After a slow start, 2017 delivered some tremendous films, from satisfying blockbusters like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and ‘Dunkirk’, to gorgeous independent gems like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and ‘The Florida Project’. 2018 is already looking like another year full of great releases, so here are some of the big films (I think) to be excited about in the next 12 months. But first...
THE AWARDS SEASON FILMS
There’s still a few films from the 2017 awards season to get Australian releases, taking advantage of their hopeful Oscar attention. These include ‘Lady Bird’, ‘The Post’, ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘The Shape of Water’, ‘A Fantastic Woman’, ‘The Square’
and ‘I, Tonya’. Check in with SWITCH as we cover these films and the awards race over the next few months.
Okay, what have we got ahead?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands further this year with ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Ant-Man and Wasp’, but thanks to the combination of director Ryan Coogler and the jaw-dropping cast (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya...) this is the Marvel film that has me the most pumped. Cooler pulled off a real coup with ‘Creed’
back in 2016, and with the toys of Marvel at his disposal, this promises to be a kick-ass spectacle to remember.
The news that Alex Garland’s follow-up to his instant classic ‘Ex Machina’
was going to Netlix internationally was crushing, mostly because it robs us the chance to see his remarkable visuals on the big screen. I’m trying to keep ignorant of what this one is about, but with Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Oscar Isaac involved, that’s all I need to get me on board.
'A WRINKLE IN TIME'
After her extraordinary work on ‘Selma’, director Ava Duvaney returns with this adaptation of the beloved children’s classic. Featuring an incredible cast including Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and introducing Storm Reid, everything we’ve seen from this film so far throws this high on any list of anticipated films of 2018.
'READY PLAYER ONE'
With ‘The Post’, this makes two Steven Spielberg films in less than six months. Set in a virtual reality world that pulls on pop culture, the trailer hasn’t gotten the most glowing reactions, but I don’t care. It’s Steven Spielberg.
I’m just throwing this one in because I’m really looking forward to this one, the story of teenager Simon navigating the process of coming out. The trailer was really charming, Nick Robinson has been on a verge of a real break-out part for many years, and I’m a sucker for these kinds of teen dramas, so here’s hoping it ticks all the right boxes and adds another great queer film after the renaissance we saw in 2017.
'ISLE OF DOGS'
Wes Anderson returns to the world of animation after his enormous success with ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
, with a story about a Japanese boy in search of his lost dog. I’m not a big Anderson fan, to be honest, but ‘Budapest’ was incredible, and the trailer does make this look like a far more soulful film than his obnoxiously clever ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’.
'LEAN ON PETE'
Any film from British director Andrew Haigh is an event, after his extraordinary debut ‘Weekend’
and his Oscar-nominated ’45 Years’. The premise of a young boy befriending a horse is tried-and-true, but great responses out of the festival circuit and Haigh’s tremendous skill have me champing at the bit for this one.
Sandra Bullock. Cate Blanchett. Sarah Paulson. Anne Hathaway. Helena Bonham Carter. Mindy Kaling. Awkwafina. Rihanna. Pulling a heist at the Met Gala. Do I need to say anymore? Let’s just hope they all cancel out the presence of James Corden.
'THE INCREDIBLES 2'
We’ve waited a long time for this, especially as Brad Bird’s original masterpiece was one of the few films begging for a sequel. Plot details are under lock and key for this one, but a rumour that Holly Hunter’s Elastigirl is the centre of this latest film is all we need to know.
If ‘La La Land’ wasn’t ambitious enough, Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle takes on the moment man walked on the moon with this biopic of Neil Armstrong. Reuniting with Ryan Gosling and many of his ‘La La Land’ team, along with the divine Claire Foy, this ambitious project is sure to be something special and very cinematic.
It’s been a long wait, but British director Steve McQueen (’12 Years A Slave’
) is returning, along with ‘Gone Girl’
screenwriter Gillian Flynn and maybe the best cast of the year (which is saying something). Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver and actual goddess Carrie Coon feature in this crime drama about four women forced to take extreme actions to pay off their deceased husbands’ debts. There’s nothing about this film that doesn’t have me dying to see it.
After leaving everyone shellshocked with her extraordinary debut ‘The Babadook’
, Australian director Jennifer Kent returns with this period drama following a young convict woman and her determination for revenge across the Australian landscape. This is easily the Australian film event of the year, purely because of Jennifer Kent.
Joel Edgerton got a lot of praise (and even a few awards) for his impressive directorial debut ‘The Gift’
, but has gone for even more powerful and controversial material for his follow-up, about a young man forced into church-led gay conversion therapy. Edgerton has assembled an extraordinary cast, including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Troye Sivan, ‘Mommy’
director Xavier Dolan and the increasingly impressive Oscar-nominee Lucas Hedges.
Following from acclaimed and beloved ‘Call Me By Your Name’
, director Luca Guadagnino has gone for a project that’s frankly insane - reimagining Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria’, one of the greatest horror films ever made. If it were anyone else, it would be folly, but Guadagnino’s eye is unlike any other, and with a cast that includes Chloë Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson, the original’s Jessica Harper and Tilda Swinton
as the head of a ballet school that might also be a coven of witches, this bonkers project might just be one of 2018’s most delectable delights.
I’m only scratching the surface of the year ahead, which also includes anticipated blockbuster like ‘Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom’ and Shane Black’s take on ‘The Predator’. The festival circuit is also just around the corner, where we’ll start to see many exciting films emerging, many of which will likely go on to be the best of the year. Make sure you’re following SWITCH on social media and subscribed to SWITCHCast, so we can keep you up to date with the triumphs and the duds in the year ahead - and don't forget to share the films you're most looking forward to with us!