I'm hoping the Assassin's Creed film looks as good as that, but I don't have high hopes. Even with the same actors/director combo, but then again as long as it's not an Uwe Boll video game adaption it should be good.
My scores and brief observations on films in this month's OP...
Youth (9/10) - This is one of those films that will either connect with you or won't. There's no middle ground here. It's a visually arresting film that is quiet and reflective and somehow pulls off an audacious screenplay thanks to an Oscar-worthy performance from Caine that won't be nominated and a non-Oscar-worthy performance from Fonda that will be nominated (the Supporting Actress field is surprisingly weak this year). Keitel's work here is the real standout.
45 Years (7/10) - A film entirely carried by the strength of its two leads (especially Rampling who deserves a Best Actress nom she may wind up with if Joy flubs). Expendable's review pretty much encapsulates what 45 Years is all about. Here's what I wrote about it earlier...
Charlotte Rampling never fails to captivate me in any of her films. She just has this presence about her that commands the screen. In 45 Years, she literally devotes fully half of her performance to acting with her eyes while otherwise restraining her emotional reactions. It's evocative of the same sort of acting I've seen out of Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color or Eddie Redmayne in his recent films.
This material would work fine as a stage play but the one aspect of 45 Years that elevates it above the material is the subtle facial acting you simply can't appreciate in a live theatre setting like you can in the cinematic medium. This is hardly essential, though.
Anomalisa (8/10) - On the opposite side of the coin, Anomalisa is absolutely essential viewing if you're a Charlie Kaufman fan. If you're a fan of his scripts from Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you'll be a fan of this. Where else can you watch puppets have sex? (Well okay... Team America. But where else aside from Team America?) This film is also essential viewing if you've ever worked in customer service.
Son of Saul (9/10) - There are a few films each year that will inevitably be revisited years and decades later in film classes on cinematic technique and direction. If there's one movie you should watch about historic NoMoAuchie, make it this one.
Also, take the time to watch Creed if you haven't done so yet.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Well, duh.
Krampus - I'm not a fan of the horror genre, but I make the occasional exception.
In The Heart of the Sea - Seeing the story of the sinking of the Essex and the shit that happens could be interesting. Plus, I'm always up for a Ron Howard movie.
The Revenant - This movie looks fucking awesome.
Anomalisa - The trailer was impressive as hell.
The Hateful Eight - Can't miss a Quentin Tarantino movie.
The Big Short - That cast. And it should be interesting to see Adam McKay go into something more dramatic (while still keeping one foot in the comedy genre).
I haven't seen Brooklyn yet. It wasn't released in any theatre nearby, so I guess I'll be waiting for it to hit Netflix or something.
Why You Should See It: While a review embargo will be up until a few days before its release, I'll simply say that you'll want to seek out the closest theater playing Quentin Tarantino's latest picture on 70mm -- even if it means missing Christmas with your family.