Wednesday, 4 January 2017


Image source: Dribble

Happy New Year, everyone! I am back, for now. I hope to be better this year but am not making any promises, again, since I am trying to get more focused about my career. I will be turning 25 this year which just sounds mental to me because, and this is the best way I can put it, I do not feel old enough to be 25. Is that weird? Am I alone in this? Am I secretly trying to be Frances Ha still? I don't know *insert shrug*.

Anyway, let's get to the actual post. I didn't make this list last year, or rather I did write a draft but never published it, but I had to make one this time because I'm very excited about some of these films! There are 20 films in the main list and I don't remember if it was always this way but they are there because of the directors. Quite a few of them are only sophomore attempts by their makers but I was blown away enough by their first films that they beat others made by more experienced, even revered auteurs. Another thing I noticed was that a number of these, including the honourable mentions, are made by women. I did participate in the 52 Films by Women challenge last year and though regrettably I didn't reach my target (I clocked in at 42 films), I am actively seeking out more films by female directors. Still, the films that are there, I wasn't even trying to purposely incorporate them in this list to make it diverse- I am just *that* pumped for them. They HAD to be there!

Honourable mentions: Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj), Trapped (Vikramidtya Motwane), Bareilli ki Barfi (Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari), Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 (James Gunn), Redoubtable (Michel Hazanavicius), The Untitled Woody Allen Movie, Song to Song (Terence Malick, which has been in my list for the past 4 years now), Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins), Based on a True Story (Roman Polanski), God Particle (Julius Onah), Mute (Duncan Jones), The Discovery (Charlie McDowell), Darkest Hour (Joe Wright), Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts), Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis), John Wick 2 (Chad Stahelski, David Leitch), Get Out (Jordan Peele), T2 (Danny Boyle), War for Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves), Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott), Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh), Logan (James Mangold), You Were Never Really Here (Lynn Ramsay), Suburbicon (George Clooney), Yeh Din Ka Kissa (Noah Baumbach), The Shape of Water (Guillermo del toro), Under the Silver Lake (David Mitchell), Downsizing (Akexander Payne), Coco (Lee Unkrich), The Snowman (Tomas Alfredson), Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan), Untitled Detroits Movie (Kathryn Bigelow), Happy End (Michael Haneke), The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara (Steven Spielberg) and finally, Okja (Bong Joon-ho).

(I said I was excited)

The List

Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi)
Thor is pretty much my least favourite Avenger. Having said that, this movie sounds like fun. Marvel is prettiest when it's not on Earth but then GotG vol. 2 could've also been in this list. Lord knows I love the first one to bits. However, it will be difficult creating that magic again. Thor 3, on the other hand, has one of the most interesting new directors at its helm- someone whose previous works like What We Do in the Shadows (endlessly rewatchable) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (lovely and weird) are as far from the usual superhero fare as, well, Asgard is from Earth. Plus Cate Blanchett is playing the goddess of death named Hell. JUST TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)
In Bruges to me is one of the most perfect films ever. I doubt I will ever not give McDonagh a chance because of it. Yes, it's true that Seven Psychopaths was super disappointing but I am willing to overlook that. Also this sounds more In Bruges-esque, with the great Frances McDormand playing a woman who goes against the police in her town after her daughter is murdered. Meaty stuff.

Suspiria (Luca Guadignino)
I love the original. I wasn't that jazzed about A Bigger Splash but I remember adoring I Am Love and Guadignino creates gorgeous visuals in both. Plus there's Tilda Swinton. Good or bad, it would be something to behold.

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
Yes, I did put that picture of Gerwig because I find it very hot. Moving on. 
As you may have noticed in my opening paragraph where I reference a certain Miss Hallida, played and co-written by Gerwig, that I am a huge fan of hers. So imagine my surprise and delight when I find out that not only is she directing a semi-autobiographical high school film, but that it also stars the always amazing Saoirse Ronan! Woo for me!

Yet-to-be-titled-Fashion-Movie (Paul Thomas Anderson)
I find this picture to be so antithetical to how both these men are commonly perceived. Anywho, I really didn't want to put this film in the list, just to spite fanboys. The universal adulation can get a bit annoying but I had to be fair and this sounds like a very fascinating film. I'm in.

Mother (Darren Aronofsky)
Aronofsky is always interesting. Plus, I really want to see what he does with JLaw. She's been Katniss. She's been David O'Russell's muse. This is new territory and I'm looking forward to see their professional pairing. And assuming the titular mother is played by La Pfeiffer herself, that is some very thrilling news because hello, Barbara Hershey in Black Swan and Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream! Fun!

Star Wars Episode VIII (Rian Johnson)

The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci)
HOLY SHIZNITS YOU GUYS, THIS FILM! 1) It's made by the best political satirist currently in the game; 2) the cast has Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Paddy Considine and many more; 3) could there be a better film made in today's shitstorm of a political climate? 4) and finally, imagine the insults!!

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (John Cameron Mitchell)
The short story is an other-worldly (that's a spoiler there), mesmerising little gem that has some of the most beautiful concepts I have ever read. I don't know how it will translate into a feature film but Mitchell is daring and innovative enough to tackle it. Also, this is the first of 3 films starring Elle Fanning in my list (Nicole Kidman is there as well).

Annihilation (Alex Garland)
Ever since I watched it more than a year ago, I don't think I've been able to completely shake Ex Machina off. It was bold, gorgeous and totally unique. It's obvious that have high hopes from this one. The cast is to die for- Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez (!!), Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac (maybe we get another dance sequence? Here's hoping).

The Lego Batman Movie (Chris McKay)
Will Arnett's portrayal of Batman in The Lego Movie was the best Batman that ever Batman-ed. I am sooooooo pumped for this film! Michael Cera as Robin! Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn! Rosario Dawson finally playing a real superhero, Batgirl! Zach Galifinakis as The Joker (now I'm imagining him in Suicide Squad and maybe that would've been a better movie?), and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred! Everything IS awesome!

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Here for the next Lanthimos mindfuck. Next! 

A Storm in the Stars (Haifaa al-Mansour)
Wadjda is one of the best, most delightful and hopeful films of the last decade. The fact that it was by the first Saudi Arabian female director makes it even more outstanding. This is al-Mansour's first English language film and wow, the story she's bringing to the screen is one helluva doozy. It's about the love story between Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley and how it inspired the creation of "Frankenstein". Elle Fanning is in this too. Also, Tom Sturridge stars as Lord Byron making all of teenage Nikhat's fantasies come true.

Tully (Jason Reitman)
At one point, Reitman was one of the most engrossing filmmakers around. He's made some flops since but with Tully, he is back with the core Young Adult team- Diablo Cody and Charlize Theron. Young Adult is such a incredible little arsenic-filled cookie of a movie and Reitman works best with Cody's scripts. 

Bladerunner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve)
There's no way this film can be bad, right? It seems like a mathematical impossibility. The original is a masterpiece, Denis Villeneuve is at the top of his game, Ryan Gosling is having a mini comeback moment, there are other ab fab actors like Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis and yes, even Jared Leto involved, and obviously, Rick Deckard is back, baby!

Landline (Gillian Robespierre)
Obvious Child is a movie that shouldn't even have existed- an abortion romcom? What? But it does and not only that, it is freaking fantastic! I am here for anything Gillian Robespierre does next and this time, it's another of my favourite sub-genres- the dysfunctional family drama. The lovely Jenny Slate is there too, along with Edie Falco, John Turturro, Finn Wittrock and Jay Duplass.

Rock That Body (Lucia Aniello)
I don't know if you know this about me but Broad City is my life! I love that show with all my heart and Aniello who co-wrote the film with another Broad City-regular, Paul Downs, has been heavily involved with the show from the start. The premise of this film on Wikipedia reads "A male stripper ends up dead at a Miami beach house during a bachelorette party weekend." It stars ScarJo, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz and Demi Moore. I need this film in my life like right now!!

Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes)
Haynes is such a beautiful filmmaker and having read this book, I cannot wait to see what he does with it. The last two times he had Julianne Moore as the lead, it resulted in some of the most unforgettable films ever- Safe and Far From Heaven. Apparently one of the time periods depicted in this film will be like a silent movie. Oooo.

Baby Driver (Edgar Wright)
The only reason this isn't at a shared #1 spot is because of this fucking guy's face. I don't know what it is about Ansel Elgort's face but I just really want to punch it. No idea how I will make it though the film seeing that he's the lead but if anyone can make me forget about Elgort's smug little face, it's Wright. This is a heist movie fuelled by a soundtrack and it sounds right up Wright's alley. The rest of the cast, especially Jon Hamm, is awesome. This isn't a straight-up comedy but Wright hasn't disappointed me even once.

The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola)
What else could it possibly be? My favourite female filmmaker and indeed one of my favourites ever is back and with a remake of one brilliantly creepy-sounding films from the 70s. It reunites her with her original muse, Kirsten Dunst. There is also Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. The story, which is about an injured soldier entering the world of an all-girls boarding school, has some serious The Virgin Suicides mysterious feel to it. Also, in the photo above Fanning and Dunst are sitting on Beyonce's "Sorry" chair and that has to be a sign, right?

God, I really, really want to be right about these films! Which 2017 movies are you most excited for? Do you think we'll all be alive to see a Most Anticipated Films of 2018 list? Who even knows? Yay, future!