jesus’ birthday, drinking and making their end of year lists. With all that behind us now, we can look forward to a bumper month of cinema as the awards contenders rear their heads
Don’t forget to roll down to see what my five picks for January are.
1 January 2015
- The Theory of Everything (2014)
- The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015)
- Birdman (2014)
2 January 2015
- Enemy (2013)
- The Green Ray (1986) *IFI Classic*
8 January 2015
- Taken 3 (2015)
9 January 2015
- Into the Woods (2014)
- Foxcatcher (2014)
- A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story (2013) *IFI Exclusive*
11 January 2015
- National Gallery (2014)
16 January 2015
- American Sniper (2014)
- Wild (2014)
- Whiplash (2014)
- Testament of Youth (2014)
- Apples of the Golan (2012)
23 January 2015
- A Most Violent Year (2014)
- Ex_Machina (2015)
- Mortdecai (2015)
- Suite Française (2014)
29 January 2015
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
30 January 2015
- Big Hero 6 (2014) (previews in Cineworld on Sunday 4th Jan)
- Inherent Vice (2014)
- Trash (2014)
- Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) *IFI Classic*
- Son of a Gun (2014)
These films are all receiving general or limited releases in Ireland this month, no festival or one-off showings are included. Let us know what we’ve missed – firstname.lastname@example.org.
#1 – Whiplash
One of the most anticipated films of the year gets here in two weeks time. It shows the high price of achieving musical greatness, and will hopefully feature some great drummer jokes too.
We’ve seen Miles Teller in Divergent and the woefully under-appreciated The Spectacular Now where he marked himself out as one of the most talented young actors out there. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash will no doubt elevate him to a new level. Plus, it finally gives J.K. Simmons (aka J. Jonah Jameson) the serious role we’ve wanted.
Unanimously praised (96% on Rotten Tomatoes), surely it can’t disappoint
#2 – Wild
Did you hear that the actress, Reese what’s-her-name, got stabbed to death?
No, with a knife.
Ahem. I really like Reese Witherspoon. Ever since Pleasantville (which was 16 years ago!) she’s been a comfortable and fun screen presence, like a girl next door whose sweet, chirpy energy would force any detractors into submission.
Wild is Jean-Marc Vallée’s follow-up to Dallas Buyers Club and is written by Nick hornby. It allows Witherspoon to take on that coveted role for a modern Hollywood actress – a strong female journey. Here it’s literally a big journey as she walks the Pacific Crest Trail by herself. She probably doesn’t have any camels.
Don’t be surprised to see Witherspoon follow-up her 2006 June Carter Oscar win with at least a nod for this.
#3 – American Sniper
A year ago Bradley Cooper was in a film called American Hustle and now he’s in American Sniper. What larks Pip! Here Cooper is a NAVY Seal returning from war to a very different world. So… a bit of a departure from the permed FBI agent Richie DiMaso.
It was in the National Board of Review and the AFI’s Top Ten Films of 2014. And, it was directed by Clint Eastwood, the 84-year-old whose films now just kind of creep out without you noticing he’s attached (Jersey Boys).
#4 – Ex_Machina
Oscar Isaac will have quite the day on January 23rd. Due to a rather daft bit of scheduling, his wonderful star-turn in A Most Violent Year is coming out on the exact same day as Ex_Machina, the Alex Garland directed Sci-Fi thriller which also features his Star Wars co-star Domhnall Gleeson.
The film is Garland’s first directorial effort and hasn’t played anywhere yet so no word on how the Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd and Never Let Me Go scribe will fare when out on his own.
Also, a quick plug as there will be a preview screening of Ex_Machina on January 19th at the IFI at 7pm, with special guests Domhnall Gleeson and Alex Garland. Gleeson is evidently on a night off from his Olympia Theatre gig “The Walworth Farce”.
#5 – Inherent Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson’s crazy psycho-comedy with Joaquin Phoenix. That sentence will tell you if you’re going to like this.