my week at the movies: ‘The Wrestler,’ ‘Seven Pounds,’ ‘Nothing But the Truth,’ ‘Cadillac Records’ (plus ‘Gran Torino’ and ‘Benjamin Button’)

Last week was an exercise in frustration in getting to actually see all the movies I need to see this crazy awards season. Not only did I not get to see Gran Torino as I expected I would, I also ended up postponing my screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I’ll see both this week… at least, that’s the plan at the moment. It feels like everything’s getting squeezed into a few days this week — yesterday I was tied up with non-movie stuff, so I’m still catching up on email and stuff I should have done yesterday (like this post!), so… it’s just insanity.

The Wrestler (opens limited in the U.S. on December 31; opens in the U.K. on January 16, 2009) is the new film from Darren Aronofsky, he of Pi and Requiem for a Dream fame. Mickey Rourke plays a washed-up pro wrestler from the 1980s who has a chance to go up against his old “enemy,” the Ayatollah. Yes, it’s at least partly a comedy.

I’ve written already about the mystery of Seven Pounds (opens wide in the U.S. on December 19; opens in the U.K. on January 16, 2009). More recent ads and trailers reveal a bit more, though I’ve been trying to block them out — I love not knowing what a movie is about before I see it. Hard to miss the fact that Will Smith is in it, though, what with his face pretty much constituting the film’s poster. I guess that’s enough to sell it: that it’s a Will Smith movie, because who doesn’t love Will Smith?

The Contender’s Rod Lurie has a new movie about a woman in Washington: Nothing But the Truth (opens limited in the U.S. on December 19; no U.K. release has been announced yet). Here, it’s Kate Beckinsale playing a political reporter who gets in trouble for, it appears, doing her job as a journalist. Shocking!

Yesterday I featured the trailer for Cadillac Records (opens wide-ish in the U.S. on December 5; no U.K. release has been announced yet), which is the first time any significant information about the film has entered my radar. It’s bizarre: Sony Pictures is pushing the film for awards consideration (though it doesn’t offer any suggestions as to which categories we should be considering it for), but it’s keeping a low profile with it otherwise. Perhaps the company is waiting to see how critics and awards voters react to it before deciding how — or whether — to push it to audiences.

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