Nick is listing out the 15 mainstream movies that are most exciting for
2010, and he’s asked me to do a supplemental list for the smaller
movies that should be on your radar. The problem is that 15 is such a
small number! So I’ve decided to do 30, and to split it between 15
smaller and indie American films and 15 foreign films (and yes, I’m
including British movies as foreign).

The
hardest part of this kind of a list is that I have no idea what is
actually coming; the joy of smaller and indie films is that they often
surprise you – the best movie of 2010 might be something nobody has
heard of  that will debut at Cannes or Toronto. With that
caveat, I’ve done a lot of research (some of which was greatly enabled
by Garth Franklin’s monstrous Notable Films of 2010) and I think this list will be filled with movies worth paying attention to in 2010.

Day Three


DOMESTIC
Cyrus
Directed by Jay & Mark Duplass
Starring John C Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marissa Tomei
Written by Mark & Jay Duplass

The Gist

Recently divorced John C Reilly thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he begins dating sexy Marisa Tomei. But things get more complicated when he meets her son, Jonah Hill. Let’s put it this way: the film’s original (and superior) title was Don’t Fuck My Mother.

Participants to Watch
The Duplass Brothers continue to impress. They brought this movie to Fox Searchlight and the studio tried to get them to spend more money on it; the Duplass Brothers, leading lights of the true indie scene, insisting on staying ultra-low budget so they could avoid too much studio interference. While the Duplass Bros make very indie movies that might be lamely included in the mumblecore movement, the reality is that their sensibility is very mainstream with lots of smarts. They’re picking up the torch that has been passed from edgy 70s comedies through to Judd Apatow.

John C Reilly is an incredible comic presence, and the idea of him bouncing off of Jonah Hill’s overgrown mama’s boy fills me with giggles in advance.

The Buzz
It’s playing at Sundance, so by the time you read this I may have already seen it and given you my opinion. But even in the hopefully unlikely case that I’m not a fan of the film, Cyrus will be notable as the Duplass Bros making the leap from real indie to faux and indie and finally getting their work seen by a larger audience. And maybe that will turn people on to their earlier stuff like Baghead and The Puffy Chair.

Best Case
It’s The Forty Year Old Virgin all over again. The movie hits with a big audience that has become used to shaggier production values, and the Duplass Brothers step into the scrappy, foul-mouthed comedy spot that Judd Apatow could be outgrowing.

Worst Case
It just doesn’t work. Stilted and forced, the movie never gels and while there are funny bits, the whole thing feels incomplete. But the film is cheap and the Duplass Bros walk out pretty unscathed.

CHUD’s Prognosis
It could go any way. The film could crossover, and if anybody can cross it over it’ll be Fox Searchlight. On the other hand the film could sink like a stone and never be seen again. The likeliest scenario, though, is that it’s a cult hit and it opens up a new phase in the careers of the Duplass Bros.



FOREIGN
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Directed by Neils Arden Opley
Starring Michael Nyqvist
Written by Nicolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg
Based on the novel by Stiegg Larsson

The Gist
Stiegg Larsson’s massive international best-seller is a semi-post modern mystery that’s about both an investigation into a serial killer and a dive into corporate nastiness. When Millennium Magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist gets all but sued out of existence by a rich industrialist, he takes a job that promises to let him prove his nemesis is corrupt. But soon he begins delving into the missing niece of his new employer, and discovers a murder mystery.

Participants to Watch
The movie, more or less. The book – the first in a series that has continued posthumously after Stiegg Larsson’s demise – is a huge deal overseas, and the movie version became the most successful film in Swedish history. The movie will be coming to America in 2010, just ahead of a new English version, probably from Sony and written by Steve Zallian.

The Buzz
Apparently the movie’s pretty good. It won an audience award at the Palm Springs Film Festival, and as goes Palm Springs so goes old people everywhere. And of course it’s incredibly popular in Europe, but those people don’t even speak English, so who knows.

Best Case
You get a new foreign movie whose American remake will outrage you!

Worst Case
It’s just not that good. I keep meaning to pick up the book, but there’s something about the basic plot that really feels hacky to me. I wait to be convinced otherwise.

CHUD’s Prognosis
It plays in ten theaters, a few thousand people see it, the remake stars Ben Affleck.

Useful Links
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