THE RAINMAKER isn’t the only movie that could make a splash this season. Boatloads of big-time directors are adding to their oeuvres. James Cameron launches his make-or-break $200 million romantic epic TITANIC (with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio). Martin Scorsese continues Hollywood’s Tibet obsession with KUNDUN. Clint Eastwood directs Kevin Spacey and John Cusack in the Savannah murder-and-deception film MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, while James L. Brooks’ AS GOOD AS IT GETS casts Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear as emotionally shaky New Yorkers looking for romance. And some guy named Spielberg has a movie called AMISTAD, about an 1839 mutiny on a Spanish slave ship.
Indie darling Gus Van Sant goes mainstream with GOOD WILL HUNTING, about a troubled math prodigy and his struggles with his psychiatrist (Robin Williams). WAG THE DOG, helmed by Barry Levinson, brings an all-star team (Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Woody Harrelson) to a black comedy about presidential sexual foibles. And Woody Allen’s DECONSTRUCTING HARRY features his usual stellar casting: Demi Moore, Judy Davis, Kirstie Alley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and as Allen’s love interest (yeah, right), Elisabeth Shue.
Alfonso Cuaron puts a modern spin on Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS (with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow). Jim Sheridan’s THE BOXER finds Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson in a story about an Irish fighter returning from prison. Ralph Fiennes devotees should line up for his turn in Gillian Armstrong’s OSCAR AND LUCINDA. Mike Figgis steers an eclectic cast — Robert Downey Jr., Wesley Snipes, Nastassja Kinski — in his dark romantic drama ONE NIGHT STAND. Writer-director Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER depicts a troubled lawyer (Ian Holm) representing a town that lost 14 children in a bus crash. And finally, after a series of sitcom appearances, film cameos, and a restaurant brawl, Quentin Tarantino’s eagerly awaited JACKIE BROWN will provide conclusive proof that he does, in fact, still make movies.