Award season is still gaining momentum as we gear up for the Golden Globes this weekend, but already we're looking ahead to the next silver screen offerings of the next few months. There's plenty to get excited about from Margot Robbie taking on the bizarre true story of Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, the anticipated Black Panther, a follow up from acclaimed director of We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay and features from Wes Anderson and Director Alex Garland’s follow-up to the brilliant Ex Machina - it's going to be a good year for film.
Black Panther (February)
Given that this was the first mainstream comic-book superhero of African descent, one should never underestimate its cultural significance and the hype surrounding the release of the film. His is the first black character to get a stand-alone feature within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; T’Challa, king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Described as a powerful warrior with the mind of a strategic genius, the film also stars a ferocious Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan as an exiled prince gone bad.
Alex Garland's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Ex Machina has had critics excited since the first teaser trailer landed. Taking centre stage is a formidable female ensemble led by Natalie Portman, the always underrated Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gina Rodriguez. Annihilation (based on the best selling novel of the same name) follows the women as they embark on a bizarre exhibition to a place known only as Area X, where it quickly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary mission - but something else entirely.
I, Tonya (February)
Margot Robbie brings the right amount of grit and humour to the almost unbelievable true story of Tonya Harding, one of the best figure skaters in the world in the early 1990s. She came from humble, working-class beginnings but her athleticism and power on the ice meant she was in a league all her own (she was the first woman in the world to complete a triple axel in competition). She was always inconsistent however and an incident involving her key competitor Nancy Kerrigan getting attacked just as she was due to skate against Harding at a major national competition, saw her fall from grace.
Red Sparrow (March)
Hollywood golden girl Jennifer Lawrence plays a Russian prima ballerina turned lethal spy seductress in this thriller from filmmaker and Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. There's nothing light about this one, J-Law follows her dark turn in Mother! with a film that's equally Rated R and very sumptuous. If nothing else, it's bound to get people talking.
Isle of Dogs (March)
For his ninth feature, director Wes Anderson turns his talents once again to stop-motion with his anticipated animated feature Isle of Dogs. Set in a near-future Japan where, after an outbreak of dog attacks, all dogs have been banished to live on a garbage-filled island. Things change when a young boy ventures to the island in search of his own dog, coming across a pack of Alphas.
A Wrinkle in Time (March)
Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay and Disney come together to bring this big-budget Madeleine L’Engle adaptation to the silver screen, which follows a young girl searching for her lost father (Chris Pine, who we hope is as excellent as he was in Wonder Woman) in a visually stunning, mind-bending journey through the universe. Oprah, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon are amongst the star-studded cast. Family drama at it's very best.
You Were Never Really Here (April)
You Were Never Really Here is the much-hyped new feature from Lynne Ramsay, whom we haven't work from since her brilliant, We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2011. This one looks to be well worth the wait. Based on the book by Jonathan Ames, it stars Joaquin Phoenix returning to form in a leading role which sees him play a hitman with a heart who brings justice to a Manhattan sex-trafficking ring while trying to save a teenage girl. It all sounds like a much darker version of Leon, which in Ramsay's deft hands, should be extremely compelling.
Ocean's 8 (June)
The film is a continuation of the George Clooney-led franchise, with Sandra Bullock playing Danny Ocean's ex-con sister. Cate Blanchett, who will be the equivalent of Brad Pitt's Rusty, is her right-hand woman (what a pairing they will make) and the epic ensemble cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.The premise is that they will form a team to attempt the heist of the century at the Met Ball to frame a villainous gallery owner. We are hoping for the Anna Wintour cameo.
On Chesil Beach (June)
A young couple's in the 60s in Britain have their romance turned upside down when on their wedding night, a night of terrible sex changes everything. Based on the beautiful novel by Ian McEwan, the film stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle, who was featured as one of many soldiers in Christopher Nolan's war epic Dunkirk.