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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: What movies are you most looking forward to in 2009?

New year, new slate of movies to get excited for. What movie are you most looking forward to in 2009?

I usually don’t look too far ahead to see what’s coming up — keeping up with the movies opening now is challenging enough — but when I look at what’s in store for us in 2009, I confess that there’s more than a few movies I can’t wait to see… even if there’s a bit of dread stirred in with the anticipation. State of Play (which I wrote a bit about recently) and The Time Traveler’s Wife prompt that mixed reaction. Ditto the Robert Downey Jr./Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes and Watchman. With a movie based on such beloved source material, there’s always that danger that it’s going to be a royal disaster.
(Oh, and if you’re worried about the kerfluffle over the rights to Watchman, I wouldn’t be. There’s no way in hell this movie ain’t gettin’ released.)

I feel more confident about Star Trek — because I trust J.J. Abrams — and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, because that franchise has been so reliable so far, and in fact has gotten better with each new film.

James Cameron’s experimental Avatar, his first narrative film in years, is scheduled for the end of the year. I sorta can’t wait to find out what kind of story he’s been pushing cinematic technology forward in aid of. I suspect it cannot possibly live up to such anticipation, however.

On the arthouse side, I’ve got my eye on Mira Nair’s biopic Amelia, starring Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart. Movies about adventurous women are always welcome, and it doesn’t hurt that Christopher Eccleston is starring as her copilot, either.

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