By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
From Fox Searchlight Pictures, the studio behind "Juno" and "Slumdog Millionaire," comes this drama about a broken-down country singer (Jeff Bridges). The film looks to be this year's "The Wrestler" (also from Fox Searchlight), featuring a lead performance that sets up four-time Oscar nominee Bridges as a last-minute Best Actor contender. Co-starring Robert Duvall and Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart" marks the directorial debut of Scott Cooper, who also wrote the screenplay.
THE WHITE RIBBON
Winner of the coveted Palme D'or, or Best Picture, at this year's Cannes Film Festival, "The White Ribbon" is the latest film from Austrian auteur Michael Haneke ("Cache'"). Centered around a children's choir in a northern German village just before World War I, the German-language film was shot in crisp black and white and is said to be a "masterwork" (Sight and Sound). It opens in limited release this December.
From acclaimed director Jim Sheridan ("In America," "My Left Foot"), this love triangle drama, about a soldier in the Iraq war and the family he left behind, boasts the trifecta of Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Maguire is the soldier who's presumed dead, Portman is his young wife, and Gyllenhaal is his brother, who carries on an affair with Portman's character in her husband's absence. While "Brothers" looks as though it could be disappoitningly conventional, the level of talent in front of and behind the camera is hard to resist.