The final weekend in November is never a big one for movie releases, as the studios blow a marketing wad during Thanksgiving and hope that everything carries over a week. Sure, there's a new cut of Blade Runner opening at the Ken Cinema, the John Turturro musical Romance & Cigarettes (reviewed below) gets a run in Hillcrest, and there's Awake, a Hayden Christensen thriller, sneaking in, but that's pretty much it. On the other hand, December rules—everyone's rolling out the Oscar contenders in time for eligibility. Here's a short clip 'n' save list of films still to come in '07—there are others, but these are the ones I'm looking forward to. Release dates, as always, are subject to change.Atonement—The buzz is good on the Keira Knightly/James McAvoy British WWII romance, especially about one extraordinary long tracking shot. Ian McEwan's novel explored the very nature of stories, a meta-story of sorts, which will be tough to capture on film, but if it can be pulled off, it'll be impressive. (Dec. 7)
Revolver—This Guy Ritchie/Jason Statham re-team has been out in the U.K. for a couple of years, finally making its way stateside. Ritchie goes back to the interwoven underworld stories that he first found in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, with Statham starring as a gambler being jerked around by con men, hit men and crooked casino owners. (Dec. 7)
Margot at the Wedding—Noah Baumbach, who last made The Squid and the Whale, returns with another family feud. This time, a woman (Nicole Kidman) drops in on the wedding of her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her rocker fiancé (Jack Black). Baumbach has a gift for dialog, even if you don't feel so good about the characters who are saying the lines. (Dec. 7)
Juno—Film-festival favorite talked up as this year's Little Miss Sunshine. Ellen Page plays the titular character, knocked up by spindly boyfriend Beeker (Michael Cera). She decides to have the baby, setting up an adoption with yuppies Jennifer Garner and Jason Batemen. It's the first produced screenplay from blogger/stripper/screenwriter Diablo Cody, who has an ear for the way the kids talk nowadays. (Dec. 14)
Starting Out in the Evening—Writer movies are often slow and talky, but word is that Frank Langella gives the performance of his career as a washed-up novelist. With Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose. (Dec. 14)
Sweeney Todd—Though I'm always disappointed by these Tim Burton/Johnny Depp joints, I keep going back for more. The duo takes on Sondheim's bloody musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street, whose customers get hacked up into yummy meat pies. (Dec. 21)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story—A satire of musical biopics? In theory, it sounds awful; in practice, this lineup—producer Judd Apatow, director Jake Kasdan, leading man John C. Reilly—rocks. With Jenna Fischer from The Office as Dewey's long-suffering spouse. (Dec. 21)
The Savages—A serious acting dream team, as Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman play bickering siblings caring for their ailing father. Oh yeah, it's a comedy. (Dec. 21)
Youth Without Youth—Francis Ford Coppola's first film in a decade comes from the novella from Mircea Eliade and stars Tim Roth as an aging professor given a chance to be young a second time. (Dec. 21)
Charlie Wilson's War—Tom Hanks is the Texas congressman who ponies up for the Afghans in their war against the Soviets in this, Mike Nichols' Oscar contender. Julia Roberts is the love interest, Aaron Sorkin the screenwriter. (Dec. 25)
Southland Tales—Already in limited release, director Richard Kelly's follow-up to Donnie Darko doesn't actually have a date set for San Diego, but let's hope this post-apocalyptic end-of-the-world dramedy with Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott and Sarah Michelle Gellar puts in an appearance.
There Will Be Blood—OK, this one's coming out in January, but it's still technically a 2007 film. Word is Daniel Day Lewis is a lock for yet another Oscar nomination as a turn-of-the-last-century oilman who won't let anyone, not even a local preacher (Paul Dano), stand in his way. Paul Thomas Anderson, who also wrote the screenplay based on Upton Sinclair's novel, returns to the director's chair for the first time in five years.