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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Top movie prospects in 2009

Published: January 16, 2009
Section: Arts, Etc.

1. “The Brothers Bloom”

Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz and Adrian Brody headline this intricate caper movie by director Rian Johnson (Brick). Mark Ruffalo and Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi also star. Ruffalo and Brody are the Brothers Bloom, the best con men in the world who are about to retire when they decide to take on one last job: swindling an eccentric heiress, Penelope Stamp (Weisz), on a trip around the world. However, one brother jeopardizes the plan by falling in love with Penelope. It has already been nominated for a 2008 Satellite Award and will hit theaters May 29.

2. “Public Enemies”

There are few actors I enjoy watching more than Johnny Depp. In Michael Mann’s period piece about organized crime in the 30’s, Depp stars as John Dillinger along with Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and Channing Tatum in supporting roles. Public Enemies tells the oft-sensationalized story of Gangster Dillinger and his crime spree, which made headlines all over the country. Described as a modern Robin Hood, Dillinger endeared himself to the suffering Americans who had been thrown into the Great Depression by the banks he chose for robbery. A teaser catchphrase from the film: “No one could stop Dillinger. No jail could hold him.” Want to see it? Opening day is July 1.

3. “Julie & Julia”

2009 brings another Meryl Streep/Amy Adams collaboration with Streep taking on the guise of famous chef Julia Child. In this new film from Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally), Adams plays Julie Powell, a government employee who decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s French cooking book in the space of one year. The film is adapted from the real Julie Powell’s book and experiences. The movie not only boasts a fantastic director, but again a cast of Academy Award winners and nominees.

Julie & Julia is in theaters August 7.

4. “Nine”

One of my favorite musicals has finally been made into a film! Daniel Day Lewis takes over the role of chauvinistic director Guido Contini, who suffers a midlife crisis as he tries to balance all the females in his life such as his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz), his ingénue actress Claudia (Nicole Kidman), and of course, his mother, played by the indomitable Sophia Loren. Only two of these actors have sung on film before so I’m excited to see what “Nine” will be like. Hopefully it won’t be another Pierce Brosnan “Mamma Mia!” disaster. I am somewhat saddened by the lack of Broadway stars in this film (the revival cast included Antonio Banderas and Tony winner Laura Benanti), but I’m still optimistic.

“Nine” hits theaters December 11.

5. “The Ugly Truth”

Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler star in this battle of the sexes comedy which could end up being incredibly cliché—though I’m reserving judgment until the credits roll. Heigl is an awkward, romantically challenged tv producer (Brandeis, anyone?) who is talked into trying out her new chauvinistic news correspondent (Butler)’s theories on love and sex. Butler’s character bears a strong resemblance to some of Dane Cook’s sketches, for the guys, and Heigl’s romantic woes can be shared by many a girl. It’s entirely possible this comedy could end up being same old, same old, but judging by the trailer, maybe we’re in for something new.

The Ugly Truth is in theaters April 3.