2017 was a crazy, whirlwind of a year for cinema, with great films that left us on the edge of our seats like Get Out and Dunkirk, but now it’s time to start thinking about the countless films we can’t wait to see in 2018. Especially as the 2018 Sundance Festival comes to an end, we can’t help to think 2018 could be another great year for film. Ranging from small, independent films to major Disney blockbusters, here are some of the films our staff desperately anticipating.
Suspiria, dir. Luca Guadagnino
Normally I’m cautious towards remakes. Some are fantastic but a good remake is a rare jewel, and in our current film climate where we are constantly bombarded with sequels and remakes, the last thing we need is another one. So it’s both a surprise and not a surprise at all that my most anticipated film of the year is Suspiria — the remake of Dario Argento’s delightfully surreal horror classic, set in a ballet school with something sinister dwelling underneath. The original Suspiria is one of my favourite films ever — as someone who is basically a five-year-old enchanted by bright colours, the film is truly like being a kid in a sweet shop. Normally, I would feel protective if anyone dared to touch my precious film, but what makes this remake an exception is the talent behind it. Taking the reigns of this daunting project is another great Italian auteur: Luca Guadagnino — let us all breathe a collective sigh of relief that Suspiria will be in the safest hands of a true visionary. He has also assembled an impressive cast of Tilda Swinton (paparazzi pictures of her transformation suggest the Academy should start engraving the Hair & Makeup Oscar now), Dakota Johnson and Chlöe Grace Moretz. Guadagnino has made it abundantly clear that his version will be dramatically different from the original, the most startling difference being his decision to eradicate primary colours altogether from the colour palette — the polar opposite of Argento’s film, flooded with crimson reds and midnight blues. Early reactions of footage hail the film as a delightfully dark concoction so there really is nothing to worry about.
– Iana Murray
If Beale Street Could Talk, dir. Barry Jenkins
In Jenkins, we trust! Academy Award winner director of Moonlight Barry Jenkins is back with a new adaptation. If Beale Street Could Talk is based on the novel of one of my favourite authors James Baldwin and like Moonlight, Jenkins adapted the novel into screenplay himself. The film takes place in 1970s Harlem and tells the story of Fonny and Tish, a couple in love whose lives turn upside down when Fonny is falsely accused of rape. The story explores love and dynamics of community and family. Fonny and Tish will be portrayed by Stephen James and KiKi Layne, joined by great names like Regina King, Diego Luna and Pedro Pascal. If Beale Street Could Talk is such a delicate story filled pain and hope in a perfect balance that I cannot imagine anyone but Jenkins bringing it to life and it’s certainly the film that I’m most hyped for in 2018.
A Wrinkle In Time, dir. Ava Duvernay
Ava Duvernay is a gift that keeps on giving for her followers: and although both of her first instant masterpieces are more on the political side, the news she is becoming the first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a production budget over $100 million cannot have a come at a better time. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kailing star as three magical astral travelers, which just might be their way of telling us that they are fairies in real life, too — alongside with newcomer Storm Reid as a girl who is trying to save her astrophysicist father, played with Chris Pine, that is held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universe-spanning evil.
Yes, this reads like a children’s story for the most part, and probably that is a true sentiment — the outing is clearly aimed at a younger audience. But especially in today’s cinema, we have seen many times that the fact that a film is created for a non-adult focus group doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the power to make adults cry or re-think their lives. Especially after being mesmerized by how much the director and the actors involved are actually interested in the end result, and how much of a real life connection is there between them, I can’t wait to see the end result. I am sure that it will look magnificent, and also feel magnificent, too.
Also, for those who already hasn’t, I strongly recommend watching Jay-Z’s music video for Family Feud, which can give you a taste of what Ava is capable with the right budget and a science-fiction concept.
High Life, dir. Claire Denis
Claire Denis is one of my favorite living storytellers, regardless of medium. She uses the cinematic language to the extent of allness, her favorite language are bodies. She tells stories through their texture, their relation to space and to each other, simple movements become expressions of the most profound aspects of human existence. Her masterpiece Beau Travail, a quiet dissection of toxic masculinity, goes all out when main actor Dennis Lavant completely lets go on the dance floor, and his body seems to be completely detached from all rules ever positioned. He is just a body, completely devoid of fear, and the rush of emotions is the only brain activity that takes place.
This encapsulates what kind of stories Denis tries to tell most of the time: The ones that surround these moments of the pure, thoughtless, chemical state of being – and being happy.
High Life is her most exciting, and seemingly her most ambitious film in a long time. Starring long-time collaborator Juliette Binoche and the indie star of the moment, Robert Pattinson, she takes the events to space. Whatever expects us, it will surely be a wonderful, emotional and beautiful ride.
Disobedience, dir. Sebastian Lelio
Following its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, Sebastian Lelio’s drama quickly became the most talked about feature at the event, not least for the now infamous sex scene that occurs between Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. Having already showcased an ability to honestly portray the lives and experiences of marginalised women with A Fantastic Woman, Lelio here turns his attention to a story of a love forbidden by a community, repression, and faith. Weisz and McAdams, or Rachel Squared, as we like to call them here at Much Ado, play Ronit and Esti; two women consumed by desires made impossible by their surroundings. Both were raised in an Orthodox Jewish community in North London, though according to the reviews of Disobedience at TIFF, their paths diverged in their late adolescence. So far, it appears that the film will centre around the reunion of Esti and Ronit and the way in which their close-knit families respond to the resurfacing of formerly repressed feelings. This is my personal most anticipated film of 2018 and one that I have been waiting for ever since it garnered so much attention at TIFF. With the likes of Lelio, Weisz, and McAdams onboard, there is no doubt that Disobedience will be a powerful piece; likely to be filled with blistering performances and heart-breaking moments. Perhaps it will take its place amongst the LGBTQ+ classics, perhaps not. Either way, I cannot wait to watch this tale of an impossible love, and a journey towards true freedom, unfold.
Isle of Dogs, dir. Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson’s newest film, his second animated film after Fantastic Mr. Fox, to say that I’ve been a fan of Wes Anderson understates how much I enjoy his works. Having been a fan of Wes Anderson for as long as I can remember having been a fan of the movies, I can’t hide my excitement for Isle of Dogs. Taking on a bleak concept centering around dogs that have been quarantined after they have been reported to carry a flu, what we can expect from Isle of Dogs may indeed be another sort of charm that Fantastic Mr. Fox had presented – where the smallest moments still manage to carry something greater in terms of the scope.
Being Wes Anderson’s first animated film to take on an entirely original concept (Fantastic Mr. Fox was based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name) and starring an all-star voice cast that includes Edward Norton, Bryan Cranson, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand – how can I say no? The first you can expect from another animated film set around animals directed by Wes Anderson is that it would be cute, quirky fun. But beneath that quirkiness is something of a greater significance, knowing how Wes Anderson portrays family dynamics in his work: and now placed within the world of dogs.
The Favourite, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
With The Lobster and Killing of a Sacred Deer under his belt, Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos will be tackling a unique genre to him with The Favourite, a royal drama about the life of Queen Anne, who ruled England during the 18th century. Olivia Coleman plays Queen Anne, with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in supporting roles. From what we know so far, the film will focus on the much more sexual aspects of Queen Anne’s life, which should be a very unique thing for Yorgos Lanthimos to cover since the view of sex in his previous Films was very cynical and disturbing. More than anything, I’m just excited to see a new Yorgos Lanthimos Film. Every year since 2016 he’s put out something that people talk about endlessly, from the weird offbeat comedy of a The Lobster to the very dark and cynical comedy of Killing of a Sacred Deer. From the premise of this film, it’s hard to tell whether or not he will approach this subject with a more serious lens, but we can guarantee he will bring his trademark style to it for sure. This film seems like it will be endlessly interesting, and it’s certainly going to be one to look out for next Oscar season.
Ocean’s 8, dir. Gary Ross
Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina. Do I even need to say more to convince you that this is going to be one of the most talked of films of 2018? I remember the moment when this cast was announced and I can assure you that my twitter timeline exploded. Years from now we will be telling our grandchildren about how it felt to be alive when that announcement was made. As you can guess, Ocean’s 8 is a sequel to Oceans trilogy with an all women cast which made a lot of fanboys angry and the LGBT community very happy. It’s hard to imagine a film going wrong when it has a cast like this one directed by Gary Ross who directed The Hunger Games. I don’t want to Titanic this but, nothing can sink this film.
Avengers: Infinity War, dir. Anthony and Joe Russo
The time has come.
After ten years and many, many movies; including those who are origin stories, group works and just somewhere in between, Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally doing what he was created to do — put all those characters and storylines into a mixer, turn on the power, and put what comes out against the most powerful enemy they have ever faced. Directed by the Russo Brothers and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the nineteenth movie in the MCU is destined to be a cultural event, whether people like it or not. There’s a history behind it, and it itself is in order to be become history, too.
I would probably be more skeptical about Infinity War if it were to come out before the release of movies such as Thor: Ragnarok or Spider-man: Homecoming, because before them, although they were visually stunning, most MCU movies had something missing in them when it came to their stories. But now that the company seems to have found its niche, I can’t help but get excited to see what they can do with over-forty characters. Russos have changed the timeline once when they did Winter Soldier, and Civil War was a try-out for them, but Infinity War will be the big moment. The world is watching, so get your tickets early, fellas!
Vita and Virginia, dir. Chanya Button
Yet another LGBTQ+ feature, this time focusing on some literary romance, Vita and Virginia is shaping up to be one of the most promising films of 2018, if its cast and premise are anything to go by. The stories of literary icons have been told before, we’ve had films such as Kill Your Darlings, which focused on poets of the Beat generation, and the romances of Keats and Dickens have been portrayed, but rarely have relationships between women writers been depicted onscreen. Vita and Virginia is the story of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West; two of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century. The two engaged in a love affair that spanned an entire decade and their passion was captured beautifully by the letters they wrote to one another, so it is rather surprising that a love as evidently dreamy as theirs has not yet been explored in film. Now, however, with Gemma Arteton and Elizabeth Debicki playing the lovers, their relationship will at last receive the cinematic immortalisation it deserves. This is, without a doubt, one of the films I am looking forward to most in 2018, as a lover of both LGBTQ+ cinema and literature; I am certain that it will be one of the films that I find myself most excited for.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, dir. Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote is arguably one of the most infamous examples of development hell in film history. But now, the former Python seems to have found a way to make this project come to life for once. Having been a big fan of Terry Gilliam’s work for a while already (even if my opinion of his recent films has not particularly been very warm), just knowing that an incomplete project from Gilliam’s past may very well have found its way to come to life on the big screen is already enough to make me excited for what would be the final result.
Given as pre-production for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was inevitably delayed as the result of a lack of American financing or sets and equipment having been destroyed by flooding, numerous recastings, and inevitable cancellations, the story behind The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has always remained as fascinating to me as ever. Now that Terry Gilliam has officially announced that the shooting of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been completed after all, I can’t help but wait until this film finally finds its way to the big screen. Starring Jonathan Pryce, Adam Driver, and Olga Kurylenko, I can’t wait to see the lengths that Terry Gilliam had taken in order to bring this long-delayed project to the big screen
Beach Bum, dir. Harmony Korine
You can accuse Harmony Korine of a lot of things, but certainly not of being uninteresting. After entering the film industry as screenwriter for the controversial KIDS (1995) that he wrote on request of photographer Larry Clark (whom he met while skateboarding in Washington Square Park), Korine realized one provocative vision after the other. His debut feature Gummo (1997) remains one of the most bizarre films of the 90’s, and he continues to stir up audiences and critics since then.
With his most recent film, the hyper-postmodernist Spring Breakers, that did not change in the slightest. But people who weren’t put off by the flashy surface and the cast of Ex-Disney stars, discovered a sweeping and intoxicating Americana, that might be one of the most original films ever made.
His new film, The Beach Bum, is one of my most-anticipated movies of the year, because whatever in the world Matthew McConaughey is exactly doing in the first released on-set pictures, it’s gonna be scrappy, strange and potentially another grand elegy to everything that we love and get poisoned by at the same time.
Early Man, dir. Nick Park
Aardman hasn’t exactly landed perfectly for me recently, even though Shaun the Sheep Movie had turned out to be quite a nice surprise. What did catch me about Early Man, however, is the fact that Nick Park was set to return to the director’s chair, in his first feature-length directorial effort ever since Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Having been a fan of Aardman generally speaking, their run of claymation shorts and features has nonetheless been impressive. But it seems like ever since Nick Park has stopped directing features after The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, their run of impressive feature films seems to have been put on some sort of a pause.
What I’m at least hoping for with Early Man is that Aardman will have found themselves back on track again, because even their weakest films have always appeared to be inventive in some way or another. With this film now being set in prehistoric times as they are about to undergo a change in pace, what I’m really looking forward to about Early Man is seeing Aardman themselves get their game back up. For even in their weaker points I’ve yet to outright “hate” an Aardman movie, so here’s hoping Early Man will be another hit for the studio.
The Incredibles 2, dir. Brad Bird
This is the movie people ages 18-30, and maybe even their parents, have been waiting for since 2004. The superhero family is finally back and taking the world by storm! I love that as I technically enter adulthood, sequels to my favorite childhood movies are finally coming out. Pixar is giving the people what they’ve wanted for years and bringing back favorites like Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Nelson. Along with fan-favorite characters, Pixar recently revealed new characters and the actors behind them, including Sophia Bush, Bob Odenkirk, and Catherine Keener. This time around Hunter’s Elastigirl is taking over the reigns of saving the universe while Mr. Incredible attempts to tame the powerful baby Jack-Jack. The Incredibles is amongst the best Pixar films, so the anticipation, and expectation, for the long-awaited sequel are higher than most. Now, I know it’s always a risk when seeing animated films, but my outrage will be through the roof if I hear one child screaming in the theater. I’ve been waiting for this for 14 years, people!
– Sydney Bembry
Sorry To Bother You, dir. Boots Riley
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, may I direct you to what might be the most absolutely batshit crazy film of 2018. Sorry to Bother You is the debut of writer-director (and rapper) Boots Riley, and from what I can gather it is a sci-fi/fantasy/surrealist dark comedy with some sharp social commentary. Set in an alternate future Oakland, California, Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) succumbs to capitalism and all its woes and gets a job as a telemarketer. After following the advice of one of his co-workers (Danny Glover), he begins to rise up the ranks when he adopts a “white” voice per the advice of his co-worker — much to the chagrin of his artist-activist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson). He also catches the attention of the “cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentlessly optimistic” CEO (Armie Hammer, in what must be the perfect role for his image as a handsome, charismatic, white guy). The film premiered only last week at the Sundance Film Festival and the reactions have been almost as entertaining as the film undoubtedly will be: a quick Twitter search will reward you with gems like “one fucked up movie”; “still trying to parse the WTF quotient of SORRY TO BOTHER YOU”; “wish me luck in trying to explain what I witnessed.” I’ve heard that Armie Hammer snorts what might be the longest line of coke in film history, and I just need this movie transmitted to my brain right this second because I can’t get that image out of my head. There are also half-man, half-horse penises involved — don’t ask me how.
– Iana Murray
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, dir. J. A. Bayona
Nothing will ever beat the original Jurassic Park – that much is clear, in the eyes of fans and critics alike. Luckily, Jurassic World as a reboot doesn’t really try to recreate the film so much as it explores the playground set up by the original trilogy. Sure, there’s a level of cringeworthy dialogue and the “dinosaurs are loose and eating tourists” story can only be rehashed so many times, but there’s just something so fun about the franchise, regardless of its technical merits.
Unfortunately, what’s been shown so far of the sequel to the 2015 reboot hasn’t been especially promising. The first trailer, which was released a couple of months ago, gave us two minutes of Chris Pratt being chased by dinosaurs, and little else – you would hope that, with such a wide scope for exploration, the writers would manage to be more inventive. So why is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom still high up on my anticipated movies list, you may ask? The answer: because I’d still rather watch two hours of Chris Pratt being chased by a t-rex than half the Oscar fare Hollywood churns out on a yearly basis. Viva la dinosaur.
– Megan Christopher
Annihilation, dir. Alex Garland
Based on 2014 Jeff VanderMeer book of the same name, Alex Garland’s upcoming science-fiction horror movie Annihilation focuses on the story of a volunteers who enter an environmental disaster zone in hopes of finding a way to save a life. This is not a new or exciting story on its own, as it has been examined over and over again during many occasions both from a horror and a science-fiction perspective. What gives this movie an edge is the fact that the brain behind the magnificently terrifying Ex Machina is doing it, and the names attached to it — such as Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez. The trailer teases the viewers with a gorgeous view of visual effects and grand spectacle, where there looks to be a real amount of jumpscares for those who are interested: but above all, I firmly believe that the strongest side of this production will be its story beats.
One thing that I am pleased know before going into the movie, and that raises my hopes, is that I don’t have to worry about what kind of an adaptation this is going to be: whether or not it will simplify the story, or change character qualities; because the answer is already out. As Hollywood Reporter has written, the director Garland producer Scott Rudin has teamed up against David Ellison’s desire to “make changes” to make the movie more appealing to a wider audience. Although this clash resulted in Annihilation having its main release on Netflix overseas, at least now we don’t have to worry about alterations that might have alienated the core concept of the movie.
Mary Queen of Scots, dir. Josie Rourke
Two of this year’s Oscar-nominated actresses, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie will be in the same film this year, and I think greatness can be expected. Ronan and Robbie will play the rivaling, royal cousins, Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I in the next British royalty biopic. Ronan’s work these past few years has been phenomenal, especially in the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, and she is destined to elevate any film she is in. Not only does Robbie continue to prove that she is a force to reckon with on screen, but she’s showing that she is a truly a filmmaker and businessperson as she begins to produce movies with her new company, Neon. Now I look forward to seeing the newly Oscar-nominated actress’ work on screen and off. They are, undoubtedly, two of the best actresses working today, so it should be a treat to see them on screen together. Even more exciting is the fact that is the film directorial debut for the female director, Josie Rourke, an acclaimed director in British theater. I’m not someone who typically loves royalty biopics, simply because I think there’s too many, but the leading ladies and another woman at the helm make this film a lot more appealing. And, frankly, I’ve seen every film Ronan has been in for the past 6 years, so I don’t plan to stop now.
– Sydney Bembry
Hot Summer Nights, dir. Elijah Bynum
Hot Summer Nights is kind of an enigma to me in terms of my anticipation for it. Set in the summer of 1991, a timid teenage boy is sent to Cape Codon by his mother for the season. He is taken under the wing of a local drug dealer, and the two set their eyes on expanding the business — if you’ve seen Breaking Bad, you can tell where this is heading. The screenplay written by Elijah Bynum landed on the 2013 Black List — which means it was available online, so, of course I read it. The story is fun and absolutely wild, but it tends to go way over-the-top and features some ridiculous dialogue that made me physically cringe. Bynum ended up bringing his screenplay to life as his directorial debut, and the film premiered at SXSW last year to good reviews — though Michael Rechtshaffen from The Hollywood Reporter shares some of my criticisms, saying it is “visually atmospheric but tonally all over the place.” I’m not exactly selling this film spectacularly — and you may be wondering why this film is one of my most anticipated in the first place. Simply put: Timothée Chalamet. He demonstrated his emotional vulnerability and sensitivity in Call Me By Your Name, but Hot Summer Nights promises a very different starring role for the actor. Add Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell and Emory Cohen and you’ve also got one of the most exciting casts of this year. And I cannot forget to mention that A24 is distributing the film, so the hype is real.
– Iana Murray
Where’d You Go Bernadette?, dir. Richard Linklater
Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, Where’d You Go Bernadette? tells the story of 15 years old Bee trying to find her agoraphobic architect mother Bernadette after she goes missing prior to a family trip. Directed by Boyhood director Richard Linklater, the film already seems to have a great sense of humour by setting the release date as Mothers’ Day. The film is led by Cate Blanchett who is due to have the busiest year with four films released in 2018 and will head the Cannes film festival jury. We are yet to see a trailer for the film so we don’t know if the film will tell the story through daughter’s eyes like the book or will take a different direction. I have mixed feelings about Linklater’s work, I love the Before Trilogy but found Boyhood overrated. Still, I am thrilled to see how this one is going to turn out with a great source material and an amazing cast. Plus, the name of the film rolls of the tongue so perfectly, Where’d You Go Bernadette?
The Irishman, dir. Martin Scorsese
As an aspiring filmmaker, Martin Scorsese has always been an incredible inspiration. Films like Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Departed and Raging Bull stand out as just four of the many masterpieces he has directed. Now, in 2018, we are finally going to see The Irishman, a project that Scorsese has had in the works since 2012. The film stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, and Bobby Canavale, and is the story of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, who was involved in the death of famous monster Jimmy Hoffa. This will be the first film in 23 years that Martin Scorsese has directed to star both Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in it, and it will be the first collaboration between Scorsese and Al Pacino. This film is sounding like something I’ve dreamt about for years. Seeing Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro team up again is one thing, but under the direction of Martin Scorsese, there is no way they won’t be fantastic. This film is also the first film Joe Pesci has acted in in almost 8 years, so that’s exciting as well. This film seems like it could be one of the best, if not the best Netflix film of all time, and I cannot wait to finally see it come to life.
– Ryan Solomon
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, dir. Xavier Dolan
Out of all young filmmakers that belong to the “millennial” generation, there has yet to be a more loud director than Xavier Dolan. The Québecoise filmmaker has garnered both acclaim and criticism for his loud, colourful and emotionally involving filmography. But even if you think that the films could do with less shouting, less extravagance and less melodrama, you can’t deny that he has a voice that is incomparable. His use of music is legendary, the best in his emotional and deeply empathetic film Mommy, that uses pop music to support its narrative of mental illness, and the highs and lows it infuses into life repeatedly.
Dolan is also unashamedly gay and has some sort of queer narrative or subtext in every single of his films. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is a film that will tell the story of a closeted celebrity, played by Kit Harington, that befriends a very young fan (Jacob Tremblay) and finally gets into a crossfire of accusations when both of these things are made public.
It’s Dolan’s first foreign language film and while his actors, the language and the setting changes from his previous films, every single information that has been released, makes it look like the apex of Dolan’s extravagant and emotionally rich cinema.
There is a new generation of filmmakers coming, but Dolan is probably the first great one of them.
Boy Erased, dir. Joel Ergerton
There are movies I, without watching a single minute of it, can feel that is going make me cry: and a movie about a gay kid who is outed to her parents and then sent to a conversion therapy camp by them with the threat of otherwise being disowned, is the type of movie that I sure as hell know is going to make me cry. Lead by Lucas Hedges and based on a real life memoir by Garrard Conley, the film is directed by Joel Edgerton (who has also written and produced it) and is powered by a star-studded cast that includes Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and one and only Xavier Dolan.
Of course, a production focusing on such a divisive and culturally important subject like this, is also a production that scares me; along with so many people. There is a fear of conversion therapy, and its doers, being humanised in an attempt to make the movie more “human”, but the fact that it is based on a real life story of a gay man gives me hope that it will not do that. Edgerton has said in the press release that he is “always thank Garrard for trusting my passion for his life story”, and all we can viewers can now do is to believe that Garrard was right in his decision.
Under The Silver Lake, dir. David Robert Mitchell
After achieving breakout success with his small-budget horror film It Follows, David Robert Mitchell is coming back with his new pulpy noir Under The Silver Lake, a story about a drug addled detective exploring the underbelly of the modern punk scene, while simultaneously investigating a string of dog murder. The film stars Andrew Garfield in the lead role, along with Riley Keough and Topher Grace in supporting roles. It will be exciting to see Andrew Garfield take on the role of a Hunter S. Thompson type character, since most of his acting career has been playing straight-laced hero characters. Also, as a huge fan of Charles Bukowski, from what I’ve heard about this film so far, it will be the closest thing to getting a true filmed version of what Bukowski’s writing style was like. Setting the film in the indie music scene also makes me much more curious, since we might see a much darker and grittier side of this world. David Robert Mitchell has already proven he can tackle genre filmmaking with It Follows, so I’m incredibly curious to see what he will do with this type of material. This is yet another film with an unknown 2018 release date, but now that A24 is the known distributor of the film, we can definitely expect it to hit screens all over the world very soon.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, dir. Desiree Akhavan
Ever since American Honey in Autumn 2016, film fans have been desperate to see more from sublime newcomer Sasha Lane. She hasn’t disappointed at all in her choice of follow-up project, joining Chloe Grace Moretz and Jennifer Ehle in a gay conversion camp drama directed by Desiree Akhavan of Appropriate Behaviour fame. The pieces could not fit together more smoothly to create an LGBTQ+ indie to die for. The film is currently (unsurprisingly) receiving rave reviews after its Sundance debut. Poignant, emotional, and witty, The Miseducation of Cameron Post appears to offer both humour and tenderness in equal measure, providing an honest depiction of a difficult topic to take to the screen.
Ultimately, here at Much Ado About Cinema, we’re excited about any LGBTQ+ film. This one feels special, however, not only due to the talent attached, but also to the care with which Akhavan has treated sexuality on screen previously – something which she has seemingly achieved once again.
– Megan Christopher
Love, Simon, dir. Greg Berlanti
My final inclusion on this list may not appear different from the others, in that it is yet another LGBTQ+ film and has long been awaited by many LGBTQ+ fans of cinema, but it stands out for one reason in particular. Unlike Disobedience and Vita and Virginia, this is not an independent, arthouse film but, rather, one that is both distributed by a major studio, 20th Century Fox, and marketed towards a mainstream, teenage audience. Love, Simon is based on the novel Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda and depicts the life of Simon, a high schooler who carries a secret, and his journey towards total self-acceptance. It is not unlike films such as The Fault in Our Stars and Edge of Seventeen but the difference is that, for once, a gay character is front and centre of the story, and this is a refreshing concept. For too long, LGBTQ+ characters in mainstream films have been reduced to supporting roles, side-lined, and used too much for comic relief. Love, Simon could truly change things, it could show that teenage romance films don’t always have to be centred around heterosexuality, that LGBTQ+ people deserve to be at the forefront of popular stories, and that straightness doesn’t always have to be the norm.
The Other Side of The Wind, dir. Orson Welles
So, this was an apparently unfinished feature film directed by Orson Welles that only now is getting its chance to find a spot on the big screen. No matter what state it may be in, the results of what could have been nevertheless remain so fascinating to me. It’s always been fascinating to me because apparently this film had indeed been completed in early 2017, resuming the post-production process. So, what exactly would this mean for Orson Welles himself, if he’s not around to guide the post-production of a film that he never finished during his own lifetime?
Well, the results will nonetheless be interesting to see because there won’t be a definite version that matches what Orson Welles would have intended for this story to have been told. Nevertheless, it would never be easy given as Welles had always been one of the most innovative storytellers ever to have touched a camera – and given the subject matter of this film (the shift in eras for Hollywood between its classic era and what would eventually be seen as “New Hollywood”), I can’t help but feel there will be an interesting experiment made from Welles’s original edit. Will this film be truly “completed” by the time it comes out? That there is yet another mystery it leaves behind.
Transit, dir. Christian Petzold
Christian Petzold is one of the most assured and fascinating working german directors, proving repeatedly that he is a master. His most recent film Phoenix (starring brilliant long-time collaborator Nina Hoss) is a Vertigo-esque masterpiece, that is up there with the very best of the recent new wave of german cinema. His films are always reflections on our time and historical documents at once, and Transit seems to take these aspects onto a new level. Petzold lets the adapted story take place beyond a specified time in history and wants to reconnect the narrative of the novel to the current refugee situation. And of course, it will be a narrative of identity, a set-up that he always focused on and fascinated with.
These aspects make Transit seem intriguing already, but there is more. Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer, both the perhaps biggest European acting breakouts in recent memory, and maybe even the next great representatives of acting in European cinema, are leading the cast. They are both uniquely expressive and versatile, able to carry entire films on their back. With a visionary like Petzold behind the camera, that’s probably not going to be necessary. But seeing them acting side to side still is a fascinating thought indeed, and I can’t wait to see what this project will bring.
That’s it for some of our most anticipated films, what are yours?