The most eagerly anticipated films of 2019

It’s a relief that in a year of such turmoil we could turn to the safety of the cinema to provide us with some much-needed solace.

Heroes like The Nun or Sherlock Gnomes who reminded us that actually some things are worse than life and we should appreciate what makes reality so damn great. Similar such titles are inevitably heading towards wallets near you over the coming year but we can’t forget the extensive list of great cinema heading to the online, small or silver screen too.

From TV documentaries to auteur cinema to one film which might not even come out this year at all. Here’s a list of the most interesting films soon to be gracing cinemas in the UK 2019:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino’s career is plugged full with turbulence as well as vast periods of happy-sailing. From his cultural boom of Pulp Fiction in 1994 plastering itself onto the bedroom walls of students everywhere, he hasn’t been able to find the same success in recent years.

Django, Inglourious Basterds and The Hateful Eight, despite having found great awards success, have failed to capture a similar sense of style and joy among his loyal fanbase. Following a common theme in this list however and a terrifying ensemble cast of actors look to return the director to the forefront of the game, a list including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino and Margot Robbie. It’s a tale of 1960’s Hollywood, a failed TV star, his action stunt double and their attempted rise to fame. It’s on a plate Tarantino, work your magic.

Release Date: 26th July 2019.

63 UP

Director: Michael Apted.

The periodical seven-year documentary described by the late Roger Ebert as ‘an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium’, earned it the esteemed place on the list of his top-10 films of all time. The 9th episode of the long-running series is due to be released sometime in the coming months and will continue the documentation of the lives of the 14 school children who started the experiment in 1964, now aged 63. It’s perhaps the purest form of cinema verite there is.

No artifice. No flashy edits. It’s life presented as such, following the participants’ success’, failures and heart-aches. In 2013, one of the participants, Lynn, passed away after a short illness. This episode will tie up her story.

Release date: Spring 2019. 

Michael Apted, the man behind the Up Series.

About Endlessness

Director: Roy Andersson.

Since completing his ‘life trilogy’ back in 2014, Roy Andersson has been in hiding, working on the production of both his final and grandest film yet. It’s IMDB description is as sprawling and surreal as you’d expect from Andersson, promising a vast vignette of several bizarre stories and chance encounters, linked not by story but by the idea of humanity itself. Whilst the life trilogy is complete, it is apparent that ‘About Endlessness’ will address similar themes, hopefully with the same wit and creativity of his previous works.

Release date: Late 2019 (we hope).

First look at ‘About Endless’.

The Beach Bum

Director: Harmony Korine.

In about 30 years if we’re all still alive by then, we can tell our children that we lived through the McConaissance, the actors gravitation into the forefront of cinema after years of rom-com cash-ins.

From Harmony Korine, director of the cult classic ‘Gummo’ as well as 2012’s foray into celebrity culture ‘Spring Breakers’, the film follows Moondog (McConaughey), a rebellious outcast and his life as a stoner philosopher and poet. With both Zach Efron and Snoop Lion (dog) in supporting roles, this promises to be a debaucherous ride into the mind of Korine and another tick in the versatility box for McConaughey.

Release Date: Late 2019.

Border

Director: John Ajvide Lindqvist

Winner of the ‘Un Certain Regard’ award at Cannes last year, this is a Swedish superhero film like no other, the perfect companion piece to the blockbusting ‘Avengers’.

From the writer of ‘Let the right one in’, ‘Border’ follows a female customs officer who can smell fear, and whose life is changed forever after meeting a traveller with strange secrets. It sounds bizarre, and judging by both the trailer and reactions to early screenings, it very much is, opting to tell the story of disjointed love as oppose to ass-kicking action.

Release Date: 8th March 2019.

The Dead Don’t Die

Director: Jim Jarmusch.

It’s a great year for Auteurs. We’ve already discussed Roy Andersson and Harmony Korine, with Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese yet to come, and here we are with Jim Jarmusch.

This is a zombie comedy starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton from the mind that brought you ‘Dead Man’, ‘Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai’ and ‘Broken Flowers’…Even if it’s bad, it’s bound to be bad in the most interesting way possible.

Release date: Late 2019.

Eighth Grade

Director: Bo Burnham.

Where ‘Blumhouse Pictures’ have dominated the horror market, A24 has dominated the world of Independent film, or have at least made indie films accessible to a wider audience. From pioneering American comic Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade, follows the story of a young girl trying to find her way in the modern world of social media and popularity before her leap into the jungle of high-school.

Making a huge splash at Sundance last year, it has since garnered huge critical acclaim across the pond and looks to be an important statement on the maze of social media and its many controversies.

Release Date: 26th April 2019.

Greed

Director: Michael Winterbottom.

Talent both in front and behind the camera from hit British comedy ‘The Trip’ return in Michael Winterbottom’s ‘Greed’, a tale of wealth and extravagance during a 60th birthday party on a Greek island.

With Steve Coogan in the title role as an abhorrent millionaire, as well as David Mitchell and Stephen Fry in supporting roles, here’s hoping ‘Greed’ can channel the very best of British comedy of which have been few and far between as of late.

Release date: Late 2019.

First look at Steve Coogan in Greed.

The Irishman

Director: Martin Scorsese.

Netflix looks to start dominating the world of cinema in their first huge film acquisition, Martin Scorsese’s reunion with crime, and his immoral rat-pack. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino all return in the story of the killing of Jimmy Hoffa.

This is a dream of godly proportions for lovers of all things Scorsese, the original crime-obsessed auteur is back.

Release Date: Late 2019.

The Joker

Director: Todd Phillips.

It’s no secret that D.C has been struggling to keep up with their noisy neighbours who seem to be breaking record after record. Even in times of apparent success, in Aquaman and Wonder Woman, they still can’t seem to match both the quality and public excitement of a new Marvel release. This is looking like their best idea yet, however.

A complete 180 on their previous material. A stand-alone picture concerning their most infamous villain, played by a Joaquin Phoenix at the height of his career and helmed by comedy safe-hands Todd Phillips. Early footage has looked promising and seems to be dialling back the CGI marine-life and squishy monsters for a more mature look at the villain which we hope will re-energise the character.

Release Date: 4th October 2019.

Jojo Rabbit

Director: Taika Waititi.

Since bringing us one of the most complete and entertaining superhero films yet in Thor Ragnarok, Taika Waititi returns to his roots in surreal comedy in Jojo Rabbit.

Written and directed by himself, Waititi plays the imaginary friend of an American boy during WW2, that imaginary friend, of course, being Adolf Hitler. Quickly becoming an auteur of quirky proportions akin to Wes Anderson, this looks like a mix of 1950’s Harvey and a lighter version of Downfall (2004) if there ever was such a thing.

Release Date: Late 2019.

Knives Out

Director: Rian Johnson.

Was the Last Jedi a bad film? Whatever your opinion, the opinion of the world (if the world wide web is your world) is that it was the worst piece of shit in the history of cinema. Either way, Rian Johnson has made the wise decision to take a step back from passionate fan-bases for a while and return to his crime story roots.

Daniel Craig, Toni Collette and Michael Shannon make up a stellar cast ready to unravel a classic ‘whodunit’ murder mystery. That’s all we’ve got as of yet. But if Brick and Looper are anything to go by, Johnson clearly knows his way around a stylised, complex story. This should be a return to form.

Release Date: 29th November 2019.

“Pardon me, did I hear that correctly”

Whilst there’s no doubt that the aforementioned films will at least all be interesting in some way or another. The next film is a complete anomaly. A mystery of filmmaking physics.

Starring Eastenders star Himesh Patel in a leading role alongside Ed Sheeran (who plays himself), the currently untitled film follows a struggling musician who discovers he’s the only one to remember ‘The Beatles’ before Sheeran takes him on tour.

In all honesty, this one sounds pretty bizarre. Especially when considering Danny Boyle left the newest Bond film to take the lead as director. Series questions about who approved this films’ go-ahead must arise upon the knowledge that the screenplay is written by Richard Curtis of ‘Love Actually’ fame.

What is this film? I’m not sure anyone who’s making it even really knows. It sounds like a comedy short from 2004’s comic relief that ends with a musical sequence whilst running around Albert Square. But who knows. Danny Boyle’s made many fantastic films which seem to manage surreal stories with aplomb and even Richard Curtis has written some gold in the past including, ‘Bean’, ‘Blackadder’ and ‘Four Weddings and Funeral’. This could be a film for the ages. Something to rival the promise of the previously mentioned twelve films. And if it does, we’re in for a wild ride in 2019.

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