10 Movies We're Excited to See in 2013
7. Frances Ha
Noah Baumbach's latest, starring and co-written by his romantic partner, Greta Gerwig, is both a fizzy homage to the French New Wave and a sharp, witty entry into the long-moribund adrift-twentysomething genre. Gerwig's kinetic performance of the title role reveals her to be a nimble comedian, perfectly balancing mortification and bravado. Opens May 17.
8. The Last Time I Saw Macao
Film noir meets Chris Marker–like cine-essay meets tranny fabulousness in this playful, poetic rumination on time, space and memory, co-directed by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata. After Cindy Scrash lip-synchs to Jane Russell's "You Kill Me" — from Josef von Sternberg's Macao (1952), a key reference here — the film seamlessly shifts to a mystery story and to da Mata's wry offscreen recollections of growing up in the former Portuguese colony of the title. Opens summer TBD.
Writer-director Neill Blomkamp proved to be a master of metaphor with his debut, District 9 (2009), a biting sci-fi allegory about apartheid. Hopes are high for the Occupy-inflected Elysium, set in 2159 and pitting the cosseted rich who live on the space station of the title against the 99 percent, barely surviving on a destroyed Earth. Opens Aug. 9.
10. Runner, Runner
In his last outing, The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), director Brad Furman showed a knack for jazzing up a legal thriller, one that ushered in the Second Coming of Matthew McConaughey. Working with a blue-chip cast — Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and the always-welcome Anthony Mackie — Furman should be able to deliver another satisfying genre picture with this tale of offshore online gaming. Opens Sept. 27.@LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.