//MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS: April

MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS: April

We have not quite reached summer, although it is beginning to feel like we have as April greets us with some pretty decent-looking blockbusters and mainstream comedies. There is not much happening in the way of cinematic events, but there are definitely some wide and limited releases that are worth heading out to see.

Film Releases

Source Code
Released on April 1

Currently this is one of the best reviewed studio films of the year with near unanimous praise. Moon director Duncan Jones gets a budge with his second feature film and by the looks of it he has used it to create a taut sci-fi thriller. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga in the cast and an original and capable director behind the camera it should definitely be worth seeing.

In a Better World
Released on April 1

This Danish film pulled off the rare feat of winning both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. That alone should be enough to drive any true movie buffs to the theatre. It also gets some additional credit for being directed by Susanne Bier, whose previous hits include After the Wedding, Brothers, and Things We Lost in the Fire.

Hanna
Released on April 8

Saoirse Ronan, one of the most talented young stars working today, plays a trained assassin in the latest from from Atonment‘s Joe Wright. This would sound like your run-of-the-mill assassin film were it not for the fact that the film features not a hitman, but a hit girl. Add Cate Blanchett to the mix and this is a film that I would happily pay to see.

Your Highness
Released on April 8

Pineapple Express was one of the most delightful comic surprises of the past several years and my only anticipation for Your Highness comes in the hope that the same anarchic absurdity will be re-created. I believe that is one of thirteen James Franco films being released this weekend, but it is definitely the most highly anticipated. Anytime there is a movie that features the eye candy combination of Zooey Deschanal and Natalie Portman, it doesn’t take much convincing to get me interested.

Meek’s Cutoff
Released on April 8

Michelle Williams stars in this stripped down Western alongside Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, and Zoe Kazan. It received excellent reviews at last year’s Venice, Toronto, New York, and London Film Festivals and I have heard speculation that it should be expected to appear on many top ten lists this year. The resurgence of Westerns has been excellent and I will happily support another one.

The Conspirator
Released on April 15

At one point last year this film was highly expected to be a strong Oscar contender. Then it got pushed back to a near oblivious mid-April release date and expectations deflated significantly. However, its story about a mother who sacrificed herself when her son is accused of Lincoln’s assassination, and its all-star cast that includes Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, and Evan Rachel Wood should give it a strong Box Office draw.

Water for Elephants
Released on April 22

I have a good feeling that the supporting actors in this film, which include Hal Holbrook, Paul Schneider, and Christoph Waltz are going to outshine both Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Francis Lawrence, whose only feature directing credits include the mediocre Constantine and I Am Legend, takes the reins on an adaptation of a well-loved novel. I have no idea what exactly to expect, but I will hope for the best.

Incendies
Released on April 22

This film was a hit at the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals and was speculated by many to take home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. It failed to do so, but that does not lower my expectations in the slightest for a film that Sarah Boslaugh of Playback: stl calls “a tale worthy of Sophocles.”

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Released on April 29

Werner Herzog’s documentaries are beautifully filmed, poetically edited, and introspectively narrated. Based on the trailers and early word of mouth it sounds like this film could be among his best and one of the more original documentaries about history and nature.

Film Releases I Don’t Care About:
Hop – April 1
Insidious – April 1
Arthur – April 8
Soul Surfer – April 8
Rio – April 15
Scream 4 – April 15
African Cats – April 22
Apollo 18 – April 22
Madea’s Big Happy Family – April 22
Fast Five – April 29
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil – April 29
Prom – April 29

Film Events

Cannes Line-Up Announced
Coming April 14th

Not too much in terms of film events occur during the month of April, but one of the best things that does happen is the build up to the most exciting event in May. Some of the greatest movies released in any given year are ones that played at the Cannes Film Festival in the previous year, so I am very much looking forward to finding out which films to anticipate in 2012. indieWIRE has constructed a 40 film Cannes wish list that implies there could be some fantastic directors exhibiting work this year.

What movies are you most anticipating this April?

Alex started Film Misery in early 2009 after living the site’s title for many years. His film obsession began in high school when he and his friends would see all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees and try to make predictions...Full Bio.