Critical Picks: Films for Spring 2012
Budding cinema for your April and May.
Spring is officially here, bringing with it an array of fresh new films. Here are five upcoming movies, from stylized indies to inevitable blockbusters, that may just make it worthwhile to temporarily abandon the fresh air and spend a couple hours in a climate-controlled theater.
Damsels in Distress — April 6th — The big news here is the return of director Whit Stillman, who has been absent from the cinema world since 1998's The Last Days of Disco. While the filmmaker's somewhat stilted aesthetic can be an acquired taste, the real draw here is lead actress Greta Gerwig, who so memorably carried innumerable awkward moments with Ben Stiller in Greenberg.
The Cabin in the Woods — April 13th — Mystery surrounds this much-hyped horror release, which just slayed audiences at SXSW. While we're happy being kept in the dark, what we do know is that first-time director Drew Goddard, a former Lost scribe, co-wrote the script with the adored creative force known as Joss Whedon. Oh, and very weird and suspenseful things happen on an ill-fated wilderness getaway. Can even the guy that plays Thor (Chris Hemsworth) save the day?
Headhunters — April 13th — Is it too soon for another thriller based on a Scandinavian bestseller? Clearly, the answer is no, because this Norwegian crime film looks incredibly tense and engaging, and should appeal even to those suffering from Dragon Tattoo fatigue. Plus, it's got Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones.
The Avengers — May 4th — Whedon makes our list for the second time, both directing and co-writing this unabashedly massive superhero summit. Yes, we've grown weary of comic-book movies, too, but this should be an amusing battle of egos, particularly with the wonderfully smug Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sure to spar with the amusingly arrogant Thor (Hemsworth, once again). We'll also finally get to see how Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner warm up to heroic banter. Topping it all off, there's Samuel J. Jackson in an eye patch. From what we've seen so far, this looks like pure big-budget fun.
Moonrise Kingdom — May 25th — Apparently tired of being the absentee director that he was on the stop-motion-animated Fantastic Mr. Fox (which was excellent, regardless), Wes Anderson is back to live-action filmmaking for this camp-set tale of young love. Usual suspects Jason Schwartman and Bill Murray are on hand, but we're especially curious to see how Edward Norton and Bruce Willis fare in Anderson's immaculately designed world.