5 films that everyone will talk about in 2020
In 2019, more than 10,000 films were released. In 2020 there will be no less than prime. In order not to get lost in such a variety of new products, critics’ reviews, articles and ratings on the Internet are needed.
A very different depiction of war comes in this World War One epic from Sam Mendes, the Oscar-winning director of American Beauty and the last two Bonds.
Based on a story told to Mendes by his grandfather, 1917 sees two young British soldiers on a race against time to avert a devastating assault on their comrades in arms.
Mendes’ bold conceit is to tell the story of their mission in what looks like (but isn’t) a seamless single shot – one that takes the viewer into trenches, across battlefields and even underwater.
George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman play the callow leads in a film whose starry ensemble also includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and Andrew Scott.
Earlier this year Mendes called the film, which he also co-wrote, “a big, experiential, immersive picture” that was “incredibly close to his heart”.
The sexual harassment scandal that led to the departure of Fox News’ Roger Ailes from the network he founded is recreated in Jay Roach’s highly topical latest.
Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie co-star as three of Ailes’ accusers, while John Lithgow plays Ailes.
Malcolm McDowell, meanwhile, delivers a deliciously deadpan cameo as media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The make-up used to transform Lithgow into Ailes and Theron into TV presenter Megyn Kelly has to be seen to be believed.
Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Aladdin and The Lion King all got the live-action remake treatment in 2019. In 2020, Disney’s 1998 animation Mulan will follow in their hoof/foot/paw-prints.
The film tells of a young woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her ailing father in China’s imperial army.
Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei plays the legendary warrior in Niki Caro’s film, which also stars Jason Scott Lee, Jet Li and Donnie Yen.
But don’t go in expecting to hear Eddie Murphy, as his wise-cracking dragon Mushu won’t be making a reappearance.
3. The Lighthouse
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are sent to mind a remote New England lighthouse in this bizarre psychological thriller.
Tormented by the elements, their isolation and a particularly irksome seagull, it’s not long before they find themselves at odds.
Director Robert Eggers won a host of fans with his 2015 horror film The Witch and will likely earn a lot more with this atmospheric, black-and-white follow-up.
Pattinson’s deranged performance, meanwhile, suggests he’ll bring more than matinee idol good looks to his upcoming role as The Batman.
4. Birds of Prey
The Caped Crusader won’t be returning until 2021. In his absence, one of DC Comics’ villains is making a comeback.
That would be Harley Quinn, last seen in 2016’s Suicide Squad alongside Jared Leto, aka the Joker before last.
Harley – Margot Robbie again – has moved on since that film and is now enjoying a “fantabulous emancipation” with the help of some other fantasy women.
Ewan McGregor plays the villain in Cathy Yan’s comedy thriller, the first American superhero film to be directed by an Asian woman.