I really have no excuse to putting it off until now, but here are my favourite trailers from 2010. This is based solely on the trailers themselves, and not with the context of the film.
1. The Social Network
This is what happens when you combine the perfect song with an impeccably edited selection of the perfect moments from a film. It’s taught, exciting, and racked with emotional fervency. Even after watching it a dozen times, I find myself holding my breath by the end.
It plays out more like an abstract short film than a conventional trailer, but from what I’ve heard, the movie itself is just as unrushed and poetic. It’s full of striking images, and Phoenix provides a lovely backdrop. It’s very Sofia Coppola, and that’s probably why I like it so much.
3. Black Swan This definitely wins the award for mindfuck trailer of the year. And while it does grab your attention with freaky imagery, it’s the ambiguity that really makes it intriguing. We don’t know what’s real and what’s in Natalie Portman’s head. And we also don’t know why Barbara Hershey is so god damn creepy.
4. 127 Hours
I didn’t care for the teaser, but the first full-length trailer for Danny Boyle’s film conveyed the vivacious spirit that the teaser suggested. James Franco oozed charisma here, the use of Band of Horses “The Funeral” is superb, and I found the whole thing incredibly moving. (I haven’t even seen the movie, but since I’ve cried at the trailer, and at this interview with the real Aron Ralston [even Leno’s douchiness can’t ruin Ralston’s amazing story], I’m guessing I might be a bit of wreck when I finally watch it.)
5. True Grit (Teaser)
The full-length trailer is good, too, but I slightly prefer this more sombre approach to the film, rather than the guns-a-blazing action of the full trailer (though the latter is a better representation of the film). The hymn playing behind the teaser is beautiful, and Roger Deakins’ cinematography truly shines.
Honorable Mention: Blue Valentine
I really like the idea of picking one scene as the constant, and interspersing clips on top of it. That does mean that we don’t get to hear much dialogue, which would have given it all a bit more context (but nonetheless, it gets the point across). Ryan Gosling singing always make me happy, and it’s a very well-edited trailer.
I’ve lived a relatively sheltered life. My parents were very careful about what I watched as a child and generally adhered to MPAA movie ratings. This is ultimately probably a good thing. But it also means that instead of slowly becoming desensitized to onscreen sex and gore over many years, I kind of just threw myself into it once I had more say in what I watched. And a bit more preparation probably would’ve been helpful before watching Requiem for a Dream in order to celebrate my movie-watching liberation.
That said, I’m up for most movies. I don’t think I’m especially squeamish, and I like it when filmmakers challenge the audience. But there are still a few movies out there that I’m hesitant to watch, even though they feature some of my favourite actors. And 127 Hours (opening today in limited release), which has caused a slew of fainting at screenings, is one of these films. I’m excited for it, and I’m definitely planning to watch it (but perhaps on the small screen, where I can pass out in the privacy of my own home, if need be). But I’m sure it won’t always be an easy experience. So in honour of this, I’m listing 10 films that I’m still too afraid to watch. I’m curious about all of them, and with the talent involved, maybe this will inspire me to finally bite the bullet and give them a try.
(Names in brackets are the actors that draw me to the project)
Hunger (Michael Fassbender)
From first-time director Steve McQueen, 2008’s Hunger tells the story of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands (played by Michael Fassbender, who earned raves for his gritty performance). The film itself (which recently got a Criterion re-release) is said to be meditative, grim, and unflinchingly realistic. Not a fun time at the movies, but probably very worthwhile.
Mysterious Skin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
After hearing so much about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s searing performance, I watched the first few minutes on YouTube. The film starts with flashbacks to the young boys being lured by a supposedly trusted little league coach. I hope to revisit the film soon (and I suspect that first part may be the most disturbing portion of the movie), but onscreen child abuse is always gruelling.
Hard Candy (Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson)
I’m always very nervous towards films about pedophilia, because that subject is often used simply for shock value. However, I’ve heard great things about this film, and I like both of the lead actors quite a bit. And the idea of the victim turning the tables on her captor is interesting.
Antichrist (Charlotte Gainsbourg)
Gainsbourg has impressed me in I’m Not Here and The Science of Sleep, but to be honest, I’m in no hurry to see this film.
The Killer Inside Me (Casey Affleck)
I love me some Casey Affleck, and it looks like he’s chillingly great here. The big controversy is the violence against women displayed on screen. It only got a 14A rating in Canada, though (as opposed to our “R” equivalent of 18A), so it must not be that bad…right?
Leap Year (Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott)
I’m just scared that it will make me hate Matthew Goode.
Funny Games (Michael Pitt, Naomi Watts)
American Psycho (Christian Bale)
Both films are slick satire, and I’m all for some sharp social commentary. I’m a bit weary of the brutality, but I’m not one of those people who’s ignorant enough to think that films like these and Fight Club (which I loved) are advocating senseless violence.
Savage Grace (Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne)
I’ve read some details about the plot, and honestly, it just sounds fucked up. Incest isn’t my jam. But Eddie Redmayne is. What to do?
Se7en (Brad Pitt)
Director David Fincher doesn’t pull his punches (see the lakeside killing in Zodiac). And a film revolving around a killer who is inspired by the seven deadly sins has all sorts of potential to disturb.
The teaser was realeased a few weeks ago, but we now get a more comprehensive look at Danny Boyle’s upcoming project, 127 Hours, with the first full trailer. Based on a true story, the film stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who struggles for survival after being pinned under a boulder. Watch the trailer below:
After watching this trailer, I’m really excited for this movie. It seems like such a better representation of the film than the lacklustre teaser. And James Franco looks like he gives an AMAZING performance. The “oops” moment in the trailer is heartbreaking, and I can only imagine what the rest of the film is like. All the “one of the greatest performances of all time” praise seems like it might be justified.
And kudos for great use of Band of Horses’ “The Funeral”. All of it put together (combined with some personal stuff going on in my life, to be fair) made me kind of emotional watching it. And it’s just the trailer!
I recently named it one of my Most Anticipated Movies for the Rest of the Year, and now we have a trailer for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. I’m not sure if the trailer fully does it justice (it seems a little choppy), but it certainly looks like an intriguing film. James Franco is great, and Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara are interesting actresses, so I have high hopes.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones
The trailer for this extremely topical film is perhaps the most beloved trailer since Where the Wild Things Are, and that has only helped to build my excitement for David Fincher’s latest project. I’m in love with The Social Network‘s cast, and it looks like a far weightier project than most people had initially thought. The subject matter is fascinating, and it’s refreshing to see a film tackle a current phenomenon seemingly without self-congratulation or premature nostalgia.
2. Somewhere (December 22)
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning
Somewhere looks to have a lot of similarities to Coppola’s directorial debut, Lost in Translation, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s hardly a negative. Also offering a wonderful trailer, Somewhere looks woozy and gorgeously shot. I’m already in love with the father/daughter pairing of Elle Fanning and Stephen Dorff.
3. Blue Valentine (December 31)
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel
It’s gotten raves out of Sundance and Cannes, and this drama starring two of today’s best young actors sounds harrowing. I’m excited for Ryan Gosling’s return to the big screen, and Michelle Williams is an actress that impresses me more with each project. Second Oscar nominations for the both of them?
4. Black Swan (December 1)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey
The freaky trailer (have fun getting that final image out of your mind) for this movie has helped to build interest in director Darren Aronofsky’s latest project. It’s great to see Portman getting a meaty leading role, and the film looks wholly original. I think that any concerns about Aronofsky going soft can safely be put to rest.
5. The King’s Speech (December 24)
Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall
Colin Firth earned heaps of goodwill with A Single Man, and it doesn’t look like he’s putting it to waste at all. Details about this royal biopic are sparse, but with Firth in the lead and a great supporting cast to boot, I can’t help but be very excited.
6. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (September 24)
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Cast: Kier Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Zach Galifianakis
I loved the book, and the trailer for the film adaptation seemed surprisingly similar to how I imagined it would look. Directors Boden and Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar) are clearly taking a large step forward in terms of accessibility (though hopefully they’re not too far the other way), and I’m excited to see what they’ll do with this darkly comedic tale. Galifianakis’ performance also looks surprisingly nuanced and touching.
7. Never Let Me Go (September 15)
Director: Mark Romanek
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Sally Hawkins
Never Let Me Go seems to be wavering on the edge of Oscar-bait-prestige-project, but it looks beautiful. Once again, it offers a fantastic cast (you go, Andrew Garfield!). I’m in the middle of the book currently, and I’m intrigued to see how it will all play out on screen.
8. The Town (September 17)
Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively
The formulaic trailer made me doubt my optimism, but then I remembered how the trailer for Gone Baby Gone did that film a complete disservice. Affleck has proven to be a very capable director, and the premise of this film seems strong. I’m also really excited to see Rebecca Hall and Jon Hamm work their magic.
9. 127 Hours (November 5)
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
The concept for a movie about a trapped mountain climber didn’t seem especially interesting or fresh to me, but early buzz about this Boyle-directed project has apparently been very strong. James Franco is proving to be quite the renaissance man, and this could be just the meaty role that he needs to elevate his acting even further.
10. Howl (September 24)
Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Cast: James Franco, Mary-Louise Parker, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn, Aaron Tveit
The cast is to die for, and even though this Allen Ginsberg biopic received somewhat mixed reviews out of Sundance, its crisp trailer caught my eye. It has a great visual style, and seems to strive to truly capture the beat poetry movement. Between this and 127 Hours, it could be a huge breakout year for Franco.
Other Upcoming Releases of Interest:
Brighton Rock, Rabbit Hole, Love and Other Drugs, Buried, Nowhere Boy, The Fighter, What’s Wrong With Virginia?, The American