With so much marketing for superhero films, blockbusters, and Oscar potentials, many times independent films just seem to pass by. That’s why I’d like to take a look at some of the indie films that I’m looking forward to in 2015.
Nightcrawler received very little recognition from the Academy Awards this year despite being extremely well received by critics. Given Jake Gyllenhaal’s strong performance in that film and the fact that I love boxing, I can’t wait for “Southpaw.” The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua known for films like “Training Day” and The Equalizer and is a comeback story about a boxer named Billy “The Great” Hope. Much like many underdog films, Billy loses everything and is forced to fight his way back to prove himself. This is a common premise for a film that many can appreciate, especially “Rocky” fans.
On top of the plot, the cast features Forrest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams in addition to Jake Gyllenhaal. While the cast is sure to grab your attention, most eyes will be set on Gyllenhaal’s monstrous transformation. Going from his role in “Nightcrawler” where he dropped 25 pounds, Gyllenhaal put back on 15 pounds of solid muscle for this role (see the picture at the top). He’s also said to have undergone intense training for the role which could generate Oscar buzz for him in 2016.
Why am I looking forward to “True Story?” To be honest, it’s because I get to see James Franco and Jonah Hill paired together in a film that isn’t surrounded by cheap, crude humor. Both have had their share of comedic roles and because of this, many may forget they’re both Oscar nominated actors.
“True Story” is based on the true story (if the title didn’t give it away) of a New York Times journalist named Michael Finkel (Hill). After being fired from the times, Finkel is contacted by a man in prison named Christian Longo (Franco) who had taken on an identity by the same name of this journalist (Michael Finkel) and was accused of killing his family. The premise of this film seems elusive enough to make it suspenseful but also seems to be an opportunity for Franco and Hill to prove they can be paired together and be taken seriously. From the curiosity of their pairing alone, I’m intrigued.
The Hateful Eight
The name “Quentin Tarantino” has excitement surrounding it whenever it is mentioned as current news. His films are few and far between due to his particular nature when it comes to filmmaking.
The Hateful (H8ful) Eight will be Tarantino’s eighth film and will fall in the genre of many other films releasing this year given it is a western. While there is little to be known about the film currently, he does have an exciting cast as always. The great Samuel L. Jackson will of course be joining the cast, followed by Kurt Russell, Channing Tatum, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. I have to say that in addition to this being a Tarantino film, I am most excited to see how Channing Tatum fits into the mix and how well he will pair with other cast members that have previously been in Quentin’s films.