Four to Watch in 2002

Rating: NNNNNYou may just be getting over the holiday film blitz, but it's never too early to consider what's coming.


Rating: NNNNN


You may just be getting over the holiday film blitz, but it’s never too early to consider what’s coming up in 2002.

MONSOON WEDDING MONSOON WEDDING

Mira Nair’s Altmanesque comedy-drama about a wedding in an upper-class Bombay family won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and made a considerable splash at the Toronto festival. There’s laughter, tears, dramatic revelations, then everybody dances. One of last year’s most remarkably entertaining films. Opens in February.

THE TIME MACHINETHE TIME MACHINE

The original director of this H.G. Wells science fiction classic was Simon Wells, an animated film specialist (Prince Of Egypt) and H.G.’s great-grandson. The bad news is that the film was finished by Gore Verbinski (The Mexican). The trailer is extremely good, however, and Guy Pearce (Memento) stars. It’s got a March due date.

SHAOLIN SOCCERSHAOLIN SOCCER

The most bizarre title on the schedule, this Hong Kong picture was picked up in a package by Miramax. It tells the story of a Chinese soccer team who use the deadly skills of the Shaolin martial arts school to defeat their foes on the soccer pitch. Directed by comedy-action specialist Stephen Chow. Opens in April.

THE PIANO TEACHER THE PIANO TEACHER

Star Isabelle Huppert won the best-actress prize at Cannes for her performance as a sexually repressed piano teacher who finds an outlet in S&M. Opinions at Cannes were all over the map, from “a work of genius” to “you really don’t want to sit through it, but Huppert is great.” With Austrian auteur Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Benny’s Video) behind the camera, we can be reasonably sure it’s too intense for younger viewers. Or older viewers. Or anyone with a history of heart disease. Teacher hits screens in March.

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