With the summer movie season now in full swing, it’s time to look ahead at what to expect in the fall and winter. We start with a trio of tales loosely based on true stories.
‘The Greatest Showman’
Visual effects artist Michael Gracey makes his directorial debut with a musical bio-drama about P.T. Barnum, the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Since Gracey is new to directing, we have little to go on. I’m not sure how to feel about this garishly elaborate production set for Christmas Day. Based on the preview alone, the whole thing looks a bit too much like a Baz Luhrmann spectacle, of which I am not a fan. Nevertheless, I’m curious to see Hugh Jackman test out his singing chops against Zac Efron. However, as of right now, I think I’ll wait to watch the results on Blu-ray.
‘Battle of the Sexes’
Unlike the above, the trailer for the latest dramedy from the married writing/directing duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Ruby Sparks’) has me excited. Part of my excitement is for the directors, and part is because the plot is loosely based on the controversial 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The movie looks like it’ll have a pair of outstanding performances from Emma Stone and Steve Carell. Over the last few years, Carell has really flexed his dramatic chops. With luck, his appearance here might win him an Oscar.
After two poorly-received box office disappointments (‘Manglehorn’ and ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’), David Gordon Green tries to appeal to a wider audience with the heartbreaking tale of a man who lost his legs at the Boston Marathon bombing. The trailer had me chocking up a bit during certain parts, including Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as the man struggling with a sudden life-altering change. I’m curious to see if the production puts Green back in cinephiles’ good graces.
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