Noah, Aronofsky

OK, so we’ve analyzed 2013 to bits. Now riddle me this: What are you looking forward to seeing in 2014? Critics may not have crystal balls -- though many like to pretend they do -- but even if you can't single out one movie you're anticipating more than any other, are there trends, filmmakers or mentalities that you hope to see reflected in the movies this year?

JP: I'm not sure that I can spot any new trends on the horizon, but here's what I'm looking forward to seeing.  At the top of the list is "Snowpiercer” by Bong Joon-ho, who is my favorite director to have emerged in this millennium -- he's made the best crime movie, “Memories of a Murder" (which recalls but surpasses “Zodiac”), the best monster movie, "The Host," and the best critique of Korean sentimentality toward motherhood in "Mother."  I'm just dying to see "Snowpiercer" -- and yes, I'm talking to you, Harvey Weinstein. Please release it. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

I'm almost as stoked about Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Pynchon's “Inherent Vice,” which seems ripe for greatness -- Anderson working in a loose mood on his native turf of LA, and doing it with an enjoyable minor novel that there's no need to feel reverent about. Along with Spike Jonze, PTA is the good American director who does the most unpredictable work. Speaking of which, I would say I'm looking forward to seeing "The Grand Budapest Hotel," but because I work long-lead, I've already seen it and producer Scott Rudin made me sign a release saying that if I talked about it in advance, I agreed to having my family killed, our ancestral home burned, and the soil beneath it covered with salt. So heck, let's play it safe:  I'm really looking forward to the new Wes Anderson. 

I'm kind of revved up, too, by the two big, possibly wacky Biblical adaptations, Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" and Ridley Scott's "Exodus" with their respective laugh-a-minute stars, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.  And to finish, if you're not looking forward to "Nymphomaniac," there's just no hope for you.

AO: I think that's an awesome list of 2014 possibilities, although I hold out zero hope for anything Ridley Scott touches these days -- did you actually sit through "The Counselor," John? -- and my money is on Aronofsky's "Noah" joining the soggy pantheon of "Waterworld." I'm looking forward to seeing both the authorized North American release of "Nymphomaniac" and von Trier's longer Danish version, like a true film geek.

There are a whole bunch of things at Sundance this year I can't wait to catch, from the new documentary about Nick Cave to Anton Corbijn's John le Carre adaptation "A Most Wanted Man" to Gregg Araki's "White Bird in a Blizzard," with Shailene Woodley. If that's not enough, there's also Quebec director Denis Côté's rural lesbian experimental thriller "Vic + Flo Saw a Bear." Oh, and "Muppets Most Wanted," absolutely.