The British film industry has always been an exciting front for electrifying cinema, and 2015 looks like it’ll be no different. Here are the five British films we’re looking forward to most this year.
Monsters: Dark Continent
With Gareth Edwards shooting off to let Godzilla loose on the world and now readying himself for the first Star Wars standalone movie, his original property Monsters was left without anyone to direct a sequel. Luckily, fellow British director Tom Green – who’s directed TV shows such as Misfits and Blackout – stepped on board to helm the follow-up, which will be set 10 years after the original and be much more epic in scale. Those ‘Infected Zones’, in which the gigantic tentacled aliens roam, have now spread to the entire globe, while a military outfit are sent to check out trouble in the Middle East. It all sounds very much like social commentary, but not the boring kind; and if the original is anything to go by, this will be another unexpected hit for Britain.
Now this has the potential to be truly extraordinary. High-Rise has a lot going for it: it’s based on a JG Ballard novel; it’s directed by Ben Wheatley; it’s starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. Not only is Ballard one of the UK’s greatest writers, but Wheatley is proving himself the nation’s most exciting filmmaker, having been behind the terrifying Kill List, the hilarious Sightseers, and the psychedelic A Field in England – and a menacing-looking poster that Wheatley posted on his Twitter page:
HIGHRISE. shooting June. Starring Tom Hiddleston! pic.twitter.com/ue66t3rWbT
— mr_wheatley (@mr_wheatley) February 5, 2014
only fanned the flames of anticipation. Oh, and British acting prince Hiddleston in the lead role, in a story which will see a high-rise tower block become engulfed in chaos when its social structures are broken is just the icing on the cake.
Riding the wave of love for Sherlock Holmes, thanks in part to both Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the character in the current BBC TV series Sherlock and Robert Downey Jr’s in the recent Sherlock Holmes movies, this Brit flick will see none other than Ian McKellen don the deerstalker for a rendition of the beloved character in old age. Living in a remote cottage, having retired from the detective life, an unsolved case haunts Mr. Holmes – but the senior Conan Doyle creation has bouts of bad memory. The only thing standing in the way of this achieving greatness is the fact that Bill Condon, Mr. Holmes‘ director, made films in The Twilight Saga and also the misfire The Fifth Estate: not exactly critically acclaimed property. However, with a film that looks like it’ll keep things relatively simple, we’re certain this will get to the core of why everyone loves Sherlock Holmes in the first place.
You know the story: Scottish general murders the King; inherits the throne; sees ghosts; wife goes crazy. But Shakespeare’s tale of bloodshed, guilt and insanity will be given a boost by two of the 21st century’s biggest stars: Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. Not only that, but the film’s director, Justin Kurzel, is no stranger to cinematic darkness: Snowtown was possibly the most shocking, gruelling movie that was released in 2011. Hopefully some of that will bleed (ahem) into Macbeth. Oh, and did we mention one of Britain’s best stars, Paddy Considine, will play Banquo the ghost? Now that’s something to look forward to.
The Duke of Burgundy
Peter Strickland made a splash with 2012’s Berberian Sound Studio, which followed Toby Jones on his psychotic descent into a cinematic nightmare. Duke of Burgundy, similarly, is also a chamber piece, noting the mutual destruction of a pair of star-crossed lovers (who also happen to be butterfly enthusiasts) in what we can only assume takes places circa the 1960s. With reviews already praising its blend of intelligent sexuality, genuine emotional core and frighteningly experimental style, The Duke of Burgundy could well be one of the best – and craziest – films Britain has released not only this year, but for many years. Just remember your safe word…