Upcoming 2018 Movies (You May Have Missed)

Greetings. It’s a fresh year and an assortment of movies await us in 2018. That means it’s time for my yearly ‘upcoming movies you may have missed’ rundown. In this post (which I have done previously in 2015 and 2017) I attempt to list five films due for release in the coming months, which perhaps aren’t so well known or have yet to receive much marketing. I hope you’ll find my choices interesting and befitting of your watchlist.


145

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (Dir. John Cameron Mitchel)

Based on the short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman, How to Talk to Girls at Parties follows a group of teenage boys who go to a party to meet girls, only to find the girls are far beyond their wildest expectations. It’s a science fiction story set in the 1970s, with elements of romance and comedy — the trailer provides a good idea of what to expect. It seems to be a rather quirky and offbeat film, which has divided audiences thus far. Nonetheless, it has me intrigued and Elle Fanning has been sublime in her recent roles. The film premiered at Cannes last year, and is expected to release in May this year.

More Info: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd.


146

Wildlife (Dir. Paul Dano)

Wildlife marks Paul Dano’s debut as a director, and stars Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ed Oxenbould in the principal roles. It’s set in 1960, and is based on the novel of the same name by Richard Ford, which follows a boy who watches his parents’ marriage fall apart after they move to Montana, and his mother falls in love with another man. The screenplay was written by Dano and long-time collaborator and fellow actor Zoe Kazan. I feel as though there’s substantial talent surrounding this film, and am interested to see Dano’s voice as a director. The film is having its world premiere this month at the Sundance Film Festival, with a wide release (hopefully) later this year.

More Info: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd.


148

1987: When the Day Comes (Dir. Jang Joon-hwan)

I always like to include at least one Asian film on this list, and the movie on my radar this year is 1987: When the Day Comes, which is a historical drama based on true events surrounding South Korea’s democracy movement in 1987. This is the year that authorities attempted to cover up the murder of a student named Park Jong-chul, who was tortured to death by the military regime. South Korea have had a very successful string of historical films recently, with the likes of The Age of Shadows and A Taxi Driver, and I’m hoping 1987 shapes up to be as rousing and engaging. It released in South Korea two weeks ago, and has a limited release in the U.S. starting today. Here’s the trailer.

More Info: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd.


149

I Think We’re Alone Now (Dir. Reed Morano)

The second film on this list to feature Elle Fanning is set after an apocalypse, where two people find themselves to be unlikely companions. Peter Dinklage plays a recluse seemingly against Fanning’s quirky youthful character. Dinklage is, of course, most well known for Game of Thrones these days, but has been an actor for a very long time, and had a brilliant role as a withdrawn character in the 2003 film The Station Agent, which I recommend so much. I’m really excited to see him in another such role. Like Wildlife, I Think We’re Alone Now is having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month, with a wider released hopefully forming sometime in the not too distant future.

More Info: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd.


147

Vox Lux (Dir. Brady Corbet)

The last film on my list is a bit of a wild card — not too much has been revealed about Vox Lux, but it’s a drama which follows a character named Celeste, who rises from the ashes of a major national tragedy to become a pop super star. It’s set across fifteen years, and will include original music by Sia, with Rooney Mara and Jude Law in central roles. I am a big fan of both Mara and Law, and am always eager to see their new work. However, news surrounding Vox Lux has been very limited since it reportedly began shooting early last year. I’m hoping the film will materialise at some point in the coming months.

More Info: IMDb, VarietyLetterboxd.


Thank you very much for reading. Since you’re here, why not check out my picks for the top ten movies of 2017. At the end, I list even more films I’m looking forward to this year. As always, check in again for more thoughts and information on film, and swing by my letterboxd profile to see what I’m watching.

Upcoming 2015 Movies (You May Have Missed)

2015 looks set to be a stunning year for film, but with many talking about Star Wars and the various other upcoming blockbusters, some features have begun to slip under the radar. Here are some upcoming films (released in the UK and US this year) you may have missed (and should definitely look out for). For all the movies I haven’t included, please swing by Hypersonic55, who has compiled a lovely, lengthy list of the features to look out for this year.


17

Silence ~ “Two Jesuit priests, Sebastiao Rodrigues and Francis Garrpe, travel to seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. Eventually, the priests separate and Rodrigues travels the countryside, wondering why God remains silent while His children suffer.”

Originally planned to be Martin Scorsese‘s next project following Shutter Island, production for Silence was delayed numerous times, with many believing the director would turn tail and direct The Irishman instead. Silence is clearly close to Scorsese’s heart, however, with filming set to begin in Taiwan in February, with The Guardian reporting a late 2015 release and Movie Insider listing November 2015. Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver are among the main cast, with Tadanobu Asano also rumoured to appear. The screenplay is based on Shusaku Endo’s acclaimed novel of the same name, which was adapted to film (beautifully so) by Masahiro Shinoda in 1971.


15

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter ~ “A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried and lost in a fictional film, is in fact, real. With a crudely drawn treasure map and limited preparation, she escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune.”

Based on an urban legend about a Japanese woman who purportedly died searching in vain for the money buried in the Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo, Kumiko looks absolutely stunning. The trailer displays some gorgeous cinematography and communicates an incredibly eerie tone. The film is directed by David Zellner and stars Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (whom you may have seen more recently in Pacific Rim); who I believe will excel as the lonesome Kumiko. Her talent is a cut above the rest and if the trailer is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is out in the UK on February 20th and the US on March 18th.


14

Ex Machina ~ “Caleb, a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.”

This debut feature from Alex Garland—the writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Never Let Me Go—stars Domhnall Gleeson (of Harry Potter and About Time fame) and Oscar Isaac (who is set to appear as Apocalypse in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse), with Swedish actress Alicia Vikander as the android Ava. Released in the UK on January 21st and the US on April 10th, the film looks set to stun as the years first sci-fi thriller. Check out the trailer here.


16

Southpaw ~ “As tragedy strikes him in his prime, famed boxer Billy Hope begins to fall into a great depression. Once the decision regarding the custody of his daughter is under question, Billy decides to get his life back on track by getting back into the ring. “

Jake Gyllenhaal has undergone a complete transformation for the lead in Southpaw, utterly different in build to his Lou Bloom character in 2014’s Nightcrawler. There’s little information on the film, but it’s directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris and Forest Whitaker, alongside Gyllenhaal. The film’s title is a term used to describe a left-handed boxer and, interestingly, it was to feature Eminem in the lead role before the script went through numerous changes and Gyllenhaal was eventually cast. Unfortunately, there’s no release information yet, but with post-production underway, we’re likely to see the film sometime this year.


18

Life in a Fishbowl ~ “Three tales of three people who have a lasting effect on one another. A young writer whose career is skyrocketing finds himself in a stormy marriage. He divorces his wife after the death of their daughter, shuts himself from the outside world and drinks himself to death over a twenty-year period. At the same time, a young single mom moonlights as a prostitute to make ends meet and a former soccer star is recruited into the snake pit of international banking and loses touch with his family.

Life in a Fishbowl was a huge hit in its native Iceland last year, even out performing Hollywood blockbusters. It was the country’s entrant to the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category, and while it didn’t make the cut, it’s definitely one to look out for this year. Described as “strongly acted and sensitively directed” by Variety and with a score by the ever wonderful Olafur Arnalds, Life in a Fishbowl is directed by Baldvin Zophoníasson and stars Thor Kristjansson, Thorsteinn Bachman and Hera Hilmar in the principle roles, the latter of whom Western audiences may have seen in Da Vinci’s Demons. Here’s the trailer and here’s hoping the distributors don’t take too long sharing this hidden gem with the rest of the world.

2015 Oscar Snubs

Nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards are out and—as is usually the case this time of the year—everybody is rife with frustration and confusion over many well-deserving talents and films being snubbed for contention of the prestigious award. Here are my top Oscar snubs this year.


13

The Lego Movie
Snubbed of: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Perhaps the biggest upset going by social media. The Lego Movie was one of the front-runners for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and so widespread among speculation; to see it omitted is an utter travesty. Variety have compiled a list of why they believe it was snubbed, but at least it was recognised by the Golden Globes and at the BAFTAs.


12

Lana Del Rey
Snubbed of: Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

There are numerous options for what is a fairly open race for Best Original Song this year, but Lana Del Rey’s ‘Big Eyes’ was—what I and apparently many others believed to be—one of the safer bets. But at least Lana—who has wanted to break into the movie industry for some time—garnered her first Golden Globe nomination. It’s a shame to see her snubbed, but with Young and Beautiful, Once Upon a Dream and now both Big Eyes and Come Fly With Me already under her belt, I’m sure Lana’s time will come.


11

Jake Gyllenhaal
Snubbed of: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Personally, my most shocking snub. Jake Gyllenhaal was a sure bet for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at least until now. Bradley Cooper has arguably taken his place in quite an upset, considering—unlike Gyllenhaal—Cooper wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA or Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance. Perhaps Gyllenhaal will acquire his second nomination for Southpaw next year; the man is a powerhouse of an actor who completely commits himself to his work. A complete farce he wasn’t recognised by the Academy this year.


9

Gone Girl
Snubbed of: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Many speculators considered Gone Girl as one of the front-runners for Best Adapted Screenplay; this snub comes as a huge surprise, especially considering Whiplash is up for the award when it isn’t even an adapted screenplay (it was conceived as an original screenplay and was then made as a short film before the director got funding for the feature-length version — the BAFTAs got it right; they nominated it for Best Original Screenplay). It doesn’t end there, however. Gone Girl has received only a single nomination (Best Actress in a Leading Role — much deserved for Rosamund Pike), but is such a superb piece of film-making that it’s shocking to see it absent from other categories, such as Best Achievement in Directing and Best Original Score. The cinematography was stunning, too. It wouldn’t even be out of place in the Best Picture category.


10

Nightcrawler
Snubbed of: Best Motion Picture of the Year

If Jake Gyllenhaal’s snub wasn’t enough, Nightcrawler is another film with just a single nomination (Best Original Screenplay). Many considered Nightcrawler a fairly certain contender for Best Picture, but it’s sadly absent. At least the film garnered four BAFTA nominations, but to my surprise, the starkly beautiful, dead of the night cinematography has gone by unnoticed on the awards circuit. Was there anyone else who adored the aesthetics of Nightcrawler?


Those are my shocking absentees for this year, but it isn’t all bad. I’m glad to see Eddie Redmayne up for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Rosamund Pike up for Best Actress. It’s also nice to see Whiplash nominated for Best Picture and fantastic that Jóhann Jóhannsson looks set to dominate the Best Original Score category. The Academy Awards will take place on February 22nd — I wonder if there will be any more shockers then. Do you have any snubs you’re particularly miffed about? Let me know!