Yes, it’s been a pretty good year so far at the movies, from indie hits like Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, to the Marvel blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past and the Y.A. weepie The Fault In Our Stars. But there've been long stretches of assembly-line franchises, flat-footed dramas and flaccid comedies inbetween. 2014, not exactly film-going heaven.
Just wait for the fall. The lineup of big stars/big directors features angling for awards season attention include titles that have already wowed audiences in Cannes, and others slated to premiere at the Venice, Toronto and New York festivals in September and October. The buzz is especially buzzing for the following five:
BIRDMAN Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (21 Grams, Babel) directs Michael Keaton in the tale of an actor, once famous for his portrayal of an iconic superhero (hmmm, Keaton, Batman, sound familiar?), struggling to bring a stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story to Broadway. Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis are in on the action.
FOXCATCHER Bennet Miller won best director at Cannes for his true-life saga about Newtown Square multimillionaire John DuPont’s descent into madness and murder, and the sibling Olympic wrestling champs Dave and Mark Schultz who crossed DuPont’s path. Steve Carell gets serious as DuPont, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are brothers Mark and Dave, respectively.