"Love is Strange."
"Love is Strange."

"Love is Strange"
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Alfred Molina, John Lithgow
Distributor: None as of yet
Release Date: Debuts at this month’s Sundance Film Festival

Why It Might Be a Must-See: Two years after winning raves for his "Keep The Lights On," Ira Sachs is back with another gay love story, though this doesn't sound quite as brutal as the semi-autobiographical "Lights." "Love Is Strange" stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as Ben and George, who after 39 years together decided to take advantage of the new marriage laws and tie the knot in New York City. On the return from their honeymoon, and on account of their vows, Ben gets fired from his longtime job as a choir director for a co-ed Catholic school. Suddenly, with no real savings to count on, the couple finds that they can’t afford the rent on their small Chelsea apartment. The film looks like an age demographic not often served in LGBT cinema (or in any cinema, really) and we're very curious to see where Sachs takes us after keeping those lights on two years ago.

"The Lobster"
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Lea Seydoux, Jason Clarke
Distributor: None as of yet
Release Date: TBD

Why It Might Be a Must See: Acclaimed Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos ("Dogtooth") starts shooting his English language debut this March, and we couldn't be more excited. With a cast including Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Lea Seydoux and Jason Clarke, the film is set in a dystopian near future and focuses on a group of single men and women who are brought to a creepy hotel and instructed to find a life partner within 45 days. If they don't? Well, then they are transformed into animals and released into the woods. If that isn't a plot that has you running to cinemas whenever the film ends up getting released, then we don't know what would be.

"The Lunchbox"
Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Release Date: February

Why It Might Be a Must-See: Ritesh Batra’s Mumbai-set drama revolves around a housewife (Nimrat Kaur) who tries to resurrect her failing marriage through her kitchen, only to find that her husband’s special lunch has inadvertently been given to his co-worker. This setup leads her to start a lunchbox-based correspondence with the other man, a lonely man looking back on his life whose solace comes in the form of an equally downtrodden soul. A hit on the 2013 festival circuit, "The Lunchbox" plays Sundance this January before hitting in theaters in February.

Marcia Gay Harden and Emma Stone in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
Marcia Gay Harden and Emma Stone in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

"Magic in the Moonlight"
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: July

Why It Might Be a Must-See: Even Woody Allen’s detractors can’t deny that he’s been on something of a roll lately: "Midnight in Paris" and "Blue Jasmine" were both box office hits and critically acclaimed testimonies to the vitality of his filmmaking voice as he barrels through his late seventies. With "Magic in the Moonlight," Allen returns to France for a romantic comedy featuring the usual parade of old and young talent eager to work with the director: Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater, Jacki Weaver and Erica Leerhsen. As usual, plot details are vague, though early reports suggest the story unfolds over two decades. Allen’s last few projects have been especially introspective, so we’re excited to see if he continues that trend.

"Maps to the Stars"
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, Carrie Fisher
Distributor: eOne US
Release Date: TBD

Why It Might Be a Must-See: A near certainty for Cannes 2014, David Cronenberg's follow up to his divisive "Cosmopolis" once again teams the director with Robert Pattinson, this time alongside a dreamy ensemble including Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Carrie Fisher. Said to be a "vicious look at a twisted Hollywood dynasty" and a takedown of the industry altogether, "Maps" sure sounds juicy. It's already been rated by the MPAA (and given an "R," which is clearly no surprise given Cronenberg's history), so it must be just a matter of waiting for the Croisette (unless it's a surprise addition to Berlin, which is not an impossibility).