25. The Words
Directors: Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid, Ben Barnes, Jeremy Irons, Michael McKean, J.K. Simmons, John Hannah
Release info: Sold at Sundance to CBS Films; no release date has been announced yet
Why you should be excited: Bradley Cooper should be a hater’s worst nightmare. Possessing the pretty boy looks that make boyfriends feel inferior as girlfriends swoon, he’s a million-dollar man who hooks up with A-list actresses and cashes insanely large checks thanks to weak films like The Hangover Part II and Limitless, yet, for some reason, we can’t dislike the guy. Perhaps it’s because, even in his lesser movies, Cooper has charisma to spare, showing glimpses of becoming a Brad Pitt type of actor if put in the right projects.
A challenging, dense film like The Words, possibly. Having debuted at Sundance to varying opinions, it’s said to be a meditative, somber, and structurally oblique drama about a struggling writer (Cooper) who finds a manuscript and passes it off as his own, only to come under fire from someone who claims to be the legit scribe (Jeremy Irons). With its appealing supporting cast, including Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde, Cooper has in The Words an intriguing alternative to his glossier, undeniably bankable options (The Hangover Part III, which, unfortunately, we’re going to see sooner or later); hopefully it’s just the beginning.