With 2015 firmly behind us, we have another year full of promising film potential both on a grand scale and an independent one. These are the films I'm looking forward to the most, in no particular order
Sing Street (John Carney)
Fresh of the success of Begin Again and Once, acclaimed Irish writer-director brings us this new tale of a boy starting a band in order to win the girl. A story we may well have seen before, however set in the backdrop of 1980's Dublin with what seems to be a electrifying soundtrack and in the hands of such a knowledgeable and proved musical director it is difficult not to be very excited about this one.
Carney seems to have a beautiful quality to make a musical where it never feels as though the cast are just randomly bursting into song. His subtlety and ability to tell an uplifting story to the tune of beautiful music is reason enough to be excited about this picture.
A United Kingdom (Amma Asante)
For this one the cast and director are enough reason to become excited and perhaps slightly aroused. Amma Asante, straight of the set of her critically acclaimed period drama, Belle, tells the story of Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Williams Khama. The story of the struggle for Botswana's independence. The cast is David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) . Not much is known about this one so this could very easily slip under the radar and surprise the masses.
Julieta (Pedro Almodovar)
This is the one I'm the most ecstatic about. Almodovar is film-maker that is far from predictable, from his debut outrageous sex farces displaying the sexual liberation of Spain in the 70s and 80s (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown) to the hard hitting character dramas (Bad Education) to the female melodramas (Volver and All about my Mother) all featuring sex, drugs, death,murder and farts. Having seen 11 of his 19 films I can easily say that he is one of the most underrated and outstanding writers and directors working today.
After his 2013 bordy sex comedy I'm so excited!, it would seem that he is returning to the cinema of women with a character based drama that follows the titular character through the years 1985 right through until 2015, undoubltley featuring tales of lost love, sex and death. Featuring Alberto Inglesias' score and Jean-Claude Larrieu's colourful shooting style tentatively slated to be released on April 8th, I'm so excited!
The Light Between Oceans (Derek Cianfrance)
This one is worth the excitement based on it's cast alone.
- Michael Fassbender
- Alicia Vikander
- Rachel Weisz
Derek Cianfrance has already brought us two very moving dramas in Blue Valentine (a personal favourite of mine) and The Place Beyond the Pines, now teaming up with the unbeatable Fassbender and Vikander, who began their relationship on this film meaning their chemistry should be through the roof. The plot for this one is: a lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel are living off the coast of Western Australia. When they discover a baby girl who has washed up on a lifeboat, they decide to adopt her as their own child. Music by Alexander Desplat (Grand Budapest Hotel). This one is sure to do well next awards season
Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)
Terrence Mallick is returning to the directors chair after the sinsilating Tree of Life, at the age of 72, Malicks films aren't as good as they used to be, but this tale of a Hollywood star (Christian Bale) who's trying to sex his way out of an existential crisis might be unique enough to spark strong attention. The films has been labelled as an Experimental Thriller using seven chapters, all named after tarot cards, to tell stories of characters whom the protagonist has wronged in his past. A stellar cast list also Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Ben Kingsley and Teresa Palmer, with a mixed reception so far this picture will either be outstanding or just outright dreadful
Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols)
Perhaps the coolest film on the list, Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) teams up once again with Michael Shannon in this John Carpenter Inspired chase film all about a father and his son. This one looks phenomenal as the majority is set at night time, often with films such as this they rely heavily upon their soundtracks. We shall see...
High-Rise (Ben Wheatley)
A fascinating study of the British social class structure in an apparently obvious format. From director Ben Wheatley (Sightseers) starring Tom Hiddelstone, Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons. A fascinating prospect
Ghostbusters (Paul Feig)
Nobody does the Blockbuster comedy better than Paul Feig, fresh of the roaring success of Spy last summer, he dives into this all female reboot of the beloved Dan Ackroyd franchise. This film is very exciting as for once we are receiving a remake from Hollywood that is actually taking something great and doing it's own thing with it. Starring the always sublime Kristen Wigg and Mellisa McCarthy, the only downside is the sequels and spin-offs that will inevitably follow
La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
A film worth going to see for it's directors previous film, Whiplash, a fantastic study of how much is too much and the highly competitive world of college music. This time we see Chazelle dive into a straight up musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a Jazz Pianist and an actress who are in love in a modern day LA.
A musical, fancy that.
Passengers (Morten Tyldum)
When a spaceship's malfunction rouses a astropassenger (Chris Pratt) from cryogenic sleep 60 years too early, he makes the selfish decision to wake someone else rather than spend the rest of his days alone in a cargo hold. Naturally, he picks Jennifer Lawrence. Brace for a brainy love story that marries the intimacy of Ex Machina with the astronomical scale of Gravity. This one is interesting for it's two stars to see if they can gain the chemistry on par with that of Jennifer Lawerence and Bradley Cooper.
The Founder ( John Lee Hancock)
The true story all about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds and how he came to establish and run the biggest fast food chain in the world. Starring Michael Keaton, who is on a run of Oscar nominated films, may just sneak it with a good performance here, as he will not GO AWAY until he wins an Academy Award.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Ang Lee)
Any director will find it difficult to follow up 2012's mega hit 'Life Of Pi' but Ang Lee has simply done this before. Starring Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart and Chris Tucker, this is the most eclectic cast of the year, by far.
The Disaster Artist (James Franco)
Based on the true story behind the making of cult film The Room from the perspective of it's co-star Greg Sestero and his friendship with the film's star and director Tommy Wiseau played by James Franco. With a script penned by the writers of 500 days of Summer and The Fault in our Stars and starring Dave Franco, Zac Efron, Bryan Cranston, Seth Rogen, Kate Upton, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver and Judd Apatow aswell as Wiseau himself. As an avid fan of The Room,I can't wait to answer one question:
War on Everyone (John Michael McDonagh)
After the flawless Calvary and twisted comedy The Guard, I would show up for McDonagh's adaptation of the Yellow Pages. This misanthropic buddy cop film starring Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña opened to mixed reception at the Berlin Film Festival with many commenting that it is like marmite.
Still gonna go see it.
Silence (Martin Scorsese)
Two Jesuit Portuguese Catholic priests face violent persecution when they travel to Japan to seek out their mentor and spread the teachings of Christianity. Scorsese rarely* let's his fans down. Of course with exception of his last outing the excessive Wolf of Wall Street, in my opinion this passion project on Scorsese's since 1991 can't be any worse than TWOWS. Starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield.
Other films include:
- Finding Dory (Andrew Stanton)
- Hail Caesar! (Coen Brothers)
- A Monster Calls (J.A Bayona)
- Untitled Woody Allen Project
- Demolition (Jean Marc Vallee)
- The Story of Your Life (Dennis Villenue)
- Zeroville (James Franco)
- Going in Style (Zach Braff)
- The Girl on the Train (Tate Taylor)
- The BFG (Steven Speilberg)
- Certain Women ( Kelly Reichardt)
- Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi)
My top six most anticipated in order are:
- La La Land
- Midnight Special
- Sing Street
- Light between Oceans
Thanks for reading.