Seven Films to Watch in 2018

Rosie Best takes us through the upcoming cinematic releases for 2018

Coco

UK release date: 19/01/2018

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Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar

Known for highly-detailed animation, Pixar’s latest offering promises audiences a refreshing new take on the studio’s classic emotional tear-jerkers.

Coco focuses on a young Mexican boy named Miguel, whose family forbids and fears music as a source of bad luck. But after entering a talent competition on the dia de los muertos, music-loving Miguel is transported away from his family to the land of the dead, where he undertakes (no pun intended) a search for his great great grandfather and musical icon, Ernesto de la Cruz.

Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco is the first animated film to feature an all-Latino cast and makes an important contribution to the ongoing diversification of Disney’s animated characters.

Ocean’s 8

UK release date: Summer 2018

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Photo credit: Warner Bros.

A timely, star-studded, all-female cast brings Ocean’s 8 – a long-awaited feminist reboot of the Ocean’s 11 series – to life for 2018 audiences. Somewhat disappointingly however, the film lacks a female director to mirror its cast and Gary Ross – director of the Hunger Games and Free State of Jones – takes on the role instead.

The movie centres on Debbie Ocean (yes, the sister of Danny Ocean) who is played by Sandra Bullock. Following in her big brother’s footsteps, Debbie teams up with best friend Lou (Cate Blanchett) and goes about recruiting six other women to help her carry out a high-risk, high-return jewellery theft at New York’s prestigious Met Gala. The target: famous actress, Daphne Klugar (Anne Hathaway).

With an array of cameos – Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams and Anna Wintour, to name a few –appearing alongside the cast, Ocean’s 8 is set to be a box office hit with comedic value and political importance in equal measure.

Lady Bird

UK release date: 16th February 2018

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Photo credit: A24

Saoirse Ronan plays the protagonist of this contemporary story of a teenage angst, ambition and regret.

Christine McPherson (Ronan) will be a relatable character for many viewers. Living in the suburbs of Sacramento, she has a difficult relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) – in the trailer we see her jump out of a moving car rather than endure a lecture and she even renames herself ‘Lady Bird’ in the ultimate rejection of her parents’ influence. Ronan’s character also struggles to navigate the world of romance and friendships within her Catholic high school and is eager to escape to university in the East Coast “where culture is” – a goal unsupported by her mother.

For writer and director Greta Gerwig – who boasts numerous writing and acting credits including Greenburg, Frances Ha, and Jackie – her movie must have had an eerie familiarity as, like Lady Bird, Gerwig also grew up in California, attended Catholic school, and went to college in New York. Perhaps there’s hope for Lady Bird after all.

A Wrinkle in Time

UK release date: 23rd March 2018

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Photo credit: Disney

Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 science fiction novel of the same name, A Wrinkle in Time is Disney’s newest live action movie.

The staggered release of several teasers, trailers and moving posters have offered us glimpses into the film’s Alice-in-Wonderland, Chronicles-of-Narnia-esque aesthetics but the film’s massive budget – over $100 million – promises to deliver stunning CGI effects to rival those of its predecessors.

The protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time is Meg Murry (Storm Reid) – a fourteen-year-old girl who lives with her scientist mother (Gugu Mbath-Raw) and her child-genius brother, Charles Wallace Murry (Deric McCabe). Following the disappearance of her father, a troubled Meg is visited by three fantastical women – Mrs Which (the inimitable Oprah Winfrey), Mrs Who (Mindy Khaling) and Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) – who send her on an inter-dimensional journey to find him.

Directed by Ava DuVernay with a screenplay by Frozen’s Jennifer Lee, A Wrinkle in Time joins Ladybird, Ocean’s 8 and Coco in helping diversify and re-shape the film industry.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

UK release date: 12th January 2018

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Photo credit: Fox

Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Toronto International Film festival and four Golden Globes, Three Billboards tells the story of grieving and determined mother Mildred Hayes, (Frances McDormand) and her relentless request for justice after her daughter’s rape and murder.

Frustrated over the local Sheriff’s inaction and his failure to find the perpetrator, Hayes turns to public humiliation and hires three billboards which successively read “Raped while dying”, “And still no arrests”, “How come, Chief Willoughby?”

As the community and sheriff department become increasingly aggravated by the billboards, Hayes becomes increasingly angry and the film turns into a study of the various ways in which the repercussions of such a violent act can manifest themselves in individuals and in a community.

Black Panther

UK release date: 12th February 2018

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Photo credit: Marvel/Disney

Marvel’s newest superhero film takes  place immediately after Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) father has died and he returns home to take up the throne and rule the country of Wakanda.

Naturally though, T’Challa’s reign isn’t easy and soon he is confronted by enemies plotting to overthrow his kingdom. As a result, T’Challa must readopt the identity of Black Panther and use all his superpowers to protect his people and his kingdom.

Also starring Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whittaker, Michael B. Jordan and Martin Freeman, Black Panther is directed and written by Ryan Coogler and looks set to be an exciting addition to the Marvel series.

The 15:17 to Paris

UK release date: 9th February 2018

Image result for the 15:17 to paris
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris is a retelling of the 2015 Thalys train attack in which an armed man – later arrested for attempted murder in connection with terrorism – opened fire on passengers, wounding but not killing three other people.

Eastwood’s movie focusses on three of the men who disarmed and retained the attacker – two of whom were members of the US Armed Forces. In mid-2017, it was announced that each of these men would be portraying themselves in a movie that gave an account of their childhood friendship as well as of their involvement in diffusing the would-be attack.

An unusual creative decision by Eastwood whose films like are well-known for their portrayals of American heroes by actors like Tom Hanks and Bradley Cooper, only the end product will demonstrate the efficacy of this choice.

 

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