So, to sum up my moaning about sequels — many of which I will absolutely go see, hypocrisy be damned — I want to make an updated list of movies I’m looking forward to seeing this year. Some are already in theaters and I’m just behind the curve, and some are opening in the coming months. Let’s roll.
A Quiet Place — d. John Krasinski (April 6)
I have a tenuous relationship with horror as a genre. It’s traditionally lent itself to more slash and sleaze than real fright, so I tend to shy away from it. This film, however, has caught my attention and that of the critics, as well. The movie is about a family — two kids (one of them deaf), a dad, and a pregnant mom — forced to live in silence to hide from creatures that hunt by sound. The plot is creative and leans toward suspense as much as horror, which I find appealing. And watching this family figure how to communicate, survive, and even give birth without noise will be interesting. Red means run, y’all.
Chappaquiddick — d. John Curran (April 6)
Cinematic rendering of the real life story of Ted Kennedy’s car crash that killed a campaign staffer. The Kennedy family, with its perfect facade, is always fertile ground for drama on screen, and this film delves into the theatrics and lengths gone to by all involved in avoiding prosecution and political excommunication of Kennedy. The cast is impressive, and includes Jason Clarke as Kennedy, Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan, Bruce Dern, and Kate Mara.
Disobedience — d. Sebastián Lelio (April 27)
Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star in this film about two women dealing with a deeply religious community that has punished them for their homosexuality and attraction to each other. Rachel Weisz has been shunned for years, and returns when her father dies. When she comes back tensions among the family and feelings between her and McAdams reignite. I’m always excited for female-centric films and films that offer LGBT representation. This is giving me both!
The Guardians — d. Xavier Beauvois (May 4)
A French film about the ways women survived during World War I. This movie looks very honest and beautiful in terms of cinematography and characters, and looks like it will focus on the community and solidarity of women born out of necessity and hardship. I like that it seems to look at the perspectives of women of different ages, not just young widows or daughters, but mothers and older wives.
Breaking In — d. James McTeigue (May 11)
This film looks like it could either be really fun woman power suspense or really fun camp. Either way, I’m looking forward to it. Gabrielle Union plays a mother of two whose children are held hostage in her late father’s house by a band of men trying to rob the home, while she fights and finds ways to break in and save them. The film looks like it has elements of mystery (what’s tucked away in the mansion?) as well as action and suspense. Hitting theaters on Mother’s Day, this movie is about a MNTBFW (Mom Not To Be Fucked With).
The Seagull — d. Michael Mayer (May 11)
Right up my alley in terms of books and plays being adapted to the screen, I’m excited to see Anton Chekov’s play get the silver screen treatment. The cast is incredible, including Annette Benning, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, and Brian Dennehy. The plot holds lots of unrequited love and angst, all of which easily lends itself to humor.
Mary Shelley — d. Haifaa Al-Mansour (May 25)
One of the coolest women in literary history gets her own film! This movie shows the struggles she had to be respected, taken seriously, and even credited for her own writing of the famous novel Frankenstein, which many consider the beginning of science fiction as we think of it. I’m also extremely excited about Al-Mansour, the very first female film director in Saudi Arabia. (She’s also an English major like me, which makes that degree feel slightly more useful!) This movie by and about women, and specifically about a woman who was deeply influential on literature — again, warming my English major soul — has definitely piqued my interest.
Woman Walks Ahead — d. Susanna White (June 29)
I’m very interested in the way the true story of Catherine Weldon will be brought to the screen. A white woman who travelled from New York to Dakota to paint Sitting Bull is drawn into the struggles of the Native Americans trying to protect their lands from white Americans. I’m hoping for both historical honesty and cinematic enjoyment from this film, and with Michael Greyeyes as Sitting Bull and Jessica Chastain as Weldon, I’m anticipating good performances.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? — d. Marielle Heller (October 19)
I really like actors go against type and comedians (or in this case, comediennes) take on dramatic parts. Melissa McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, who begins to forge fake letters and memos from famous authors to make ends meet when her own writing career goes by the wayside. This movie looks like a biographical dramedy that could be really enjoyable and an excellent notch in McCarthy’s career. (Also, more women directors, yay!)
There are more, and this list will continue to evolve. But historical, biographical, and literary work seems to be prominent this year, and I’m hoping it makes for good turn outs and good material.