It's summertime which means... Really bad studio movies. Ah! Don't worry, they can't hurt you if you don't let them. Well, I've complied a list of the films I am most excited about that will be coming out this summer so we can both avoid those horrible blockbusters and unfunny comedies together.
Directed by Lone Scherfig
In cinemas: Now
I had the pleasure of seeing Their Finest at the London Film Festival last October, and it surely did not disappoint. Their Finest, directed by An Education's Lone Scherfig and lead by the impeccable Gemma Arterton, is a World War II comedy about the making of propaganda films for the war. The film depicts a different side of the war most people have overlooked. Their Finest embodies a modern story despite its historical setting, as the film advocates for the women of the war and of film, showing that women can do more than type copy. The film shines with its outstanding ensemble-- Bill Nighy being the standout performance as Ambrose Hillard-- and it embraces the wit and charm of a classic British costume drama, yet it still has a beating heart that pangs throughout the cinema. The screenplay is witty and clever, but it is also sentimental and empowering. Their Finest is definitely a must see for anyone who loves a cheeky war drama like me.
I, Daniel Blake
In cinemas: June 16
Ken Loach is known for his social realism dramas, from Kes to Sweet Sixteen and, a personal favorite, The Wind That Shakes the Barley. I, Daniel Blake is Loach's latest attempt to change Britain's social class divide. I, Daniel Blake, finally making its way across the pond, was a breakout film last year; it won Best British Film of the Year at the BAFTA's, Best Film at the César Awards, and the Palme d'Or at Cannes film festival. I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man's fight with Britain's bureaucratic social services. Loach's activist film highlights some of the greatest social struggles in Britain today: class prejudice, welfare, employment, health care, and the list goes on. Loach's drama is relevant and timely, and it grapples with difficult issues faced by, not only people in Britain, but people throughout the world.
My Cousin Rachel
Directed by Roger Michell
In cinemas: June 9
Roger Michell's new film looks haunting in all the best ways. My Cousin Rachel, based on the best-selling novel, follows the story of a young Englishman who plots his revenge against his cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But soon he finds himself falling under her spell and his feeling towards her change. My Cousin Rachel has all the makings of a fantastic physiological thriller: mystery, allure, and sex, mixed with a brooding atmosphere. If the trailer is any constellation, I am excited to see what My Cousin Rachel has to offer.
Directed by William Oldroyd
In cinemas: July 14
Lady Macbeth, another film I had the honor of seeing during the film festival last year, was, by far, one of my favorite films of last year, if not of all time. Lady Macbeth is the debut film from theatre director William Oldroyd, who has created such a masterpiece you would think it was his 100th. The film follows a neglected wife, Katherine, as she enters into a love affair with one of the estate's workers while her husband is away. Oldroyd's film is dark, powerful, and brooding. The characters are complex and multi-dimensional; you feel a well of emotions for them, from hatred to sympathy to pettiness. Kathrine, in particular, is an untraditional protagonist, who defines the female lead. She's mysterious and elusive; you can't quite decide if she's a desperate woman seeking a better life or merely a psychotic narcissist. To top off this already flawless film, Oldroyd had compiled a cast that is absolutely superb. Florence Pugh and Cosmo Jarvis are electric together, each giving a performance that rocked the cinema. Lady Macbeth is definitely a must-see film if you have any ounce of love for the art of cinema. Oldroyd has created such an absolutely atmospheric, psychological, forceful film that brought me to a standing ovation when it finished (and who actually gives films standing ovations-- you know it must have been good).
Directed by Christopher Nolan
In cinemas: July 21
There is no denying that Christopher Nolan is the master of blockbusters. From Interstellar to The Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan has proven that blockbusters don't have to be subpar movies hiding their weak stories and poor standards under the guise of special effects and lots of money (*cough* Marvel *cough*). Anyways, I have high hopes for Nolan's latest picture, Dunkirk. Depicting the legendary World War II battle, Dunkirk follows the true story of the evacuation of thousands of Allied soldiers from the beaches of France. The trailer shows off Nolan's iconic style from stunning cinematography and large-scale action sequences. But what makes me excited for Dunkirk is its A-list cast: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, James D'Arcy, and, believe it or not, Harry Styles. Now that's a crew!
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