Film 2017: Coming to a big screen near you this year
This year’s releases include films from Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola and Paul Thomas Anderson, and new episodes of Trainspotting, Blade Runner and Star Wars
The auteurs are coming! Here’s what you need to know
Paul Thomas Anderson is shooting a movie about fashion in 1950s London, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Watch out, too, for new films from Kathryn Bigelow, Mark O’Rowe (Delinquent Season), Terrence Malick (Weightless), Michael Haneke (Happy End), Gillian Robespierre (Landline), John Cameron Mitchell (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri), Abdellatif Kechiche (Mektoub is Mektoub), James Marsh (The Mercy), Clio Barnard (Dark River), David Miçhod (War Machine), Jason Reitman (Tully), Paddy Considine (Journeyman), Duncan Jones (Mute), Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), and Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic.
Coming soon to billboards near you: a plethora of superheroes (John Wick Chapter 2 in February, Logan in March, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 in May, Wonder Woman in June, Spider-Man: Homecoming in July) and their many promotional tie-ins. Other potential big box-office hitters include Kong: Skull Island, War for the Planet of the Apes and The Lego Batman Movie. And there’s more. Much more.
(Dir: M Night Shyamalan. Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy)
Fans of Night’s underrated Unbreakable (2000) will love this rip-roaring thriller about a man with 23 different personalities who abducts three teenage girls.
THE DEATH OF STALIN
(Dir: Armando Iannucci. Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Timothy Dalton)
Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev? Michael Palin as Vyacheslav Molotov? Andrea Riseborough as Svetlana Stalin? In a film from the creator of The Thick of It, The Day Today and Veep? There is simply no possibility that this will be anything less than brilliant. None.
(Dir: Pablo Larraín. Starring: Natalie Portman)
In the days after JFK’s assassination, the president’s widow shows exactly how to First Lady. Portman exercises every acting muscle in this mesmerising drama.
(Dir: John Butler. Starring: Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott)
Two secondary school misfits learn to be true to themselves with a little help from Andrew Scott’s sympathetic English teacher.
(Dir: Taika Waititi. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo).
Will Marvel’s burliest hero and the director of What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople make for good bed-fellows? We’ll know come Halloween.
IT COMES AT NIGHT
(Dir: Trey Edward Shults. Starring: Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough)
Supernatural thriller starring Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, who made quite an impression with her work in Mad Max: Fury Road and American Honey. Shults, too, is a hot property after writing and directing the rapturously-received Krisha.
(Dir: Danny Boyle. Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle)
Renton returns to Scotland some 20 years later. Long-delayed sequels are a mixed bag. Will T2 be this year’s Mad Max: Fury Road or this year’s Blues Brothers 2000?
LEAN ON PETE
(Dir: Andrew Haigh. Starring Charlie Plummer)
A 15-year-old Oregon kid takes a job at a stables and bonds with a black stallion. The director of 45 Years and Weekend? The star of King Jack? A horsey? We’re so there.
LA LA LAND
(Dir: Damien Chazelle. Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone)
The Whiplash director’s sunny, romantic musical is an absolute delight. Charming turns by Stone and Gosling have made this the bookies’ favourite to take home Best Picture from the Academy Awards.
(Dir: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy)
Drama from the director of The Tribe about a jealous policeman who works as a watchman in the shuttered zone after the Chernobyl disaster: an area the size of the state of Luxembourg.
BLADE RUNNER 2049
(Dir: Denis Villeneuve. Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling)
Nobody in the world thought a Blade Runner sequel was a good idea. But then director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Prisoners, Sicario) signed on. Hmmm. All will be revealed in October.
(Dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev)
A warring couple in the middle of divorce proceedings must pull together and search for their 12-year-old son when he goes missing. From the director of Leviathan.
(Dir: Ruben Ostlund. Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West)
People gather in a city square where there are no rules in the latest intrigue from the director of Play and Force Majeure.
(Dir Darren Aronofsky. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson)
Uninvited guests disrupt a young couple’s life. That’s all that we know about the Black Swan director’s super-secret new film. Except for the cast. And that it was shot on 16mm.
(Dir: Barry Jenkins. Starring: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe)
We are officially obsessed with this poignant, beguiling LGBTQ coming-of-age drama set in the ’hood. You’ve never seen anything quite like it.
(Dir: Christopher Nolan. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Barry Keoghan, Cillian Murphy)
Watch out for Harry Styles’s big-screen debut in The Dark Knight director’s recreation of WW2’s Operation Dynamo.
STAR WARS EPISODE VIII
(Dir: Rian Johnson. Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson)
The Force Reawakens. Is it a spoiler to say that Rian Johnson wanted the cast to watch Letter Never Sent and that there are more scenes on Skellig Michael? Probably.
(Dir. Aoife McArdle. Starring Ann Skelly, Ryan Lincoln, Ryan McParland)
Omagh’s Aoife McCardle, who has made videos for U2 and James Vincent McMorrow, makes her feature debut with an imaginative left-field drama about an epileptic girl.
THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA
(Dir: Steven Spielberg. Starring: Oscar Isaac, Mark Rylance)
In 1858, a six-year-old Jewish boy in Bologna was forcibly removed from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ attempts to get him back become part of a larger fight billing: Papacy versus Italian unification.
(Dir: Bong Joon-ho. Starring: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano)
A young girl attempts to prevent a multinational from kidnapping her monster friend. Netflix has backed The Host’s brilliant director with a $50 million budget. Let’s hope he has better luck than he did with the stilted release of Snowpiercer.
(Dir: Todd Haynes. Starring: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Amy Hargreaves, Okaes Fegley)
Two parallel journeys made by a deaf boy in the 1970s and a deaf girl in the 1920s intertwine in a drama adapted from novelist Brian Selznick’s follow-up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
(Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos. Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Raffey Cassidy, Bill Camp, Alicia Silverstone)
The Farrell-Lanthimos dream team is back! A surgeon takes a sinister teenage boy under his wing, with disastrous consequences.
(Dir: Sofia Coppola. Starring: Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst)
During the Civil War, a Yankee hides at an all-girls boarding school in Mississippi. Thomas P Cullinan’s southern gothic A Painted Devil was previously adapted into a 1971 vehicle for Clint Eastwood. We suspect the director of Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides will make a very different film from the same material.
(Dir: Jeff Nichols. Starring: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga)
There is already Oscar buzz around this historical drama starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the 1967 US Supreme Court decision Loving v Virginia, a ruling which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.