The Good Life

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trailer Park

By R. Kurt Osenlund, film critic and correspondent

Behold -- some of the newest trailers for some of the most exciting films in the pipe.

British director Joe Wright, who was wrongly shut out of the Oscar race last year for his brilliant handling of "Atonement," appears to have come back swinging with this seemingly heartfelt drama. Based on a true story, it tells of an L.A. Times journalist (Robert Downey Jr.) who befriends a schizophrenic skid row bum (Jamie Foxx) who happens to be a Juilliard-trained musician. Co-starring Catherine Keener and featuring a performance from Foxx that looks destined for Oscar buzz, "The Soloist" hits theaters Nov. 21.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, "Doubt" brings together the dynamite cast of Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams in a tale of intrigue and moral ambiguity. Streep plays a stern Catholic School headmistress who accuses Hoffman's priest of sexual abuse against a student. Lacking proof, she resolutely seeks her own form of justice, resulting in a dramatic ripple effect. This looks like it will lead to Oscar nom #15 for Streep and also bodes well for the supporting performances by Hoffman, Adams, and Viola Davis, who portrays the mother of the supposed victim. "Doubt" debuts Dec. 12.

Those who enjoyed Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's wildly inventive comic book noir "Sin City" will likely revel in Miller's solo directorial debut, the big screen adaptation of Will Eisner's graphic novel series. Similar to "Sin City" in look and tone, "The Spirit" also takes place in a bleak, green screen-generated metropolis and focuses on a masked cop who returns from the dead to fight for justice. The film also features a bevy of beautiful dames (played by Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, and "Sin City"'s own Jamie King), who offer both passion and posion to the womanizing anti-hero. "The Spirit" screams onto screens Christmas Day.


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