FILM 2020 50 MOVIES TO WATCH OUT FOR

An A-Z of the best biopics, doc­u­men­taries, an­i­ma­tions, fea­tures and award favourites ex­pected next year

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - DON­ALD CLARKE

What a cor­nu­copia of de­lights are com­ing our way in 2020. We of­fer a few warn­ings. One or two of th­ese may slide into 2021. On the up­side, the odd ex­cit­ing project marked down for that year – Paul Thomas An­der­son’s child-ac­tor drama for in­stance – could be fin­ished ear­lier than an­tic­i­pated. At any rate, we’re not in­clud­ing any­thing that doesn’t yet have a ti­tle. And, yes, Avatar 2 has been kicked back another 12 months.

Am­monite

This is the one with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ro­nan as ro­man­ti­cally en­tan­gled palaeon­tol­o­gists in Vic­to­rian Eng­land. Fran­cis Lee, di­rec­tor of God’s Own Coun­try, is be­hind the cam­era. Ex­pect late 2020

An­nette

We’re call­ing this our most an­tic­i­pated re­lease of 2020. The guts of a decade af­ter Holy Mo­tors, Leos Carax di­rects Adam Driver and Mar­ion Cotil­lard in a mu­si­cal scored by the mighty Sparks. Yes, Sparks! Ex­pect au­tumn 2020

Artemis Fowl

Mak­ing an ap­pear­ance for a sec­ond year run­ning. Ken­neth Branagh’s take on the Eoin Colfer fan­tasy was kicked from 2019 to 2020 as Dis­ney re­or­gan­ised in the wake of the Fox takeover. Opens May 29th

Beards

David Freyne, who scored a crit­i­cal hit with The Cured, gives us a com­edy – yes, it does con­cern peo­ple pre­tend­ing not to be gay – star­ring the bril­liant Fionn O’Shea and the no-less-bril­liant Lola Pet­ti­grew. Ex­pect mid-2020.

Benedetta

If we must have a film about a 17th-cen­tury nun over­come with erotic vi­sions then Paul Ver­ho­even is prob­a­bly the man to de­liver it. The pic­ture has been in pro­duc­tion for­ever, but should be ready for Cannes. Ex­pect late-2020

Bergman Is­land

With Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve be­came one of the era’s es­sen­tial au­teurs.

Her lat­est stars Mia Wasikowska and Vicky Krieps in a tale set on the is­land where the epony­mous di­rec­tor dreamt up his mas­ter­pieces. Ex­pect au­tumn 2020

Bill and Ted Face the Mu­sic

Long-de­layed se­quels are not al­ways a great idea, but the no­tion of a mid­dle-aged Bill and Ted is hi­lar­i­ous in it­self. Keanu Reeves and Alex Win­ter are re­united for time-travel larks. Opens Au­gust 21st

Birds of Prey: And the Fantab­u­lous Emancipati­on of One Har­ley Quinn

Sorry? What? I dozed off while you were run­ning through the ti­tle. Can Warner Brothers sal­vage some­thing from the mess that was Sui­cide Squad? Well, they have Margot Rob­bie back as Har­ley. So it’s pos­si­ble. Opens Fe­bru­ary 7th

Black Widow

Work­ers of the world, re­joice. The sum­mer starts on May Day this year. Scar­lett Jo­hans­son fi­nally gets the stand­alone Black Widow movie she de­serves. The su­perb Florence Pugh is in sup­port. Opens May 1st

Blonde

An­drew Do­minik’s de­voted fol­low­ing will be ea­ger to see if the Aus­tralian di­rec­tor can make sense of Joyce Carol Oates’s ad­mired vari­a­tion on Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe. Busy Ana de Ar­mas plays the icon. Ex­pect late-2020

Bomb­shell

Char­l­ize Theron plays Megyn Kelly in a study of sex­ual ha­rass­ment at Fox News. Ni­cole Kid­man and Margot Rob­bie are also on board to fur­ther jus­tify the loaded ti­tle. Opens Jan­uary 14th

Color Out of Space

Richard Stan­ley, long in ex­ile, re­turns with a ter­rific, psy­che­delic vari­a­tion on HP Love­craft’s story con­cern­ing an in­fes­ta­tion from be­yond the stars. Some clas­sic Ni­co­las Cage tree-chew­ing. Ends in gen­uinely spooky ter­ri­tory. Opens Fe­bru­ary 28th

Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee got him­self right back at the cen­tre of the con­ver­sa­tion with BlacKkKlan­s­man. Now he moves on to a drama con­cern­ing a group of Viet­nam vets who re­turn to the jun­gle. Chad­wick Bose­man stars. Ex­pect late-2020

Dune

Fol­low­ing the rel­a­tive fi­nan­cial bomb that was De­nis Vil­leneuve’s Blade Run­ner: 2049, Warner Brothers will be nervy about his take on Frank Her­bert’s epic fan­tasy. Ti­mothée Cha­la­met and Re­becca Fer­gu­son star. Opens De­cem­ber 18th

Fonzo

Oh, please may Tom Hardy be play­ing the Fonz! He’s not. He’s play­ing Al Capone in a film whose struc­ture sounds eerily close to that of The Ir­ish­man. Ex­pect late-sum­mer

The French Dis­patch

Wes An­der­son knows how to pack in the stars, but he ex­cels even him­self in this yarn about Amer­i­can jour­nal­ists in France. Saoirse Ro­nan, Ti­mothée Cha­la­met, Kate Winslet, Bill Mur­ray and many, many more. Ex­pect in the sum­mer

Ghost­busters: Af­ter­life

Yeah, well. If it hap­pened first in the 1980s you can count on it hap­pen­ing again (and again). Writ­ing off the lik­able 2016 distaff ver­sion, Jason Reit­man, son of orig­i­nal di­rec­tor Ivan, is, ap­par­ently, mak­ing this “for the fans”. Opens July 10th

Green Knight

Another one at the top of our mostan­tic­i­pated list. Barry Keoghan joins Dev Pa­tel and Ali­cia Vikan­der in David Low­ery’s retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Low­ery hasn’t made a bad film yet. Ex­pect late-2020

Her­self

Phyl­l­ida Lloyd – of Mamma Mia! renown – di­rects Clare Dunne’s script con­cern­ing a wo­man who, frus­trated by the Ir­ish hous­ing cri­sis, elects to build her own home. Se­lected to pre­miere at Sun­dance no less. Ex­pect late-2020

I’m Think­ing of End­ing Things

What a per­fect ti­tle for a Char­lie Kaufman film. The great pes­simist di­rects Jesse Plem­mons and Jessie Buck­ley in an adap­ta­tion of Ian Reid’s ap­pro­pri­ately strange novel. Ex­pect late-2020

In the Heights

If you were any hot­ter than Lin-Manuel Mi­randa you’d be on ac­tual fire. Jon M Chu’s adap­ta­tion of the Tony-win­ner that pre­ceded Hamilton stars An­thony Ramos and Les­lie Grace in a cel­e­bra­tion of Wash­ing­ton Heights. Opens June 26th

The In­vis­i­ble Man

Don’t worry. It’s noth­ing to do with those fright­ful Uni­ver­sal re­makes that The Mummy killed off a few years back. Elis­a­beth Moss stars in a take on the HG Wells tale that, thanks to a crack­ing trailer, is now “highly an­tic­i­pated”. Opens Fe­bru­ary 28th

Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright stum­bled with the in­dul­gent The World’s End, but was right back on form for Baby Driver. His lat­est is a spooky time-travel ro­mance that takes us to Lon­don in the 1960s. Opens Septem­ber 18th

The Light­house

Al­ready a cult hit af­ter a rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion at Cannes, Robert Eg­gers’s fol­low-up to The Witch casts Willem Dafoe and Robert Pat­tin­son as light­house keep­ers go­ing bonkers in black and white. Opens Jan­uary 31st

Mac­beth

Joel Coen leaves Ethan at home to di­rect an adap­ta­tion of Shake­speare’s most cin­e­matic tragedy. Den­zel Wash­ing­ton and Frances McDor­mand are older Mac­beths (if they won’t mind me say­ing so). Ex­cit­ing. Ex­pect late-2020

from re­li­able Pete Doc­ter – re­ally does con­cern in­ter­ac­tions be­tween dis­em­bod­ied souls. Colour us in­trigued. Opens June 19th

Tenet

The nerds will be sali­vat­ing as Christo­pher Nolan re­leases his time-trav­el­ling spy film with John David Wash­ing­ton, Robert Pat­tin­son, El­iz­a­beth De­bicki and (ob­vi­ously) Michael Caine. Why wouldn’t they? Sounds great. Opens July 17th

Top Gun: Mav­er­ick

Well, you know what this is. Tom Cruise is back as a mid­dle-aged ver­sion of the an­noy­ing cub who made avi­a­tor sun­glasses un­avoid­able dur­ing the Rea­gan era. Will be big in China. Opens July 17th

The True History of the Kelly Gang

Justin Kurzel’s take on the Peter Carey novel – fea­tur­ing Ge­orge MacKay as the epony­mous bushranger – got great re­views at Toronto and then dropped from the con­ver­sa­tion. Opens Fe­bru­ary 28th

Vi­var­ium

Jesse Eisen­berg and Imo­gen Poots find them­selves sur­rounded by end­less sub­ur­bia in a beau­ti­fully de­signed hor­ror that leans to­wards Twi­light Zone ter­ri­tory. Lor­can Fin­negan’s film pre­miered to great ac­claim at Crit­ics Week in Cannes. Opens March 23rd

West Side Story

Oh, lighten up. No­body ob­jects when they stage another pro­duc­tion of this in­de­struc­tible show on Broad­way or the West End. So, Steven Spiel­berg is al­lowed a go. Ansel El­gort is Tony. Opens De­cem­ber 18th

Wild­fire

Another holdover from last year’s list. The pro­duc­ers prom­ise that Cathy Brady’s much-an­tic­i­pated tale of border life will def­i­nitely be with us in 2020. Fea­tures a post­hu­mous ap­pear­ance by Nika McGuigan. Ex­pect sum­mer or au­tumn 2020

The Witches

Who do you fancy tack­ling the scary Roald Dahl story about a con­fer­ence of witches? Robert Ze­meckis sounds like he might be the man to di­rect. Anne Hath­away as the Grand High Witch? Well, that’s what you’ve got. Opens Oc­to­ber 9th

Won­der Wo­man1984

If it didn’t orig­i­nate in the 1980s then it’s likely to be set there. Patty Jenk­ins, di­rec­tor of the hit first flick, is back on board for more fem­i­nist-lite romps. Should be grand. Opens June 5th

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