Monday 26 August 2019

From 'Gone Girl' to 'Interstellar' - the top 10 films to see before Christmas

Matthew McConnaughey in Interstellar
Matthew McConnaughey in Interstellar
Serena stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper
Ben Affleck plays a man whose wife is missing in Gone Girl
Jack Reynor and Will Poulter in Gerard Barrett's 'Glassland'
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Actress Megan Fox (R) and actor Alan Ritchson as Ninja Turtle Raphael are seen filming on location for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on May 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/WireImage)
Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.
James Franco drives a tank through North Korea in 'The Interview'
Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in The Drop
The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber To
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Apologies for pointing it out, but there are just 100 days until Christmas, the evenings are getting darker earlier, and the temperatures are slowly dropping... but before you lamp us for being the harbinger of bad news, bear in mind it's also the beginning of cinema season proper.

Yes, we've been happily-if-not-entirely-satisfyingly gorging on summer blockbusters since June, but with the Oscars and their slightly less stuffy cousins, the Golden Globes (and let's not forget the BAFTAs and the IFATAs), looming, it's the time of year when serious flimmakers clamour for attention. 

So, if you're wondering what's on the horizon we've compiled a list of the top ten flicks to add to your cinema calendar (what do you mean you don't have one?) between now and January 1.  Don't worry, it's not entirely worthy (we have TMNT in there), but it's as good a place as any to start...

 

Serena (September 19)

Director: Susanne Bier

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

We know Cooper and Lawrence have amazing chemistry from their turns together in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle and chemistry is of paramount importance in this adaptation of Ron Rash’s novel.  Set in 1930s North Carolina it tells the twisted love story of newlyweds whose relationship starts to crumble in the face of infertility.  A gripping, almost unbearably tense book.  Let’s hope Bier does it justice.

 

Glassland (September 26)

Director: Gerard Barrett

Starring: Jack Reynor, Will Poulter

Glassland was joint winner of Best Film (with Patrick's Day) at the Galway Film Fleadh this year and is the second feature from Gerard Barrett who previously helmed the critically acclaimed Pilgrim Hill.  It ‘s a crime drama telling the story of a young Dublin taxi driver on the fringes of the criminal underworld and stars man-of-the-moment Jack Reynor and the massively talented young British actor Will Poulter.  The Oscar-nominated and eminently watchable Toni Collette also stars, with Northern Irish actor Michael Smiley.   Sold.

 

Gone Girl (October 3)

Director: David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

Based on the best-selling thriller by Gillian Flynn, the film revolves around the disappearance of a young woman and the question of whether or not her husband is implicated.  Although the plot reportedly veers significantly from the book, that may not be an entirely bad thing since even fans of the book will admit that the ending could have been improved upon.  Let’s hope Fincher pushes it to its full potential.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles 3D (October 17)

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner

Purely one for kids, and 90s kids.  The former will undoubtedly enjoy the SFX and action, whilst the latter will be happy to indulge in a little childhood nostalgia.  Early reviews are horrendous and it looks beyond ridiculous, but then it is a live action movie about humanoid turtles who live in the sewers of New York and eat pizza.  Possibly so bad it’s good?

 

Fury (October 24)

Director: David Ayer

Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBoeuf, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman

David Ayer is the writer/director who brought us End of Watch.  Here he’s helming a WWII flick starring Brad Pitt as ‘Wardaddy’, the jarhead commander of a renegade group of soldiers manning a Sherman tank on a ‘deadly mission behind enemy lines’.  Ayer had said it has ‘grown to be a lot more emotional’ than he expected so there may well be some depth amongst all the action. 

 

The Interview (October 29)

Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen

Development of this film has been eventful which is hardly surprising given the subject matter – it centres on TV host Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer (Rogen), who are enlisted by the CIA for the dangerous mission of assassinating Kim Jong Un.  In the trailer they joke that he can "speak to dolphins" but "not urinate or defecate".  Needless to say North Korea is not impressed and Sony has reportedly made changes given a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in state media that if the US government does not block the release of the movie, it would be considered an "act of war".  The film is being released on October 29th.  Aside from all that, Goldberg and Rogen are the team behind Superbad, Pineapple Express, and This is the End.  If you like their work, you’ll probably love this.

 

Interstellar (November 7)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring:  Matthew McConnaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Michael Caine

A stellar ensemble cast does not a great movie make, but when your director is Christopher Nolan you can be pretty sure the material will give them plenty to chew on.  The Inception director ventures into space with Interstellar, which focuses on a group of explorers who use a newly discovered wormhole to travel to travel vast distances in an attempt to find an alternate planet for humankind to inhabit.  We think.  The third trailer featured here doesn’t give much away, but it’s jaw-droppingly stunning, and powerful enough to evoke a tear or two.   Roll on November 7.

 

The Drop (November 14)

Director: Michaël R. Roskam

Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace

On paper The Drop reads like your average crime drama  - it follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangster in Brooklin bars to the point where he finds himself at the centre of a botched robbery.  So far, so derivative, but it’s helmed by Oscar-nominated Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam based on a screenplay by Dennis Lehane (the man behind Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone) and Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace star. 

 

The Imitation Game (Novmeber 14)

Director: Morten Tyldum

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

The wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this WWII drama about British code-breaker Alan Turing which has just won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Cumberbatch has been tipped for an Oscar for his performance as the mathematical genius who struggles under the pressure of hiding his sexuality at a time when homosexuality was criminalized.  Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode also star in the film directed by Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum.  Tyldum directed Headhunters, which has a more than respectable 92% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. 

 

Dumb and Dumber To (December 19)

Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bob Farrelly

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels

It has been twenty years since the original, a low-brow, relentlessly idiotic, but often hilarious outing which starred Jim Carrey at the height of his zaniness and Jeff Daniels in a role nobody expected him to take.  Despite its inherent lameness, the lads’ were having the craic and audiences did too.   Comedy has moved on significantlysince 1994 and the Farrelly brothers’ form hasn’t been great recently (Hall Pass anyone?) but they did write and direct There’s Soemthing About Mary so we know they have it in them to deliver.  As for Carrey and Daniels?  Well, Daniels said filming this one ‘felt funnier’ so hopes are (relatively) high.

Don't miss these releases out now:

The Film Show: 'A Most Wanted Man' and 'Pride' reviewed by George Byrne and Gavin Burke

A Most Wanted Man - 'an extraordinary performance, an intense and all-enveloping portrayal of a man'

A Most Wanted Man (15A) - 'Hoffman gives a masterclass in how to leave an audience open-mouthed with admiration' 

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