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top 5 films to get excited about

The film festivals are over. Now it’s time for the public to decide. It’s Oscars season at the cinema, and the next few months will see the biggest directors and the hottest stars strutting their stuff in ever-more audacious ways. i-D holds its breath for five of the most anticipated films of the next few months.

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Text Tom Seymour
@TomSeymour

  • American Hustle

    "From Scarface to The Godfather to Goodfellas, American cinema is built on the mafia. But it’s been a while since a gangster interpreted the American Dream for our viewing pleasure, so forgive a length of dribble when, on 1st August this year, David O.Russell released a new trailer for American Hustle. One of those increasingly rare things - an A-list ensemble crime drama - this sees Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Jerry Renner and Bradley Cooper as an array of fraudsters, FBI insiders and con-men. In the space of four movies - Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter and Silver Lining’s Playbook - O.Russell has established him as one of the most bankable directors in Hollywood. With just four frame-long glimpses of a sashaying Jennifer Lawrence, he’s set the stage to make his first American classic."

    Director David O.Russell
    Stars Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Jerry Renner, Bradley Cooper
    Released December 2013

  • Her

    "Set in Los Angeles somewhere in the near future, Spike Jonze has cast Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, a heartbroken man who makes his living writing personal letters for other people. He’s asked to trial “the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system.” In a wry take on the Apple-isation of our social lives, that operating system comes in the joshing, kindly inquiring voice of Scarlett Johansson as Samantha. In The Terminator, computers gained sentient thought, and used it to destroy us. Here, it helps us get over the depression of losing someone and having to go out in the world again, where Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Amy Adams wait. Jonze looks ready to hit the zeitgeist again, and with plenty of heart in tow."

    Director Spike Jonze
    Stars Scarlett Johansson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara
    Released January 2014

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    "If you drew up a list of the ten best directors in the history of cinema, could you afford not to choose Wes Anderson? Every couple of years, Anderson creates worlds of flippancy and whimsy that somehow feel comforting and nostalgic, like a not quite remembered scene from childhood that’s been burnished by romance. His latest is The Grand Budapest Hotel, a faux-macabre heist set in Eastern Europe in the early-mid Twentieth Century, with 17-year-old unknown Tony Revolori in the lead role as Zero, a lobby boy working under Ralph Fiennes. It looks strange and beautiful."

    Director Wes Anderson
    Stars Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton
    Released February 2014

     

  • Under the Skin

    "It’s difficult to describe why Under the Skin stands out. On the surface, it’s a low budget thriller shot in the UK, about a poor-looking girl who seems at first to be prey for gruff men in the Scottish Highlands. We’ve seen it a hundred times before. But look again; that girl is Scarlett Johansson, who chooses her scripts pretty carefully these days. It’s directed by Jonathan Glazer, his second film since Sexy Beast. It premiered to 5-star reviews in Venice. And the film’s trailer – a blur of images over a grinding, metallic score – looks part Hitchcock’s Vertigo, part Lynch’s The Elephant Man, part Shaffer’s The Wicker Man."

    Director Jonathan Glazer
    Stars Scarlett Johansson
    Released March 2014


     

  • The Double

    "Richard Ayoade broke through on TV, and then made a feature in Swansea with unknown actors, based on a book by an unknown novelist. His second film – an adaption of the Dostoyevsky 1846 novella of the same name - stars Jesse Eisenberg as a shy and passive data entry sentinel secretly in love with a fey, sprite-like Mia Wasikowska, and forced to confront a horribly confident and charming doppelganger. Set over an old blues score, Ayoade’s trailer sets the scene for a Kafka-esque world of smoke and mirrors that looks deliciously exciting to behold."

    Director Richard Ayoade
    Stars Jessie Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska
    Released April 2014