The summer flick! Will it be a rom-com for the ages? A stellar blockbuster? Or maybe an understated indie dramedy? Summer is quite an odd time for film releases... that is, if you love Marvel movies or really crap comedies than you're in luck; but if you're looking for a compelling and thought-provoking art piece, you might want to wait for festival season. Nonetheless, I've found six films that I am most excited to be released this summer.
Directed by Bart Layton
In Cinemas: 1 June
Edgy, bleak, and outrageously dark, American Animals has the makings of a fantastically rich and darkly complicated film for a darkly complicated America. Layton's film is stylish, weird, and just plain cool, giving it an off-setting, radical vibe. Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan bring to life the modern gangster effortlessly and fully, making the life of crime seem, dare I say, sexy. Not to mention funny too.
Leave No Trace
Directed by Debra Granik
In Cinemas: 29 June
As the trailer clearly states, Leave No Trace definitely harks back to it's Winters Bone roots, finding moments of wonder and pain in its exploration of the familial bond. Ben Foster gives a radiating performance as a father lost, while Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie gives a breathtaking performance of a daughter finally found. Leave No Trace grapples with the idea of what it means to be displaced not just in the world, but in one's soul, and Granik is surely the best fit to tell this poignant story.
Directed by Bo Burnham
In Cinemas: 13 July
Bo Burnham's coming-of-age drama captures all the genre's troupes but finds a new life within the oftentimes mundane storylines. Burnham effortlessly intermixes the life of a modern teenager (something filmmakers have a surprisingly difficult time doing) with a coming story that even breaks into my stone-cold heart. Eighth Grade provides a stark and harrowing reminder of the places we've all been (the dark and hallowed halls of middle school) and provides a glaring insight: if we can overcome that, we can overcome anything.
Directed by Spike Lee
In Cinemas: 10 August
Spike Lee never fails to make a film that is pressing, relevant, and simply fantastic. And there is no doubt that BlacKkKlansman will follow in that path. Not to mention it's produced by genius Jordan Peele; need I say more. Already gaining acclaim from its showing at Cannes, BlacKkKlansman is a smart, funny, and timely film. It's a film that, despite being grounded in history, is more relevant than ever. Lee's film is destined to stir up controversy, but that is what makes it so powerful.
The Little Stranger
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
In Cinemas: 31 August
With a cast of these many contemporary greats (Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling), The Little Stranger better deliver. Set in the backdrop of 1947, this film follows Dr. Faraday, as he becomes entangled in a truly haunting tale. Horror films are not normally my forte (I'm not built with the right set of nerves), but The Little Stranger is reminiscent of The Women in Black and other gothic tales that go beyond a simplistic jump-scare tactic. I hope The Little Stranger is able to create a compelling and thoughtful commentary through the means of horrifying hauntings. Plus, I'm always available for a film with Ruth Wilson in it.
Directed by Joel Edgerton
In Cinemas: 28 September
No doubt, Boy Erased will be this year's Call Me by Your Name (it is alright to admit, I'm still crying over it). Following his acclaimed directorial debut, The Gift, Edgerton is bound to make quite a stir this awards season with this biopic. Not to mention it's rounded out with a fantastic set of newcomers (Lucas Hedges, Xavier Dolan, and Troye Sivan) and industry greats (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe). Boy Erased is bound to pull at our heartstrings and makes us cry out against all the injustices of the world (well, let's hope, at least).
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