With 2015 well and truly over its time to look forward to the year to come. After 2015's record breaking box office year, thanks largely to The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, 2016 has a lot to live up to, so it's a good job there's some potential gems coming out. At the time of writing, we're currently in a semi-transitional phase of film releases. Due to the Oscar hype-train movies that are being released in early January feel like they were released months ago and many of them were indeed released in America back in December, but for this reason - and for the reason that writing a piece about the gems of 2016 only to focus on the Oscar flicks of January is little pointless - from my list I will be excluding the likes of The Hateful Eight (which I am VERY excited for), The Revenant, Creed, Spotlight and so on...
Youth (January 29th)
Winner of Best Picture at the 2015 European Film Awards, Youth is the latest movie from Paolo Sorrentino starring none other than the incredible Michael Caine alongside veterans Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda as well Rachel Weisz and the hugely popular Paul Dano. Following the success of The Great Beauty, Sorrentino takes us on a journey of the perils and existentialist problems that arise when you reach the end of a long and illustrious career. Focusing on the relationships surrounding Fred (Caine) a composer of the highest stature and his best friend Mick (Keitel) a successful movie director, Youth is sure to tug on the heart strings of the old and the young while passing comment on the realities of creating art.
Hail, Caesar! (February 26th)
On the 26th February the Coen Brothers bring us the third feature of their Numbskull Trilogy, "Hail, Caesar!" a satirical piece on Hollywood itself. Set in the 50's the film revolves around the events that unfold when the star, Baird Whitlock (Clooney), an upcoming movie is kidnapped and another actress falls pregnant. It is down to studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Brolin) to come in and save the day? With a knock-out cast including George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill, Hail, Caesar! is sure to be stupendously enjoyable.
Anomalisa (March 11th)
Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, the mind and imagination that brought us Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, Anomalisa is another movie on the theme of what it is to be human, which is so surprising considering it's a stop motion animation. You may question how an animation can be so representative of human interaction and emotional but those who have seen Grave of The Fireflies will attest to just how gut wrenchingly powerful they can be. With the wonderful voices of Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Thewlis, Anomalisa tells the story of how one man's banal, mundane life can be turned around by a chance occurrence.
La La Land (July 15th)
After Damien Chazelle stunned audiences with last years Whiplash, it would be difficult not to get excited about his next project, especially when you find out it stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling while reuniting the director with J K Simmons. La La Land is a modern day take on the Hollywood musical and focuses on two struggling professionals who find each other while fighting to succeed in their respective fields. With a seemingly endless stream of superhero action flicks La La Land should hopefully be a unusual change of pace.
(unfortunately no trailer as of yet)
Suicide Squad (August 5th)
Talking about the endless stream of superhero flicks we find ourselves talking about one of the most exciting films to come out this year! Suicide Squad is easily one of the most hyped movies of 2016 and for good reason. Starring none other that the majestic Margot Robbie alongside co-stars including Will Smith, Jared Leto as The Joker, rising star Cara Delavingne and directed by David Ayer Suicide Squad is set to blow our minds. When the US government decides to form a group out of the most nefarious super villains in the DC universe the Suicide Squad is born. The trailer, which premièred at this year's San Diego Comic Co was so amazingly, bone-tremblingly awesome that it very quickly found its way onto the web albeit in terrible quality forcing the studio to release the official version much earlier than anticipated. From the footage shown in the trailer and listening to interviews with the cast it looks like we might see some of the best performances in the DC universe since Heath Ledger played the Joker in The Dark Knight. Margot Robbie, as Harley Quinn, could very well steal the show and it is her performance I'm most looking forward to seeing this year. However, listening to the interviews from the other cast members, Jared Leto seems to have taken his method acting to the extreme with Will Smith even going on record as saying he never actually met Leto due to the actor never leaving character throughout the whole shooting process. Needless to say, but I'm excited!
Juste La Fin Du Monde (TBC)
Adapted from a French play by Jean-Luc Legarce, Juste la fin du monde, or Its only the end of the world, is the sixth feature film from the spectacularly brilliant Quebecois auteur Xavier Dolan. At the age of 25 he had already released his fifth feature a small little indie shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio and called Mommy. Mommy went on to compete in the Palme d'Or sharing the Jury Prize with none other than the legendary Jean-Luc Goddard. Now nearly two years on he has two other features in the pipeline and was the director of a little music video you might have seen, Adele's Hello. With star studded fame coming his way Juste le fin du monde will mark the last French language movie the director films before trying his hand at a English language production. Juste le fin, starring Lea Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Gaspard Ulliel and Marion Cotillard, tells the story of a writer who returns home to tell his family of his impending death. If theres only one thing Dolan does well (which there really isn't!) it is the art of telling a compelling character driven family drama. Need evidence? Go check out J'ai tu ma mere, Heartbeats or Mommy. Juste le fin du monde is set be a real treat. Get excited people!
Now we couldn't have a list of the most exciting movies to be released this year without having a few honourable mentions now could we! To be perfectly honest 2016 looks likely to blow 2015 out of the water with the quality of movies on show although I highly doubt it will live up to 2015 in terms of box office revenue but who really cares about that, except studios and financiers of course. In no particular order and in addition to the films excluded at the beginning of the post here are my list of honourable mentions to get excited about:
- Knight of Cups
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Assassins Creed
- The Legend of Tarzan
- The Jungle Book
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
- Everybody Wants Some
Let me know what films you're most excited for in 2016 via twitter @DanielCodd1994
*Written by Daniel Codd*