Lion

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What was the first film that ever made you cry? My first in memory is Bridge to Terabithia, probably the most depressing but sweet children’s movie I’ve ever seen. Nowadays almost every movie makes me cry at one point or another, but there are some movies that just make you emotional the whole way through. From 2012’s The Impossible to the more recent Moana, the new Australian film Lion joins a prestigious rank of truly emotional movies that earn their weepiness.

Lion sees a young boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) from rural India separated from his family after he mistakenly joins a train that takes him thousands of miles away from home to Calcutta. 25 years later, living in Tasmania with his adopted family (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), Saroo (Dev Patel) yearns for his past and sets out to find his family.

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Lion is one of those movies that just makes you cry from start to finish, with its beautiful story of loss and discovery tugging at one of the strongest heartstrings: family. A story told in two parts, the performances in it are so raw and emotional, but entirely different: though he faces the most hardship, Sunny Pawar’s young Saroo is captivating to watch, his innocent eyes packing the most punch as he is separated from his family and shuffled around Calcutta. From surviving kidnap multiple times to the horrors of the orphanage, his strength makes you weep for the heart of this young boy, who never forgets his beautiful mother, as we are reminded through crushing flashbacks. His happier experiences, however, are a joy to watch: his childlike exploration of Calcutta, and his adoption and move to Australia will make you laugh and cry even more, but as this young boy comes to discover a land he’d never dreamt of before, you can’t help but remember the family he left behind, who should be there with him, bittersweet in the back of your mind.

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Dev Patel’s older Saroo, on the other hand, goes to much darker places in his movie; not only does his physical obsession to find his family take him over, but the emotional turmoil and guilt for both his lost family and the family he feels he is betraying sends him spiralling. As well as his incredibly realistic Australian accent, Patel is able to highlight the human struggle between selfishness and selflessness heartbreakingly, as he isolates himself for days on end, trawling Google Earth for a glimpse of the familiar, only to be unable to sleep over the guilt of his deception and his flood of memories. And over all of this looms the reality of his task: even if he finds his home, will his family still be there? Surrounded by a brilliant supporting cast of Nicole Kidman and David Wenham as his mum and dad, who just want to keep their difficult family together, and Rooney Mara as Lucy, Saroo’s girlfriend who pushes him to places he doesn’t like, but needs, Saroo’s journey through his mind to India is a wonderful moment of catharsis and pure emotion.

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Director Garth Davis so beautifully and vividly showcases the imagination and tragedy of youth and leaving things behind, in a film that highlights the power of memory and the strength of family. The immense challenge of taking such an unbelievably true story and making it such an emotional rollercoaster cannot be ignored, and despite some pacing issues, Lion is a raw and honest emotional journey that stays with viewers long after it’s over.

8/10.

It’s a small cast, but here’s my top five favourite films starring the cast of Lion:

  1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Dev Patel
  2. Moulin Rouge! – Nicole Kidman
  3. Dogville – Nicole Kidman
  4. The Social Network – Rooney Mara
  5. Kubo and the Two Strings – Rooney Mara

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741834/mediaviewer/rm422251264
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741834/mediaviewer/rm3746565120
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The Founder

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It’s Throwback Thursday! And while I’ve got a few more recent film reviews in the pipeline that I’m working on at the moment, tonight I thought I’d share one from a fond film memory of mine. Whilst doing an internship last June I got the opportunity to attend my first media preview screening for the recent film The Founder. It was such a great experience, and even though my review of the film never got published, I can publish it here! So please enjoy my thoughts on The Founder:

A movie about McDonald’s might sound like one big ad for the company, trying to showcase their “humble beginnings” and showing them off as an “all-American brand”, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Whilst you might be craving a burger at the end of The Founder, you’ll probably feel even sicker every time you eat at McDonald’s from now on.

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The Founder follows Ray Kroc, a Midwestern salesman who discovers two brothers with a restaurant that would revolutionise the food service industry: McDonald’s. And, as he claims their idea and turns it into the biggest franchise the world has ever seen, he alienates himself from his family and friends in pursuit of success.

Michael Keaton is wonderfully intense as Kroc, the ruthless businessman who will stop at nothing until McDonalds is all his and the biggest restaurant in America. As you watch him, Keaton gives Kroc a perfectly conflicting sense of both sharp and unstable at the same time, and he so uncannily portrays Kroc’s descent into greed and self-obsession as he screws over the McDonald brothers and estranges himself from his family.

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For Keaton’s layered performance, however, other elements suffered. Laura Dern was wasted as Ethel Kroc, from both a blandly written character and an unenthusiastic performance, and hard as you try to feel sympathy for her, you just don’t know her well enough to care. Many other characters also felt underused and there only to serve the plot, such as BJ Novak as Harry Sonneborn, who was only introduced to give Kroc one idea, and even Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch respectively) were underdeveloped. Though Offerman felt familiar as a symbol of small town America (he will always be Ron Swanson for many), his best scenes explored Dick’s brotherly relationship with Mac, and their joint ambitions and struggles. However, this wasn’t explored very well, so when the time came to root for them, there was less impact.

Despite all this, Kroc’s quick-talking salesman made for a dynamic, fast-paced script, which was also very critical of its own events. McDonald’s will never be toppled as a commercial giant, but this damning portrayal of its founder must be pretty hard to stomach. Sound familiar?

7/10.

Here’s my list of my top five favourite films and TV showsstarring the cast of The Founder:

  1. Spotlight – Michael Keaton
  2. Parks and Recreation – Nick Offerman
  3. The Fault in our Stars – Laura Dern
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Linda Cardellini
  5. Jackie – John Carroll Lynch

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820/mediaviewer/rm3368754176
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820/mediaviewer/rm2303736320
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820/mediaviewer/rm2471508480

Jackie

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Biopics are a tricky subject for me: like biographies, I only like a certain few, but if I like it, I LOVE it. One of my favourites of all time is Capote, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman managing to capture the larger-than-life man in a dark but brilliant portrayal of the author’s biggest novel. Like Capote, Natalie Portman’s Jackie takes the defining moment in one of America’s most-loved women and turns it into a haunting story of grief and strength.

After the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) fights to secure her husband’s legacy and regain control of her life, as she struggles through the grief and trauma of his assassination. The story, told over the course of ten days from John’s death to his funeral, uses a candid interview with Billy Crudup’s unnamed journalist to frame the film, and from the moment Jackie takes control of the interview within the first few minutes we meet the steadfast image woman that Jackie Kennedy was.

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Though at first it is jarring to see Portman look so much like Kennedy, she soon gets lost in a performance that is measured and calculated through every moment, just like Jackie herself. The film rests on her shoulders as Portman intricately showcases a woman who is acting through her entire life, always poised and graceful, fully aware of the image the First Family must maintain. Through strikingly re-enacted historical footage we see Jackie’s dedication to preserving and cultivating American Presidential history, and she continues to ensure John’s lasting impression on the country after his death, becoming obsessed with his public funeral in an attempt to cope with her grief in the only way she knows how – publicly.

Yet it is her unguarded, intimate moments that are the most heartbreaking and beautiful to watch, where Portman’s hard-faced Jackie becomes sublime. Dancing drunkenly to records as she tries on old gowns in her bedroom, smoking up a storm; her hoarse, broken voice as she screams ‘Jack’ in the back of the Lincoln, roaring down the highway; her shaking hands as she scrubs his blood from her face. Portman so hauntingly portrays the complexities of public and private grieving with one of the most public figures of all time, creating a ghostly portrait of a landmark moment in history.

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Portman is aided by absolutely breathtaking direction from Pablo Larrain, his gorgeous palettes of white, red and Jackie’s iconic brunette hair crafting a sterile setting for the calculating, careful Jackie. Portman is never allowed to breathe with Larrain’s close-ups, Mica Levi’s almost eerie soundtrack building it up, but when Jackie is allowed to release herself in quiet moments, dancing to Camelot and opening up to John Hurt’s Priest in the park, Larrain’s sweeping shots and swirling colours give the film a lucid quality, a dream Jackie must wake up from.

The saddest part of Jackie’s story is her compulsion for perfection, as she tries to retake control of her life in the only way she knows how – publicly – but what will happen when she is no longer in the spotlight? In what is a definite Oscar-contention role for her, Portman’s Jackie is controlled, yet emotional; Larrain’s picture of sadness and anger has a soul that reverberates through Jackie as her perfect life falls apart around her.

9/10.

It’s a small cast, but a brilliant one, so here’s my top five favourite films and starring the cast of Jackie:

  1. Thor – Natalie Portman (I really need to watch more of her movies)
  2. To Rome With Love – Greta Gerwig
  3. Big Fish – Billy Crudup
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – John Hurt
  5. Spotlight – Billy Crudup

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDB.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1619029/mediaviewer/rm2200715008
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1619029/mediaviewer/rm2368487168
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1619029/mediaviewer/rm4012654336

Sing

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Kicking off the year for kids’ films is a non-Pixar, jukebox musical-type movie about a singing competition. And, considering how I despise singing competition shows, don’t have a great track record for non-Pixar kids movies (see here: Secret Life of Pets), and only like one jukebox musical (Moulin Rouge!, of course), it’s a triumph that I actually really enjoyed it.

Sing is about an enthusiastic koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) who, with his theatre in danger of foreclosure, decides to host a singing competition to garner attention and publicity in order to save his business, bringing five talented animals in desperate need of a win into his crazy fray.

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Despite its simple premise, Sing is surprisingly complex, advancing from its lazy roll call of characters at the beginning and delivering a fun, sweet collection of characters who get caught up in Buster’s antics. There’s nothing he won’t do to stop his show from happening, and from avoiding tax collectors to building giant squid tanks to impress benefactors, each scheme is original and amusing, allowing the more clichéd story elements to be overlooked by their refreshing counterparts.

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The same can be said for the characters: for every archetype there’s an invention, so we have Ash (Scarlett Johansson) the punk rock porcupine; Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) the mother pig; Johnny (Taron Egerton) is the son of a criminal gorilla; Meena (Tori Kelly) is a shy elephant with huge talent, and Mike (Seth MacFarlane) is a scheming mouse. As the five battle fierce rivalry, flooding and financial issues along with Buster, a beautiful friendship blossoms, and these initially distrusting performers become a support network which allows each of them to become something unexpected, and moreover, happy.

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Yet for such a feel-good film, Sing is actually pretty tragic at times: Johnny’s father disowns him, Ash is discovering herself after a rough breakup, and Rosita is sadly underappreciated, and with Buster failing at his father’s dream, there are some really hard moments. But this kind of tough realism is always much more interesting to see in a kids film, and not only does it give Sing more of that Pixar maturity, it teaches kids that not everything turns out okay, but you have the people around you.

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This sadness is made up for by a wonderfully fun soundtrack, showing off some brilliant Hollywood voices in some of your favourite songs. Though some songs were a cringe-worthy choice (sorry, but Shake It Off needs to die again), every voice shines: Egerton has an amazing voice singing the likes of Sam Smith and George Michael, MacFarlane pulls off a great Sinatra impression in My Way, and Johansson’s Ash gets her big moment in the film’s original song Set It All Free. It’s yet another end of year film that has an addictive soundtrack.

Brought to you by the Minions and Secret Life of Pets people, Sing is an unexpectedly good movie full of great music, talent and heart. Though it may have its clichés and expected moments, Sing takes tired tropes and surrounds them with brighter, fresh moments of fun and depth, making it a worthy summer movie.

7/10.

I honestly really love this cast, so here’s my top five favourite list of movies and TV shows starring the voice cast of Sing!:

  1. Kingsman: the Secret Service – Taron Egerton
  2. Legally Blonde – Reese Witherspoon
  3. Captain America: Civil War – Scarlett Johansson
  4. Parks and Recreation – Nick Kroll
  5. Kubo and the Two Strings – Matthew McConaughey

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDB.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3470600/mediaviewer/rm2111248896
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3470600/mediaviewer/rm2725773568
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The Edge of Seventeen

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Yes, there was a time when teen movies were actually good. The 80s were all about John Hughes, with the Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off being both wildly entertaining and actually having something to say. Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You are some of my favourite movies of the 90s, but since then there haven’t been very many good ones. Easy A and Mean Girls both balanced the humour and the message incredibly well (and became great vehicles for Emma Stone and Lizzy Caplan), but many others in the 21st century have been boring, outdated, or incredibly cringeworthy. But finally, one has come along to change it all, and when a teen movie is getting Oscar buzz, you know it’s going to be good.

In The Edge of Seventeen, 17 year old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is just trying to get through high school with her sanity, with her self-obsessed mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and typical popular bro Darian (Blake Jenner) providing no comfort since the death of her father four years ago. However, life is set to get even harder when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating Darian, causing Nadine to spiral hard.

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The Edge of Seventeen is probably the most realistic, unromanticised view of what it’s really like to be a teenager I’ve seen in a while: you hate everyone and think everyone hates you, and even though you think you have everything sorted, you really don’t. As Nadine charts unnavigated territory, losing her only friend Krista to the people she hates the most and striking up a new, awkward friendship with Erwin (Hayden Szeto), who’s completely in love with her, we are reminded of how much of a Big Deal everything was when we were teenagers. Running into your crush at the pet store? Highlight of your week. Best friend and brother dating? Complete and utter betrayal. We realise Nadine is a drama queen, but we know exactly how she feels, because we’ve all been her.

Hailee Steinfeld plays this relatable everywoman to perfection; her Nadine is an awful person, selfish, holier-than-thou, and always thinking she’s the centre of everyone’s lives. She takes advantage of almost everyone around her, and really only manages to see their worth until they’ve left her. She really sucks, but didn’t we all? Don’t we still? That’s what makes Nadine so likable, because we all remember being that asshole. Her antics and missteps are so achingly real that we can’t help but love her, and we know exactly how she feels, to hate who we are and wish we could be anything else. And even though her happy ending isn’t fairy-tale perfect, it’s perfect for her: she’s found someone who wants to share his friends with her, and isn’t that all we really want in life?

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Her banter and relationships with everyone around her also elevates the mix-matched cast of superstars and indie performers to great heights. Hayden Szeto is brilliant as Erwin, cute and lovable, and Kyra Sedgwick and Blake Jenner bring some great depth to Nadine’s dramatic family life. Woody Harrelson also acts as the voice of reason for a change as Mr Bruner, and is able to bring everything into perspective for Nadine, combining his deadpan humour with an obvious soft-spot for his outcast student to help Nadine through the film’s toughest moments.

Because The Edge of Seventeen also isn’t afraid to tackle some tougher stuff: with Nadine’s father’s death being a big driving force for her behaviour, she hits rock bottom hard in a devastating scene with her crush Nick (Alexander Cavert) that really pulls at the heartstrings hard.

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The Edge of Seventeen is my first movie of 2017, and, as a recent former teenager, the entire film hit home the idea that being a teenager doesn’t have to be the best years of your life, but everything isn’t as bad as it seems. Worth seeing for Hailee Steinfeld’s performance alone, The Edge of Seventeen is a raw, realistic and hilarious reminder that high school is far from perfect, but the people around you can make it better.

8/10.

And now, with such an awesome cast, here’s my top five favourite films and TV shows starring the cast of the Edge of Seventeen:

  1. Pitch Perfect 2 – Hailee Steinfeld
  2. Zombieland – Woody Harrelson
  3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Kyra Sedgwick
  4. Begin Again – Hailee Steinfeld
  5. Supergirl – Blake Jenner

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1878870/mediaviewer/rm996349184
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1878870/mediaviewer/rm1013126400
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1878870/mediaviewer/rm1063458048
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La La Land

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Classic film is merely a memory for many; a haze of rain-soaked afternoons with our grandparents in front of the television, of singing about our favourite things and dancing in the rain, a long forgotten time when a films colour was advertised in its opening credits and actresses still had that glamorous pan-Atlantic accent. It was one of Hollywood’s most successful times, and with such a different environment in today’s Hollywood it would take a master of cinema to return us to such magic.

Luckily for us, we have Damien Chazelle. His 2014 film Whiplash was met with great success and acclaim, and now he’s telling an entirely different musical story, mixing traditional and modern storytelling to create a new classic in La La Land.  In the sunny Hollywood hills, aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) fall in love as they attempt to find themselves and their place in the world, and in this tender romance can be found this years’ best film.

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La La Land is an homage to classic film, and yet its own thing entirely; it draws on classic film tropes yet subverts them, bringing a great sense of nostalgia as Mia and Sebastian chase their traditional Hollywood dreams in a city that’s moved on. Mia is writing her own one-woman show; Sebastian dreams of opening his own jazz club; and as Hollywood throws their plans and tests their dreams, they remain achingly real, through all the heartbreak and success they experience.

Recreating the glamour of Hollywood but pairing it with such a real, grounded romance and imperfect characters highlights the magic of their love, and of loving Hollywood. Though this magical realism is most obvious in the dazzling planetarium scene and Mia and Sebastian’s waltz amongst the stars, it is at its bittersweet best in the final montage scene of Mia and Sebastian’s life, the Hollywood painted sets and dream-like Parisian streets melding together to create a perfect surreality.

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The movie’s beautiful message about the integrity of Hollywood and what success and failure mean to each of us is beautiful and compelling, and Emma Stone’s performance as Mia as she goes through the ups and downs of the studio system is heartbreaking but subtle. Her true talent is on display, both as a performer and a comedian in the film’s many musical numbers, but especially as an artist, culminating in her powerful final audition that is unbelievably moving. Ryan Gosling is also fantastic, oozing charm and wit, but also sadness and passion as he detours from his dream to ultimately open his jazz club. His relationship with Stone was sweet, intimate and lovely, and their romance is so real; they love and support each other through their dreams, but are still normal, not grandiose, but right for each other. Their chemistry crackles as they perform together too, their soft singing voices blending together perfectly to create highlights in the film’s sublime soundtrack.

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This soundtrack, of course, is a masterpiece, blending elements of jazz and classical music to make catchy big performance numbers and unforgettable instrumental themes. Because it’s not the big set piece performances that are the most memorable; the film’s brassy jazz, heartfelt themes and gentle piano score is the best part, adding layers of love, tragedy and a feeling of dreaming to every scene. Sebastian is right; everyone should love jazz.

And yet, the La La Land’s cinematography is the most transcendental part, with Chazelle’s whimsical yet intimate direction enhancing every emotional beat of the film, whether light or more sober. The purple-skied Hollywood landscapes and sunny sandstone-housed streets are a dream; the old red theatres and and low-lit jazz bars reminiscent of Hollywood’s finest times. And the dreamy planetarium is a stunning feat of cinema, with the silhouetted star waltz creating real life magic.

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In one scene in the film, Sebastian and his friend Keith argue over how to keep jazz alive, and, much to Sebastian’s horror, Keith says that jazz is dead, and has to fundamentally change to stay alive. La La Land is a remedy to that school of thought in Hollywood; it is a love letter to what made Hollywood sparkle in the Golden Age, but is still its own film, innovative and different. It takes the glamour and dreaminess of the classics, and grounds them in real stories and characters, and creates a timeless tale full of fun, heartbreak and love. La La Land keeps one foot on the ground, but isn’t afraid to walk amongst the stars.

10/10 (Can I go 11?)

And what a brilliant cast. Here’s my top five favourite films starring the cast of La La Land:

  1. Crazy, Stupid, Love – Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
  2. Easy A – Emma Stone
  3. The Notebook – Ryan Gosling
  4. The Big Short – Ryan Gosling
  5. Zootopia – JK Simmons

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/mediaviewer/rm1388644608
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/mediaviewer/rm2541358848
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Six Most Exciting Films of 2017

Happy New Year everybody! Whilst many of us are mostly just glad to put 2016 behind us, I absolutely cannot wait for 2017 to swing into gear: not only will I have my degree by the end of the year and *hopefully* pursuing a career in film criticism, but there are so many fantastic movies that I can’t wait to see! I’m hoping to delve a little bit more into the indie movie world a bit this year, as well as expand my repertoire of classic film (not to mention finally finish that Watchlist I made almost two years ago), but there are some giant films coming out this year that have had my attention since I first discovered they were in production.

Now, here I would normally do my Top Five list, but there were so many movies I’m just itching to see that I had to expand it to a Top Six. So, here’s my Top Six Most Exciting Films of 2017, in order of release dates:

  1. Wonder Woman (ETA June 2nd)

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After DC’s shocking year last year, a lot of people are losing their faith in what used to be the biggest names in superhero films, but all of that could change with Wonder Woman. In what seems to be an origins story with a modern day framing device, this movie will follow Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince as she leaves the Amazonians to fight in the war to end all wars. Wonder Woman was easily the best part of Batman v. Superman, and this trailer looks super badass, complete with Amazonian drums and the epic theme we experienced during BvS, but the best part is Gal Gadot, who both looks the part and has such a presence that this film is bound to make her shine. With a female director behind the camera, here’s hoping she’s given the opportunity to dominate like she deserves.

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming (ETA July 7th)

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I’ve made no secret here on this website: Spider-Man is my favourite superhero ever, and Tom Holland’s debut as the teenage webslinger in Captain America: Civil War was a highlight of last year in film for me, combining the youthful awkwardness of Peter Parker and the cocky quipping that so defines Spider-Man in a way that we’ve never seen before. When that teaser trailer was dropped announcing the full trailer last month, I practically lived on Twitter waiting for it to come out, and it didn’t disappoint. With a brief glimpse of Michael Keaton’s The Vulture, and an even larger role from Tony Stark than expected, Jon Watts’ take on Spidey seems very John Hughes-esque in the best possible way, a true coming of age story for a 15 year old who’s just fought with the Avengers. Your typical teenage stuff.

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (ETA October 6th)

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Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of my favourite movies of 2015, a brilliant fresh take on a tired trope that not only invigorated the spy-genre, but gave us yet another great performance from Colin Firth, launched talented newcomer Taron Egerton’s career, and cemented Matthew Vaughn as my favourite director. When I heard there was going to be a sequel, I flipped. But since then there’s been barely any information shared – all we know is that the film will involve the American Statesmen, bringing Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Julianne Moree among others into the cast; Mark Strong and Taron Egerton will return, and (somehow) Colin Firth’s Harry Hart, who infamously died halfway through the film, will be returning, teased in a cryptic image posted on social media (see above). Plus, Matthew Vaughn will once again be in the director’s chair, the first true sequel he’s ever made, so all signs point to a fantastic film.

  1. Blade Runner 2049 (ETA October 6th)

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Let me take you back to my final year of high school, when I, a not even 18 yet, was given the opportunity to study the original Blade Runner. Never have I ever been so lucky to have been introduced to a film that, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have seen. It’s one of my favourite sci-fi films, and easily my favourite Ridley Scott movie, a brilliant exploration of what it means to be human, full of fantastic performances. Blade Runner 2049 was one of those sequels that, upon announcement, I dreaded – how dare they destroy such a perfect movie? But each piece of information we’ve received about it since then – the fact that Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) is directing, Harrison Ford is returning, Ryan Gosling will be playing an interesting new role – has piqued my interest further and further, and when that trailer dropped a few weeks ago it shot to one of my most anticipated films of the year. For me, it doesn’t even have to do something similar to Blade Runner; if it’s just as interesting in a completely different way, I’ll be satisfying.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok (ETA November 3rd)

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Why would I choose Thor 3 over Guardians 2, I hear the internet roar? Two words: Taika Waititi. One of my favourite local directors, Waititi has directed some of my favourite films, including What We Do In The Shadows and last year’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Apart from working on the script for Moana, this will be Waititi’s first big Hollywood film, and since he’s got some local talent to work with too – Hemsworth, obviously, plus Sam Neill is rumoured to be making a cameo in the film – this is his chance to really show off his irreverent humour and talent to the world on a much larger scale. Even from the little Comic-Con feature following Thor and what he’s been up to since Avengers 2, his humour is on show and on point – if Thor 3 is even half as funny, it’ll be a success in my books.

  1. Star Wars Episode VIII (ETA December 15th)

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How could I make a list like this one without adding any Star Wars? After the Force Awakens so brilliantly returned us to a galaxy far, far away, we were left with so many questions: is Finn okay? Who are the Knights of Ren? Who was Rey waiting for on Jakku? And what in the hell has Luke Skywalker been up to? Literally nothing is known about the film – there aren’t any set photos on IMDb, no plot, not even a definitive title – and the next few months are going to be full of firsts for the film, with a teaser trailer hopefully dropping in the next few months. And, with Looper’s Rian Johnson at the helm, we seem to be in great hands for Star Wars to make it dramatic return next summer.

There are so many other films I could have put on this list: The Space Between Us, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Circle, the list goes on. But I’m most excited for the ones I haven’t even heard of yet, where I’ll enter the theatre unassumingly and leave a new person.

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/mediaviewer/rm1511143936
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