Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Most Anticipated Films of 2006

We're halfway through the year, and some of the most exciting films (e.g., X-Men: The Last Stand, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, etc.) have already been shown. But as with most years, many of the truly best films have been reserved for the last few months of 2006, and some of them are among the most anticipated by Oscar pundits and film buffs alike. This is my own list, in alphabetical order (it's hard to determine ranking):

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; Starring Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Gael Garcia Bernal
Oscar Potential: High, Major Categories

Fresh off from victory at Cannes, this multi-cultural ensemble could have the same emotional impact and Oscar output as last year's Crash.

Directed by Stefen Fangmeier; Starring Edward Speelers, Sienne Guillory
Oscar Potential: Low, Technical Categories (Makeup, Score, Visual Effects)

I really liked the book, but excited as I am, I'm slightly worried how this is going to turn out.

The Fountain
Directed by Darren Aronofsky; Starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz
Oscar Potential: High, Technical Categories (Costume, Visual Effects)

Looks from the trailer and poster like this is going to be a serious head trip. Very interesting premise, cast and visual aesthetics.

Gedo Senki (Tales from Earthsea)
Directed by Miyazaki Goro; Voices of Sugawara Bunta, Okada Junichi, Teshima Aoi
Oscar Potential: Uncertain (Animated Feature); is it eligible?

He's not his father Hayao, but it's now extremely unsafe to bet off Studio Ghibli from the Animated Feature race. The question is whether or not it's eligible this year. But it looks extremely well made (as should be expected from Studio Ghibli), and it's based on a fantasy classic.

The Good German
Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Beau Bridges
Oscar Potential: Very High, Major Categories

Another potential Oscar turn by the great Cate Blanchett, so I'm there.

Goya's Ghosts
Directed by Milos Forman; Starring Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, Randy Quaid
Oscar Potential: Very High, Major Categories

Forman returns to the big screen with a potential epic period piece about painter Francisco Goya.

Notes on a Scandal
Directed by Richard Eyre; Starring Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy
Oscar Potential: High, Acting Categories

Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench, the two Elizabeths, finally together, and in a film about a teacher-student scandal.

Pan's Labyrinth
Directed by Guillermo del Toro; Starring Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi Lopez
Oscar Potential: Low, Technical Categories (Makeup)

The trailers promise that it's going to be a feast for the eyes. I'm hoping it's much more than that and that it delivers as a superb dark fantasy piece.

The Prestige
Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, David Bowie, Michael Caine
Oscar Potential: High, Technical Categories (Costume)

What more can you ask for than a period piece about combatting stage magicians (Jackman and Bale) directed by Christopher Nolan and pitting Wolverine and Batman against each other ?

The Science of Sleep
Directed by Michel Gondry; Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Oscar Potential: High, Major Categories (Screenplay)

Another potentially trippy film, from the brilliant Michel Gondry. A potential acting showcase for Bernal.

Image from Ain't It Cool News

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