There’s nothing like a trip to the cinema in the Autumn months. When we’re begrudgingly readjusting to a colder climate, the only way we seem to take any positives out of the fact it’s no longer sunny and the days now seem to pack in at around 5 or 6pm, is by referring to this newfound coldness as being “cosy”. It’s the word we use to make ourselves feel better about the fact we’re spending a Saturday afternoon indoors. At least we’re cosy, right?
Well, nothing screams cosy more so than a trip to the cinema. Just imagine – it’s bitterly cold outdoors, the leaves are brown and the sky is an alarming white, why not go and sit inside a warm, dark room and immerse yourself in the life of somebody else? And if you do – and let’s face it, you will – there is an abundance of remarkable films to pick from, as we approach the very beginning of the award’s season, where festival favourites from across the year are released in a bid to build up some momentum and buzz before next year’s Academy Awards. So, let’s pick our favourites…
Ridley Scott returns to outer space, this time bringing Andy Weir’s bestselling novel to the big screen, about a lone astronaut who is left to fend for himself on Mars. With an all-star cast consisting of Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor – it’s Matt Damon’s Watney who is left to draw upon his own ingenuity, and on such limited supplies. The same can’t be said for Scott, mind you – let’s just hope this big budget sci-fi lives up to expectation.
Where Shakespeare is concerned, you know that the story is of a certain, high standard. That much is a given. Where Fassbender is concerned, you also know that the performance will be of a certain, high standard. That too, is a given. Put the two together for Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth – and throw in a sprinkling of Marion Cotillard for good measure – and you’re surely on to a winner.
Talking of safe bets, that’s starting to be the case for English actress Emily Blunt, and yet again she doesn’t disappoint, in Denis Villeneuve’s intense thriller Sicario. Blunt plays an idealistic FBI agent who is enlisted on a seemingly impossible task, where she teams up with the mesmerising Alejandro, played by Benicio Del Toro and the hard-nosed, unconventional Matt, played by Josh Brolin. It’s a hard watch, but a rewarding one all the same.
Opening the London Film Festival this Autumn, you won’t have to wait long after its gala showing before this gets its nationwide release – as Sarah Gavron brings the immensely talented Abi Morgan’s screenplay to the big screen. Delving in to the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, Carey Mulligan is joined by Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2009 feature Dogtooth was met with great critical acclaim, and off the back of that there were many of us who wondered when he may assemble an all-star cast and tackle the English language for the first time – and it’s now upon us, as he presents The Lobster – starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly. Described as being a romantic comedy sci-fi – we didn’t expect anything less from this resourceful, innovative filmmaker.
Though never quite matching up to his exploits in Atonement, director Joe Wright is now making a film aimed at all members of the family – with his adaptation of Peter Pan. Newcomer Levi Miller takes on the titular role, but it’s the casting of Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Amanda Seyfried as Mary and Garrett Hedlund, making Hook, well, sort of sexy. This one is a risk for sure, but there’s no denying the talent in the ranks – from both behind the camera and in front of it – let’s just hope our venture to Neverland is a worthwhile one.
It’s Bond time. We’ve waited, patiently, since Sam Mendes’ excellent addition to the ever flourishing franchise with Skyfall, and now he’s back. Rumours may still be ongoing in regards to who is the next Bond, but for ow let’s focus our attentions on the man who currently is, as Daniel Craig is back as 007 – this time coming up against the feared adversary Franz Oberhauser, we’re about to see whether Christoph Waltz can out-sinister Javier Bardem. No easy task, but if anyone can do it…
An outside bet for a film to be amongst the awards this Winter, John Crowley’s Brooklyn is getting its theatrical release this Autumn, as a film set in 1950s Ireland and New York, and chronicling the long-distance love affair between two star crossed lovers, played by Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson.
Kill Your Friends
It’s taken a while, but Nicholas Hoult really is no longer ‘that kid from About a Boy’ and ‘Skins’. No, he’s proving himself to be one of the most accomplished leading men in the industry, and looks to be continuing in a fine manner with his latest turn, in Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends. Playing a high flying A&R man during the Britpop scene, Hoult is joined by James Corden and Ed Skrein, as we watch how he goes to the extreme, in a hunt for the next big, hit single.
We’ve all just chosen to completely ignore Ashton Kutcher’s take on Steve Jobs, and focus all of our energy on Danny Boyle’s interpretation, with Michael Fassbender – it’s that man again – taking on the role of the protagonist. The man who is the brains and vision behind the very machine you’re most likely to be watching this video on – is undoubtedly an intriguing one, and made all the more enticing when learning that the Fass is to be joined by Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
Usually we dread forthcoming sequels – but where The Hunger Games is concerned, we cannot wait to immerse ourselves in this world one final time, and join Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in her bid to take down the Capitol. The only bad thing about this film coming out so soon, is that it means we’re not far away from The Hunger Games franchise ending, and that’s pretty sad.
Reviews out of Toronto have generally been very positive for Scott Cooper’s biopic of the infamous Boston criminal Whitey Bulger. In what looks like it could be Johnny Depp’s best performance for a good long while – he’s joined Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch in this intense drama. If the trailer is anything to go by, we could be in for a real treat with this one.
Bridge of Spies
If there are two names that evoke a sense of comfortability and anticipation in cinema, they are Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks – and the pair reunite for Bridge of Spies. Hanks plays a lawyer recruited by the CIA during the Cold War – and you can’t be blamed for imagining that a sixth Oscar nomination for the venerable actor, is on the horizon.
Talking of having an Oscar on the horizon, Cate Blanchett could well be in line for her third victory, with her moving turn in the romantic drama Carol, directed by Todd Haynes. Set in 1950s New York, probably at around the same time our Irish lovers in Brooklyn were getting acquainted, a store clerk played by Rooney Mara falls for Blanchett’s Carol – with a career best performance from the talented performer.
The Good Dinosaur
Pixar have already illuminated the screen this year with the unforgettable Inside Out – and they’re back again The Good Dinosaur. Set in an alternate timeline where Earth wasn’t ever hit by an asteroid, and the dinosaurs never became extinct. It has all the makings of a classic animation, and the beginning of a career as a director for Peter Sohn, who had worked as an animator and storyboard artist on the likes of Up, WALL-E and Finding Nemo. Not the worst CV, anyway.