This year was going to be great for movies
Going to the cinema is one of life's small pleasures, that I never realised how much I enjoyed until it was gone. Much like everything else in Covid world, you really get to appreciate the little freedoms that are on pause right now, and how much you'll savour them once they return.
The one solace from this year of cancelled new movies and TV shows, is that at least we'll never be stuck for something to watch in 2021. There are stacks of great titles that were pending release in 2020, and unfortunately, many of them have been pushed to next year, or even indefinitely. Here is an ode to some of my favourites, and why they're still firmly at the top of my list.
Promising Young Woman (release date: tbc)
I really feel that if Promising Young Woman had have been available to us in April as planned, we all would have had a much better time of it in lockdown. This movie was by far my most anticipated release of the year, and its indefinite postponement has me lamenting the pop culture event of 2020 that never was. Carey Mulligan plays Cassie, the titular bright young thing whose future is derailed after a mystery event while at college. Cassie lives a double life by night, posing as a drunk and vulnerable party-goer to conduct a social experiment on how nice those 'nice guys' really are. If the trailer wasn't intriguing enough, the director Emerald Fennell is the visionary behind Killing Eve. Consider me sold.
Candyman (release date: tbc, 2021)
The third release from genius horror filmmaker Jordan Peele is none other than a remake (or sequel, if you will) of the classic 90s flick Candyman. The film is set in the Cabrini Green neighbourhood of Chicago, which has been plagued by urban legends of the mysterious Candyman for years. Artist Anthony McCoy (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) moves to the area, which has been gentrified beyond recognition since the 90s, and begins to investigate the horrors of what happened to those who said Candyman's name three times.
The French Dispatch (release date: October 16, 2020)
It's hard to know if The French Dispatch is really a Wes Anderson movie or a parody of a Wes Anderson movie, but nonetheless, I'm excited to find out. In typical Anderson-style, the film combines multiple storylines, a vast cast of huge names, and all the whimsy and colours we've been missing in 2020.
The Many Saints of Newark (release date: March 12, 2021)
There's, unfortunately, no trailer available just yet for this hotly anticipated mob movie, but we just know it's going to be good. Essential for fans of The Sopranos, the movie is a prequel to the iconic series, set in the 1960s, looking at the formative years of mob boss Tony Soprano. James Gandolfini's legendary role will be reprised by none other than his son, Michael Gandolfini, which will add some real soul to the role.
A Quiet Place Part II (release date: tbc, 2021)
One of the first film casualties of the pandemic, A Quiet Place Part II was due to be released in April, but we'll have to wait until X to see it on the big screen. Following from the first excellent movie, the Abbott family must now move on from the farm and continue their fight for survival in silence - but the monsters aren't the only dangers that lie in the outside world. It looks like this edition will give us more information about how the monsters came to be, and will feature the backstory of the Abbotts before they had to fight for their lives.
In the Heights (release date: June 18, 2021)
A modern musical, set in New York, from the mastermind behind Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda? Yes, yes, yes again. Set in Washington Heights, this kaleidoscopic delight focuses on the tight-knit community of dreamers, with bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) at its heart. Think Rent meets West Side Story meets Fame - it's not all show tunes and ballads here, there's a healthy mix of rap, pop and hip hop too.
Still being released
Nomadland (release date: New Year's Day, 2021)
An early contender for Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars (which would see Chloé Zhao become the first female director of colour to win the award), Nomadland is based on the 2017 book of the same name and looks like a grown-up, gritty Wild. Frances McDormand plays Fern, a woman who has lost everything in the recession and decides to leave her life behind in search of meaning as a modern-day nomad across America.
Dune (release date: December 18)
Sci-fi lovers (and Timotheé Chalamet lovers, we see you), this one's for you. A remake of the 1984 cult classic, the film, which has war, betrayal, love, and giant sand worms, is directed by visionary Denis Villeneuve, who gifted us Blade Runner 2049.
West Side Story (release date: December 18)
Still no trailer for this wildly anticipated remake, but with Steven Spielberg directing, Ansel Elgort as Tony, and Rita Moreno returning to star, we have no doubt this will be Oscar-worthy.