CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
Jane Campion tones down louche for lush in portraying a doomed nineteenth-century romance, between poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw, “Perfume”) and seamstress Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish, “Somersault,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”). Reportedly lacks the sexual grit of “In the Cut” for something more wistful.
Steven Soderbergh! took Kurt Eichenwald’s nonfiction title about industrial price fixing and turned it into absurdist comedy starring Matt Damon with a silly mustache and added avoirdupois. Think “The Insider” crossed with “Schizopolis.”
Diablo Cody’s long-delayed big-screen follow-up to “Juno” stars Megan Fox as a “zombitch” who gets revenge on her high-school antagonists to reported comic effect. Karyn Kusama (“Aeon Flux”) directs.
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY
Michael Moore boots up the megaphone to find answers (and laughs) from the participants in the world fiscal meltdown. Did he abandon his “Fahrenheit 9/11 ½” or is this it? With AIG, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs.
A SERIOUS MAN
The Coens head north and home to Minnesota for a 1967-set story of a professor’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) life collapsing when his wife leaves him because his ne’er-do-well brother (scene-stealer Richard Kind) won’t vamoose.
Cormac McCarthy’s bleak, brutal novel about a father and son making their way through the post-apocalypse stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee. A corrective to the joyride of slaughter that will be Roland Emmerich’s “2012”? It should be gloomy enough on its own. From John Hillcoat, the mucho talented director of “The Proposition”; scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
It’s taken forever to get onscreen, but those who’ve seen Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 book say it’s magical. With Catherine Keener, Max Records, Mark Ruffalo and the voices of Lauren Ambrose, James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, Paul Dano and Tom Noonan. Co-written by Dave Eggers.
Feeling depressed, Lars “Von” Trier goes out in the woods with a couple (Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg) that have just lost a child. Boasting a “misogyny advisor,” Trier’s film descends into madness and sexual violence. Whether captivating or a canard, it’s shot by the eyes-wide Anthony Dod Mantle (“Slumdog Millionaire”).
THIS IS IT
Hard to argue with that title for this still-in-the-works edit job on the late Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his fifty-concert London stand. Who’ll be the first Internet wag to dub it “This Is Shit”?
A fourth collaboration between Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar is a tricky tale of a film-within-a-film told in densely allusive style. And however knotty it is, it’s likely to be a weepy eyeful.
Richard Kelly’s follow-up to “Southland Tales” and “Donnie Darko” is a thriller with slimmer conceits: Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play a couple who are made a strange offer by stranger Frank Langella. Each time they push a button on “The Box,” they get a million dollars, but a stranger dies.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Bob Zemeckis goes 3-D motion capture one more time with Dickens’ classic tale inhabited mostly by cartoon versions of Jim Carrey. The ghost of 3-D present…
FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Wes Anderson does stop-motion in adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, co-written by Noah Baumbach (“Margot at the Wedding”). The voice talent includes Anderson, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox, Anjelica Huston, Roman Coppola, Garth Jennings, Wallace Wolodarsky, Mario Batali and Jarvis Cocker.
Or will it transform into “9” after Shane Acker’s “9” leaves theaters? Or maybe, “9!” “Chicago” director Rob Marshall adapts the 1982 Broadway musical drawn from Fellini’s “8 ½.” With Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Dame Judi Dench.