English language debuts for directors J.A. Bayona and Park Chan-wook get U.S. release dates

Juan Antonio Bayona and Park Chan-wook are two of the most exciting directors in the world right now and both have just gotten U.S. release dates for their first English language films.

First up is Bayona whose film THE ORPHANAGE was one of the best horror films of the last decade. He is changing genres and directing the drama THE IMPOSSIBLE, starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Tom Holland.

Plot: Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. Based on a true story, THE IMPOSSIBLE is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a journey to the core of the human heart.

I am looking forward to seeing the trailer for that one. If you have not seen THE ORPHANAGE, I beg you to check it out. Make sure you keep the lights on.

THE IMPOSSIBLE will hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 21, 2013.

The other film is STOKER from Park Chan-wook. Park directed the brilliant OLDBOY, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, LADY VENGEANCE, and the vampire film THIRST. His new film is from producers Tony and Ridley Scott and a screenplay by PRISON BREAK actor Wentworth Miller. Title aside, this movie does not seem to have any connection to Dracula.

Plot: After India's (Mia Wasikowska's) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Park Chan-wook could direct a Mentos commercial and I would watch it. The guy has a very unique style and uses music better than almost any other director out there.

STOKER opens in limited release on March 1, 2013.



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