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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #96. Spike Lee’s Oldboy


Director: Spike Lee
Writer(s): Mark Protosevich (first credit was The Cell)
Producer(s): Quandrant Pictures’ Doug Davison, Primal Pictures’ Roy Lee
U.S. Distributor: Film District
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, James Ransone

We aren’t stamping this with the “useless remake” label just yet and that’s because we marveled at the original, and while we expect the fallout to remain intact, we’re also thinking that Spike Lee might have replaced the choreography elements, kept the nuts and bolts of the brilliance behind Park Chan-Wook’s original, and perhaps made it surprisingly darker. The key ingredient here is Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. His string of recent amazing work include Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, Steve McQueen’s Hunger and Shame make for a truly visceral experience. This might surprise a few folks – making this his most celebrated work since 2002’s 25th Hour.

Gist: When the ad executive (Josh Brolin) is released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment, only to find that he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.

Release Date: There could be a definite attempt on a film festival’s part to include a Lee film of this stature in the line-up. With a pegged October 11th release set, interest could come from TIFF where they’ve launched some of his more recent efforts.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).


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