One of our New Year’s resolutions is to spend more time outdoors. Well, guess what? Hollywood is conspiring against us. With so many great films and TV shows coming in next year it’s almost as if you’re being dared to go outside to get some fresh air.
2014 has already kicked off with more aristocratic intrigue with the new season of Downton Abbey plus downtown shenanigans of a decidedly more modern variety with the return of Girls. Tim Gunn, the fashion world’s leading man, headlines his own competition show Under the Gunn, plus our fave girlfriends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will annihilate Tinsel Town again when they cohost the Golden Globes Sunday. And that’s just January.
Scroll down for some of the highlights to anticipate in the new year…
Flowers in the Attic
When to look for it: Premieres January 18 on Lifetime
Guilty pleasure alert! The 1979 horror novel by author V.C. Andrews, which was deemed so naughty we had to read it under the covers with flashlight, is back. After a too-campy take on the material in 1987, the lurid potboiler comes to Lifetime where it should be a perfect fit. Let’s hope the scenery is nailed down because it will likely be chewed up and swallowed whole by the great Ellen Burstyn as the wickedest and wealthiest grandmother on the planet who wreaks havoc on the lives of her daughter and grandchildren (among them, the preternaturally gifted Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men‘s Sally Draper).
When to look for it: In select theaters January 17.
A fave of audiences and critics alike when it played film fests last year, the clever new comedy from director Darren Stein, the wit behind Jawbreaker and Sparkler, will open in theaters this month. This colorful send-up of Mean Girls and other high school comedies depicts the social warfare that erupts when three teen queen bees compete for the hottest new accessory — the gay best friend.
When to look for it: Premieres January 19 on HBO
A decade after Sex and the City went off the air, HBO has viewers frothing over another riveting series about a group of friends who try to navigate the treacherous waters of modern dating — this time they’re gay men living in San Francisco. Andrew Haigh, responsible for the heartbreaking gay romance Weekend, is a producer and directs an infinitely relatable and aesthetically-pleasing cast that includes Jonathan Groff, Russell Tovey, Murray Bartlett and Frankie J. Alvarez. We’ve had an early peek at a few episodes and are happy to report it’s one of the most refreshingly authentic representations of gay men ever depicted on the small screen.
Be ready to get hooked.
The Normal Heart
When to look for it: May on HBO
After 25 years in development hell, it took entertainment powerhouse Ryan Murphy to finally make a film out of Larry Kramer’s play about how the early years of the AIDS epidemic turned a gay man into an activist. Although it’s set in the mid-’80s, Murphy insists the civil rights drama is more timely than ever. He enlisted an A-list cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jonathan Groff and Jim Parsons to bring this passion project to the screen.
When to look for it: In theaters May 30
We all love an evil queen but Angelina Jolie, saint of the universe, as Disney’s most volatile villain? This could be casting against type at its most effective. Sleeping Beauty gets a lavish retelling from the perspective of the misunderstood, horny sorceress Maleficent, who we’ve always secretly preferred to the too-good-to-be-true Princess Aurora.
When to look for it: In theaters June 20
We’ve never missed a Clint Eastwood musical and we have no plans to start now. Kidding aside, the iconic actor-director is an unlikely, inspired choice to helm the Tony Award-winning celebration of ’60s pop sensations The Four Seasons, the tight-trousered lads responsible for such hits as “Stay,” Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Known for his economic filmmaking, Eastwood will undoubtedly let the music speak for itself.
Into The Woods
When to look for it: In theaters December 25
We never miss a Meryl Streep musical (sorry, but we mean it this time), but there are countless other reasons to anticipate director Rob (Chicago) Marshall’s adaptation of the much-worshipped Lapine-Sondheim fairy tale-themed Broadway stalwart. Among them are Johnny Depp, Amy Adams, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Tracy Ullman, who round out the starry cast.