Ten movies to look forward to in 2019
Cinema trod new ground in 2018, with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime taking the fight to the more traditional production houses. But far from seeing clear-cut differences between new media and old, audiences were treated to a host of hits and flops from both, with Netflix breaking new ground in the awards department for streaming services. The continued battle for dominance promises to entertain, and here are ten films that pledge to do just that in the new year.
Olivia Colman may be adored in Britain, but she hasn’t quite broken Hollywood. This looks like it’s about to change. The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), has already received rave reviews, and the English actress, playing Queen Anne, is being tipped for an Oscar. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz also star as rivals battling for the monarch’s favour.
The Favourite is released nationwide on 1st January 2019.
Christian Bale is back, doing Christian Bale things. Vice centres on former US vice president Dick Cheney, with its star in full method acting mode for his leading role: pot-bellied, thin grey hair combed hopelessly across his crown. Director Adam McKay (The Big Short) has a stellar cast to work with, featuring the talents of Sam Rockwell (who play George W Bush), Amy Adams and Steve Carell.
Vice is released nationwide on 25th January 2019
Viggo Mortensen, of Lord of the Rings fame, has been hotly tipped for a best actor nomination in the forthcoming Oscars for his performance in Green Book. Mortensen plays the driver of pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as he tours America’s deep south. The film, directed by Peter Farrelly, is based on a true story and is named after an early 20th-century guidebook for African-Americans travelling the south.
Green Book is released nationwide on 1st February 2019.
If Beale Street Could Talk
The latest film from Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) has already been out across the pond for almost a month, where it has been ecstatically received by critics and audiences alike. The feature is based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin, and stars Kiki Layne as a fearless mother struggling to raise a child and clear the name of her fiancé.
If Beale Street Could Talk is released nationwide on 8th February 2019.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Expectations will be high for the sequel to 2014’s surprise smash hit. The first film struck a balance between family-friendly and fun for adults that the follow-up must attempt to match. The same production team, Animal Logic, who worked on the first instalment have returned to animate the second, as have writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The pair also directed the first movie, but that task has been left to Mike Mitchell this time around.
The Lego Movie 2 is released nationwide on 8th February 2019.
Not too much was known about Us, the second film from Get Out director Jordan Peele, before its first full trailer was released on Christmas day 2018. What we now know is that the horror promises to be excruciatingly creepy. Peele says Us will not be a film about race; instead, it will be a feature about how humans are “our own worst enemies.”
Us is released nationwide on 15th March 2019.
Much-loved childhood favourite Dumbo gets the Tim Burton treatment in Disney’s latest live-action remastering. Whilst the title character will be skilfully animated using the latest tech, Burton also has a line-up starring Colin Farrell and Eva Green to help weave his magic. Expect a dark retelling of a classic tearjerker.
Dumbo is released nationwide on 29th March 2019
The majority of films on this list are here on merit, courtesy of their anticipated popularity and all-round brilliance. Detective Pikachu – the first Pokémon live-action film – is alone in making the cut due to its sheer weirdness, which renders it a must-see. It could be brilliant; it could also be terrible. Directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale), the trailer is deeply divisive, with many unable to get over the animation team’s decision to make Pikachu furry. Whatever may happen, the feature promises to be wonderfully absurd. Oh, and Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu.
Detective Pikachu is released nationwide on 10th May 2019.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) enlists Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the American backdrop of the film has been shaken by the Manson family murders. Pitt and DiCaprio star as actors looking to make a name for themselves in Hollywood amid a backdrop of fear and violence.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is released nationwide on 26th July 2019.
Star Wars: Episode IX
The final installation of the latest series of Star Wars films promises an explosive finale to the trilogy. Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is still at large, and JJ Abrams (director of Episode VII) has been recalled to direct the villain’s demise – or victory. Details are thin on the ground, but expect Abrams and co to go out with a bang.
Star Wars: Episode IX is released nationwide on 20th December 2019.