FOR cinema, 2019 will probably be remembered as the year of the billion-dollar finale, with both of Disney’s golden geese, Avengers and Star Wars wrapping up long running story lines.
Although no one expects these series to call it a day, 2020 may prove to offer some breathing room for those suffering franchise fatigue. In that vein, here are four films outside of the Mickey Mouse bubble to keep you glued to the screen at the start of another decade.
- The Lighthouse – Director: Robert Eggers
Although it’s already been available in the US since October, The Lighthouse comes to UK screens on January 31.
The film, Director Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his 2016 directorial debut The Witch, is shot in black-and-white and revolves around Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers slowly losing their grip on their sanity when a storm strands them on a remote island.
Eggers has become one of the most exciting horror directors of recent years, due to his style of slowly ratcheting up the tension without the use of the ubiquitous jump-scares which lurk in the shadows of so many modern horror films, making The Lighthouse an exciting prospect for fans of the genre.
2. Weathering with You – Director: Makoto Shinkai
Another director looking to follow up on their previous film’s success is Makoto Shinkai, whose smash-hit body-swapping romance Your Name became the highest-grossing anime and Japanese film ever at the box office in 2016.
This astounding feat has led to many referring to Shinkai as the next Hayou Miyazaki, high praise considering Miyazaki’s status as co-founder of Studio Ghibli and a beloved figurehead of Japanese animation.
Releasing on January 17, Weathering with You tells the story of a high school boy who runs away to Tokyo amid an incredibly heavy rainstorm and meets a girl who can seemingly control the weather.
If Your Name is anything to go by Weathering with You promises to be one of the most beautiful and emotional films you see all year.
- The Many Saints of Newark – Director: Alan Taylor
Billed as a prequel to the The Sopranos, the godfather of the current age of prestige television we find ourselves in today, The Many Saints of Newark aims to fill in the backstory of the New Jersey mob that first captured the world’s attention 20 years ago.
The film is directed by Alan Taylor, who shot 9 episodes of the TV show, with a script co-written by series creator David Chase and fellow Sopranos writer Lawrence Konner.
Although little is known about the plot, the film is set during the 1967 Newark race riots and will feature Michael Gandolfini reprising his late father’s role as a young Tony Soprano.
The Many Saints of Newark is set to release on September 25.
- Parasite – Director: Bong Joon-Ho
Coming into 2020 with some serious critical acclaim, Parasite has already won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film and the Palme d’Or at Cannes film festival. It has also been nominated for the Bafta for best film.
In Parasite, South Korean Director Bong Joon-Ho – best known in the West for his films Snowpiercer and Bokja – tells the story of a poor family who pose as unrelated, highly skilled workers in order to trick themselves into employment from a much richer family.
Sure to crackle with the remorseless social commentary of his previous films, UK audiences can find out if Parasite lives up to the hype when it releases on February 7.