Alright, I’m gonna say it. 2013 sucked for cinema. There were some notable exceptions – Gravity was excellent, I Wish a beautiful offering from Japan, The World’s End offered a fitting conclusion to the Cornetto Trilogy and, late in the day, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was surprisingly good. But overall, nah. Another Fast & Furious film, more overblown spectacles, a by and large weak round of awards contenders. Let’s just put a pin in 2013 and look ahead. Here are seven movies you need to see this year:
Inside Llewyn Davis – 24th January
The Coens look to be back to their usual pomp with this semi-adaptation of Dave Van Ronk’s “The Mayor of Macdougall Street” – the story of a struggling New York folk singer in the era of Greenwich village coffee shops and Bob Dylan. The last time the Coens cast a relative unknown as the lead in one of their movies it was A Serious Man, one of their best – early reviews suggest this will be a classic, and by all accounts, a lot bleaker and sadder than the trailer makes it out to be.
Her – 14th February
Joaquin Phoenix is great eh? I think all that performance-art “I’m Still Here” stuff – an entirely worthwhile and fascinating experiment – has kinda made people forget about him in favour of your Fassbenders and your Goslings. But Phoenix is definitely one of the best in the business, as is Spike Jonze, who has taken the very clever step of casting super-annoying Scarlett Johansson but giving her zero screen time.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – 7th March
Did you know that Johnny Depp was initially meant to be the lead in The Grand Budapest Hotel? Thank fuck he’s not, and that Ralph “YOU’RE AN INANIMATE FUCKING OBJECT” Fiennes is. Where his last film Moonrise Kingdom was more ambitious in scope, a new direction for Wes, this one looks more like a comedy caper – most similar to Fantastic Mr Fox.
Godzilla – 16th May
This is the blockbuster of the year, no question. Gareth Edwards, having proved himself a talented director with Monsters (Also Welsh like, so stuff you), has been rewarded by Hollywood’s elders with a SHINY POT OF GOLD, which he’s spent on making Godzilla fucking massive. Also Bryan Cranston is in it, probably not dealing meth but definitely acting his bollocks off.
X Men: Days of Future Past – 22nd May
So there’ll be more superhero films next year, and I guess that’s fine so long as they have Jennifer Lawrence in them. Thank heavens for X Men in that case. In all seriousness, I watched The Usual Suspects again recently and remembered that Bryan Singer, when he wants to, can direct a really great movie. This time he looks like he wants to. Also Jennifer Lawrence.
The Boxtrolls – 12th September
Worried that Pixar’s hit-machine might have run out of steam? Don’t be, because Laika are just getting started. So far they’ve put out two of the best animated films in recent history – Coraline and ParaNorman – and their third film comes out in the Autumn, the story of a young boy raised by underground dwelling rubbish collectors. It’ll be beautiful, there’s no way it won’t be beautiful.
Serena – no release date, probably September-ish.
Susanne Bier made a film that nobody saw called “Love Is All You Need,” but she also made “In A Better World,” and so is incredible. Serena is her highest profile to date, with a superb cast and a great setting of Depression era America. Expect European arthouse style shots and great performances all round. Also more Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper (who’s actually turning into a really great actor, good on him).
Also, I’m aware Chris Nolan has a movie coming out this year, but if he thinks he can just release a trailer that’s Matthew McConaghey driving away from something and expect me to get excited then he’s got another thing coming. Still haven’t forgiven him for that shit twist in The Prestige.