Every year I look ahead and pick 10 films from the upcoming slate that I am interested in seeing. Some years I pick well, other years, not so much. You can see my 2015 picks here. I picked 2 of the worst films of 2015, 1 film I didn’t see, and 1 that didn’t even get release. Of those picked I only really loved Knight of Cups, although I will defend Jupiter Ascending, Blackhat and Tomorrowland, 3 films dismissed by most which I quite enjoyed.
Along with the 10 I have picked, I am also looking forward to seeing all of the yet-to-be-released-in-Australia-2015 films: The Hateful Eight, Anomalisa, Steve Jobs, Sherpa, Sunset Song, Son of Saul, etc.
See my 10 picks for 2016* after the jump.
(*there is absolutely no guarantee that we will get to see these films in Australia in 2016 – we can only hope)
HAIL, CAESAR! (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Well this one is easy; have you seen the trailer? It’s the Coens having fun with the industry, it’s Channing Tatum channeling Gene Kelly in On the Town, it’s Scarlet being fabulous, and it’s Tilda being the goddess, chameleon that she is. Get in my eyeballs now.
STORY OF YOUR LIFE (Denis Villeneuve)
Denis Villeneuve has never made a bad film – hell he has never made an average one either. Sicario finished its cinema run so recently, it’s hard to believe there’s another film due this year. This time the French-Canadian director is trying his hand at Sci-fi, with Amy Adams playing an expert linguist who is recruited to find out whether the aliens have come in peace or not. The film is adapted from a short story by Ted Chiang.
CERTAIN WOMEN (Kelly Reichardt)
Kelly Reichardt directing, with Michelle Williams + Laura Dern + Kristen Stewart starring! Hell yes, that is some amazing, talented lady power. Williams, Dern, and Stewart play women in a small town whose imperfect lives intersect.
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (Derek Cianfrance)
It’s been almost four years since writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s incredible The Place Beyond the Pines came out, and I am so ready for something else from him. He’s teamed up with three of the most insanely talented actors working today (Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weiss) to bring an adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s novel of the same name to the screen. While the film is set in Western Australia, it has been filmed in Tasmania and parts of New Zealand, including in my hometown, Dunedin.
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Jeff Nichols)
Here’s another writer-director that hasn’t made a bad film, and this year (or in the next 18 months) we might even get 2 from him. Midnight Special stars Joel Edgerton Kristen Dunst, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, and more, in a film about a father and son who go on the run when the father discovers his son has special powers. Also in production is Loving, another film starring Joel Edgerton and Michael Shannon.
SILENCE (Martin Scorsese)
New Scorsese is always worth getting excited about. To add an extra layer of excitement, we get to see Liam Neeson do something other than be the world’s angriest ex [insert manly, killing-type profession here]. Set in the 17th century, the film centers around 2 Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread Christianity. Also stars the little-known Adam Driver, and Andrew Garfield.
IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (Xavier Dolan)
A new year, a new Dolan film! Hey, maybe even 2 new Dolan films! I am pretty sure that he never sleeps. Or maybe he has clones? It’s a mystery. Based on a play, the film is about a terminally ill writer, who returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying. Starring the most beautiful cast possible: Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, and Gaspard Ulliel. Dolan is also working on The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, starring Jessica Chastain.
A UNITED KINGDOM (Amma Asante)
Belle was one of the most wonderful, underrated films of 2014 so I am delighted that director Amma Asante has a new film on the way. A United Kingdom is set in the 19440s, is about Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana (played by David Oyelowo), who causes a stir when he marries a white woman (played by Rosamund Pike).
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME (Richard Linklater)
I love me some Linklater and I can’t imagine not having a blast with this. Linklater calls the film “a spiritual sequel” to his 1993 film, Dazed and Confused. The film centers around group of college baseball players grappling with the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. Fun music and wild times ahoy!
THE BFG (Steven Spielberg)
A childhood favourite from Roald Dahl is being brought to the big screen by Steven Spielberg, a director who understands childhood wonder quite unlike anyone else. Mark Rylance, who was amazing in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, stars as the titular BFG. Also stars Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, and Rebecca Hall.
Other upcoming highlights: Julieta, Weightless, The Nice Guys, A Quiet Passion, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, A Bigger Splash, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Neon Demon, Zoolander 2, Elvis and Nixon, Passengers (considering the genre and the amount already spent, possibly the big budget flop of 2016?), La La Land, American Honey, Warcraft, Star Wars: Rogue One, Money Monster, The Daughter, Assassin’s Creed, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Ghostbusters, Jasper Jones, and Manchester By the Sea.