2012’s Most Anticipated

As 2012 arrives imminently, I thought I would share some of my cinematic picks for next year. Below are the films I am most looking forward to seeing next year. These do not include films that I have already seen that are due for general release in the next few months, such as Shame or Martha Marcy May Marlene.

1. The Muppets

Although The Muppets was released in America months ago, it is not due for UK release until February. It seems that we have reverted back to the 1980s in that the UK is getting such a big movie as this months after the US. I love the Muppets, so cannot wait for the film. I have tried not to read too much about it, but all that I am hearing so far is positive. The Muppets is released on 10th February 2012.

2. The Raven

From the trailer, this film seems to have everything; macabre murder mystery, Edgar Allan Poe and John Cusack. I love Poe’s work and the premise of The Raven sounds great; Poe pursues a serial killer who bases his crimes on the author’s work. Hopefully the execution will do the idea justice. The Raven is released on 9th March 2012.

3. Prometheus

Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated new addition to the Alien franchise, the teaser trailer for Prometheus has recently been released. It does not give too much away, but it looks very interesting. Hopefully with Scott at the helm, Prometheus will return to Alien‘s combination of science fiction and horror. With a cast which boasts Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, Prometheus is very exciting on paper. The film is released on 1st June 2012.

4. The Dark Knight Rises

The grandaddy of them all, the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy will be one of the biggest movies of the summer. I recently watched the prologue, which was impressive on the Imax screen. Like others, I was concerned that I couldn’t understand Bane properly. The trailer looks magnificent, so as long as Bane’s voice becomes clearer, the film should be a fitting end to a fantastic franchise. The Dark Knight Rises is released 20th July 2012.

5. Frankenweenie

Another remake from Tim Burton, but at least this time he is remaking his own work. Frankenweenie was a live action short from the director’s time at Disney. Stills from the film were recently released; Burton aficionados are likely to find them reminiscent of Vincent, a short directed by the filmmaker around the same time as Frankenweenie. The stop-motion remake tells the story of a boy who tries to bring his dog back to life, a homage to Shelley’s Frankenstein. Frankenweenie is released 5th October 2012.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings was a triumphant film series, and fans of the books were no doubt pleased when it was announced that the director would return for The Hobbit. On a personal level, I am excited for the film because I love Gollum. The trailer shows the return of familiar faces; hopefully the film will be of the same quality as the earlier series. The Hobbit is released 14th December 2012.

London Film Festival Debriefing

So the BFI London Film Festival is over for another year. I managed to catch thirty-five films this year, as well as a smattering of press conferences and a round table interview. Having seen less than a quarter of the films shown throughout the festival, I have undoubtedly missed some gems. With this in mind, the following is a very brief appraisal of the festival.

The Best Films I Saw: The Artist, Shame, The Ides of March

The Films That Were As Good As Expected: This Must Be the Place, Headhunters, Martha Marcy May Marlene

The Unexpected Gem: The Monk

The Films I Wish I Had Seen: 50/50, Nobody Else But You

The Film I Wish I Could Unsee: Shock Head Soul

Film Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene is an absorbing film, and an impressive feature debut from writer-director Sean Durkin.

After escaping a cult, Martha calls her sister Lucy to rescue her. Staying with Lucy and her husband Ted, Martha struggles to adjust to normality. As she spends time with the couple, Martha is haunted by memories of her past…

Martha Marcy May Marlene successfully conveys the unease of such a cult. The film plays on the viewer’s distrust of such a set up, offering plenty which causes discomfort. At the same time, it is not difficult to see that the initial warmth shown to Martha would have been welcomed by a lonely and naïve girl.

The flashback format of storytelling is executed well in Durkin’s film. Martha Marcy May Marlene retains a sense of mystery. The film does not give the audience all of the answers, and is more intriguing because of this. For instance, the reasons for Martha ending up in such a situation are not fully revealed. It is apparent that she have had some struggles earlier in her life, but these are not explicitly detailed. In this way, Martha’s story could be more or less the same as the other young people involved in the cult. The film thus works on a wider scale, highlighting the attraction of a “new family” for these youngsters.

Cinematography in the film is very distinctive. Different looks are used to differentiate Martha’s two separate worlds. At times they meld together, suggestive of her state of mind. The song repeated in the film suitably sets the tone for the film.

John Hawkes is excellent as Patrick. He has an unsettling quality which is integral to the character. Elizabeth Olsen also delivers a solid performance as Martha; she is very believable as the young woman.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a thought-provoking drama. The fine performances render it one to watch.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2011.

Martha Marcy May Marlene Trailer


Martha Marcy May Marlene is a mouthful of a title. The film itself looks pretty interesting. It stars Elizabeth Olsen (sister of the Olsen twins) in her first feature film. The film has already one prizes for its director Sean Durkin, and is due to be screened at the London Film Festival in October. It will be released on 3rd February 2012.