Usually I’ll do a Happy New Year post by just putting up a bunch of random stuff like this…
But this year I thought that instead I’d list some of the films I’m looking forward to in 2020. I have hopes for all of these, but you never know. Though in the case of three of them, I do, since I’ve already seen them.
The Rhythm Section (Reed Moreno, director) Looks like a revenge story, nothing new there, but the trailer got my interest, plus I like Blake Lively and Jude Law. The Rhythm Section opens on January 31.
Emma (Autumn de Wilde, director) The title character is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who has a rather other-worldly look. I remember her well from a very interesting and nasty little film titled Thoroughbreds (2017). Plus I’ll see anything with Bill Nighy in it. Emma opens on February 21.
Underwater (William Eubank, director) From the trailer this looks to be yet another horror thriller with “gotcha!” jolts. At least, that’s how the trailer sells it. Alien underwater. The attraction for me is Kristin Stewart, who gets more interesting with every film. French actor Vincent Cassel is also in it. Familiar set-up, but it’s all in the telling. Underwater opens on January 10.
The Invisible Man (Leigh Whannell, director & writer) Elizabeth Moss is the draw for me here. I doubt there’s much left of H.G. Wells, but we’ll see.
Les Misérables (Ladj Ly, director & co-writer) Looks very tough. This film has already received many nominations and awards in numerous international film festivals. It opens here on January 10.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, director & writer) I saw this during a limited run earlier this month. It’s extraordinary, a film by women about women that feels quite different. Men are present more by their absence than anything else. It opens on February 14, which will make for a very interesting Valentine’s Day.
Wendy (Behn Zeitlin, director & co-writer) Anyone who saw Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) will know to expect something different in what appears to be a radical re-imagining of Peter Pan. Wendy opens on February 28.
Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello, director & writer) I saw this at the New York Film Festival a few months ago and knew it was special. This is not the kind of zombie movie we’ve come to expect since Night of the Living Dead changed the game in 1968. This feels more like the real deal. Switching back and forth between Haiti in 1962 and an elite girls’ school in present-day France, Zombi Child is a deeply unsettling film. It opens on here on January 24.
The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu, director & writer) I also saw this at the New York Film Festival and loved it, as I had this director’s earlier film, Police, Adjective (2009). Both films are concerned with language and modes of communication and they’re both terrific. The Whistlers is also noir to the hilt. As A.O. Scott wrote in his New York Times review, “If the Coen Brothers were Romanian, they might have made The Whistlers.” Indeed. It opens on February 28.
No Time to Die (Cary Joji Fukunaga, director) I mean, come on, it’s JAMES BOND! Sam Mendes did a great job with the two previous Bonds, especially Skyfall. I wish he’d directed this one, but I liked what Fukunaga did with True Detective on HBO, so I’m hopeful.
Wonder Woman 1984 (Patty Jenkins, director & co-writer) I liked the first one that Jenkins made in 2017. Gal Gadot was stupendous in the title role, and I have high expectations (always risky) for this sequel, which opens on June 5. Chris Pine, another actor I like a lot, is also back, though his character appeared to have died a glorious sacrificial death in the first film. I guess you’re never really dead in these films. Okay with me.
Tenet (Christopher Nolan, director & writer) Nolan is one of those directors, such as Michael Mann and David Fincher, whose films seem to have actual, physical weight. You can feel it. Very few details about Tenet have been revealed, but from the trailer it seems that some aspect of time travel may be involved. Dunkirk is a hard act to follow, but I’m sure Nolan is up to it. Tenet opens on July 17.
That ends the previews portion of the program. All that’s left is to wish everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you next decade. — Ted Hicks
Good tips for films for the new year.
Thanks Ted for this and all of your compelling descriptions and recommendations throughout the year.
Healthy Happy & Intriguing New Year Wishes . . .
Thanks for the heads up, Ted. And re Part 2: I’ll join you with the Resistence if it comes to that. Happy New Year!
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