Let’s look at some new trailers and see if we like the smell of what these studios have cooking. Post your reactions, or your new favorite trailers, in the Comments.

Anomalisa:

They had me at “Charlie Kaufman.” Somehow, Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind still feels fresh and innovative more than a decade later. I admire (although “enjoy” might be inaccurate) much about Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Synecdoche, New York, as well.

But they really seal the deal with these endorsements from reputable reviewers (those that appear in the trailer and on the poster).

Usually, if you’re leaning in close to read the fine print, you’ll see that the raves included in movie advertisements are usually coming from no-name “critics” who work for publications that have no credibility in the community of film critics. But these… these are impressive accolades from some of the most discerning film critics writing reviews today.

And then there’s the animation — subtle, unassuming, lovingly crafted throughout.

So? This is near the top of my must-see list for the remaining weeks of 2015. I’ll be there opening weekend, if I can manage it.

anomalisa

The Wonders:

The confident naturalism of this trailer persuades me that the film will take me to a believable place. The premise seems like something I haven’t seen before. The character of the father wanting to hold back his daughter from creative expression looks like it might threaten to turn this into a Billy Elliott kind of “kid defies the odds to become an artist and escape confining traditions” routine, but I think there’s enough here to pull me in.

However — and this is a big however — this trailer is telling me far too much of the story. Unless there’s some cleverness here to obscure the actual story arc, I feel like I’ve seen too much and I know right where it’s going.

So? I’m intrigued. And Monica Belucci is usually a major plus. But I’m not going to rush out to see it. I’ll see if the trailers suggest there’s more to the story than what they just showed me.

I Smile Back:

Wow. First I’ve heard of this one! I’m intrigued right away. I feared this was just another exhibition of Sarah Silverman’s snark. But she’s playing against type here, taking a bold step into a dramatic role. Comedians, if they know how to rein in their impulsiveness and serve original characters, can often make sensational dramatic actors. That’s been true for Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, and even Will Ferrell. I’d love to see this become Sarah Silverman’s first step into a larger world.

I like how this trailer refrains from spelling out the whole story arc. I really don’t know how this will end up. I can’t discern the sequence of events.

The cast looks to be chosen for how they fit the characters and for how they work together, not for their celebrity status. With the exception of the potential-car-wreck flashes, which have become an easy button-pushing tactic in trailers, I’m surprised by almost everything here.

So? I hope it’s as good as it looks. I want to see it.

The Lady in the Van:

On the one hand, this looks like the kind of movie that has been carefully calculated for Oscar potential. Maggie Smith is a sentimental favorite, still riding a high thanks to fans of Harry Potter and Downton Abbey, and if she performs well here she’ll get a lot of “She’s got it coming” votes for awards. And this looks like England the way American moviegoers like it: Stereotypically stuffy and witty, full of simplistic characters.

But on the other hand, this is directed by Nicholas Hytner, who has had hits and misses, but The Madness of King George was remarkable.

So? I feel like I’ve seen a lot of the movie here. But I wonder… could this be more than just an easy heart-warmer for tourists and Downtown Abbey fans? I’m feeling cautiously curious.

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