I'm a big fan of Jean-Jacques Annaud - QUEST FOR FIRE, THE NAME OF THE ROSE, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (it may not be a critical favorite but I always loved it), ENEMY AT THE GATES, and my personal favorite film of his, THE BEAR. Annaud makes very visual, sweeping movies, and they are just as emotional as they are epic. This new film looks to be straight out of David Lean - BLACK GOLD, coming December 2011.
I'd say with THE SKIN I LIVE IN, PUSS IN BOOTS (which is actually good) and this, Antonio Banderas may be having something of a comeback. BLACK GOLD also stars Mark Strong, Frieda Pinto, and Tahar Rahim. Annaud has been known to capture wonderous images with his films, and this looks no different: