Now that the new year has begun, let’s look forward to several of the most exciting films to be released in 2020:
No Time To Die (dir. Cary Fukunaga)
I’m not someone who particularly cares about James Bond films, but this is perhaps the Golden Era for Bond, and No Time To Die absolutely has the players to make what could be the best Bond film yet. We have the best Bond ever in Daniel Craig and the most creative Bond director ever in Fukunaga.
The great Linus Sandgren is shooting the thing and Phoebe Waller-Bridge helped write the script. The cast includes Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ana de Armas, and Ralph Fiennes. Are you ready for a James Bond film to be the best film of the year? Because that could be the reality in 2020.
Black Widow (dir. Cate Shortland)
This is not a film I care about, but it’ll be big. Scarlett Johansson had an incredible 2019 and, I think, is hitting a nice stride. It’ll be great to see a blockbuster directed by a woman and starring a woman. Beyond that, this is not a movie I see mattering beyond its first three weeks of release. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Barbie (dir. Greta Gerwig)
This will not be a children’s film or a stupid film. Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig are writing the script and Margot Robbie is the lead actor. The powerful Margot Robbie reading Noah Baubach lines is very promising.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (dir. Jason Reitman)
This might be a disaster. This might be a hit. I’m glad that Reitman is directing, Rudd is starring, and Bill Murray is (supposedly) involved. I hope the powers behind this film are treating the project with a lot of care. How cool would it be to have another Ghostbusters film that’s worth watching? I’ll cross my fingers.
Tenet (dir. Christopher Nolan)
We’re all lucky to be alive while Christopher Nolan is making films. He’s not as cerebral as, say, Stanley Kubrick, but he’s arguably as technically masterful as any filmmaker who has ever lived. The Tenet teasers have left me feeling uninspired. They’re incredibly well made and full of cute narrative and visual devices, but I don’t yet get what Nolan’s next big idea is. Does he have more ideas or is he ultimately an artist who is creatively limited?
I’d love to see Christopher Nolan make a film with soul. This doesn’t appear to be that film. It’ll look great and it’ll be fun, but I’m worried that Tenet is the film that reveals Nolan’s limitations.
The Many Saints of Newark (dir. Alan Taylor)
This is the prequel to HBO’s storied The Sopranos, a show that critics list as one of the two or three best television programs ever made. Newark is directed by Alan Taylor (who directed a dozen or so episodes of the show) and written by show creator David Chase.
My hunch, as a super Sopranos fan, is that the film will be focused on Christopher Moltisanti’s dad, Junior Soprano, and Tony’s dad, Johnny Boy Soprano, who is played by ScreenTime favorite Jon Bernthal. This one could be really great. Or it could be a disaster. And Bernthal seems like perfect casting. I only wish they’d had hired a better director.
Last Night in Soho (dir. Edgar Wright)
Edgar Wright just doesn’t make bad movies. I don’t think of him as a great director like so many do, but I think he’s one of the best comedy directors of his generation. If his last film, Baby Driver, is any indication of where he’s at with his craft, we should be excited for this one. Soho stars mostly unknowns and details are, well, unknown. But respect to Edgar Wright; we, the cinephiles of Earth, are hopeful that you can transcend clever comedy and find a new level.
Eternals (dir. Chloe Zhao)
Here’s the one. This should be special. It’s a big, complicated script that Hollywood was blown away by. It’s a director who has been declared a genius. It’s a cast (Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani) who believes in the director. I’m not sure how this one will turn out, but Zhao is amazing, and this one feels like it might be special.
Dune (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
This doesn’t really need to happen. We’ve had enough Dune already. But it’s 2020 and proven IP is what’s en vogue, and so we have a new look at the Dune story.
Luckily this has some great talent behind it, including director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049). Dune stars Timothy Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Stellen Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling, and ScreenTime favorite Josh Brolin. This is another one that could end up being in the Movie of the Year conversation.
The French Dispatch (dir. Wes Anderson)
Like him or not, Wes Anderson is in the middle of what will go down as one of the great careers for an American filmmaker. Wes is at his peak right now, and I think The French Dispatch stands a good chance of supplying one of the great American auteurs with his moment. I can’t wait to see this one. Don’t be surprised if The French Dispatch is a big player in next year’s Oscars debate.
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