It’s Scene 360â€™s annual rundown of films weâ€™re looking forward to in 2018.
The year has begun strongly, with brilliant films such as â€śDownsizing,â€ť â€śPhantom Thread,â€ť â€śThe Shape of Waterâ€ť and â€śI, Tonyaâ€ť all impressing, while critically mauled efforts such as â€śMuteâ€ť and â€śRed Sparrowâ€ť were far better than reviews suggested.
As ever, itâ€™s tough whittling down hundreds of potential movies to a mere 10, but weâ€™ve endeavoured to provide a good mix of titlesâ€”from tentpole summer releases to arthouse flicksâ€”showcasing the rich variety of films on offer throughout 2018. Sci-fi spectacles, biopics, remakes and political dramas all feature in the list below.
Above: Arnaud Valois in Robin Campilloâ€™s “120 Beats per Minute.”
Jamie Lee Curtis in a promotional still announcing her return in “Halloween.”
Since its debut in 1978, the â€śHalloweenâ€ť franchise has run the gamut from masterpiece to absolute crud. After the series ran creatively dry in the late 1990s, Rob Zombie attempted to revive the material with a remake and a sequel. But neither movie really hit the sweet spot. This year, however, it isnâ€™t just psycho Michael Myers coming home to Haddonfield, Illinois: Jamie Lee Curtis has hopped aboard too.
The original slasher scream queen agreed to star in David Gordon Greenâ€™s film, a direct sequel to â€śHalloweenâ€ť ignoring the other movies (including â€śHalloween IIâ€ť and â€śHalloween H20: 20 Years Later,â€ť which starred Curtis). Letâ€™s hope it delivers the goods.
Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut with “A Star is Born.”
A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper will make his directorial debut with Hollywoodâ€™s third remake of tragic drama, â€śA Star is Born.â€ť The ace up the filmâ€™s sleeve is the casting of Lady Gaga, the pop superstar who was surprisingly excellent as The Countess in â€śAmerican Horror Story: Hotel.â€ť
The story of a fading singer threatened by his wifeâ€™s success, â€śA Star is Bornâ€ť was originally set to star BeyoncĂ© and directed by Clint Eastwood, before Cooper latched onto the project. Whether itâ€™s memorable or not really comes down to Cooperâ€™s unproven directing chops. It could be good, it could be bad, but it is unmissable.
Robin Campillo’s drama won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2017.
120 Beats Per Minute
Robin Campilloâ€™s â€ś120 Beats per Minuteâ€ť documents the activities of protest movement, Act Up, who in the early 1990s campaigned against the French governmentâ€™s slow coach response to the AIDS/HIV crisis. Their methods were designed to get maximum publicity.
Receiving its world premiere at Cannes in 2017, the film picked up the Grand Prix award and has since gone on to receive stellar reviews and acclaim. With rising figure in French cinema, AdĂ¨le Haenel, among the cast â€ś120 Beats per Minuteâ€ť looks to be one of the big highlights in world cinema this year.
Original lead Jessica Harper will also appear in Luca Guardagnino’s remake of “Suspiria.”
Remaking a horror classic has become the downfall of many filmmakers. But will Luca Guadagnino succeed where others have failed? Riding on a wave of popularity after â€śA Bigger Splashâ€ť (2015) and the Oscar-winning â€śCall Me by Your Nameâ€ť (2017), itâ€™s certainly a ballsy move to reimagine Dario Argentoâ€™s â€śSuspiriaâ€ť (1977).
Starring Dakota Johnson as heroine Susie Bannion, the American ballet dancer training at a prestigious European school, which is also home to a coven of evil witches, headed by Helena Markos aka the Mother of Sighs, Guadagnino has described the filmâ€™s look as â€świnter-ish, evil and really dark.â€ť Canâ€™t wait.
The Han Solo spin-off movie has endured a troubled a production.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Summer blockbuster season is spearheaded by the likes of â€śTomb Raider,â€ť â€śReady Player Oneâ€ť and â€śAvengers: Infinity Warâ€ť in 2018, but the big one is undoubtedly â€śSolo: A Star Wars Story.â€ť The film endured a very troubled production, including firing directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord mid-way through the shoot and replacing them with Ron Howard. News reports whirled around, too, that lead Alden Ehrenreichâ€™s performance is an absolute stinker.
Will â€śSoloâ€ť and the Millennium Falcon fly at the box office, or will it crash land? Itâ€™s hard to see Ehrenreich ever replacing Harrison Ford as Han Solo in the publicâ€™s imagination, but Howard is a reliable director and the trailer promised much fun.
Actors Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro return in “Sicario 2: Soldado.”
Sicario 2: Soldado
Denis Villeneuveâ€™s 2016 crime thriller â€śSicarioâ€ť proved so popular, a sequel was put into production soon after its release. Neither Villeneuve or Emily Blunt is returning into the drug cartel fray, but Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro signed up to play undercover operative Alejandro and CIA man Mike.
Written again by Taylor Sheridan, who last year made his directorial debut with the brilliant â€śWind River,â€ť Stefano Sollima is on bullhorn duties, best known for his Italian crime drama, â€śSuburraâ€ť and being the son of spaghetti western filmmaker, Sergio Sollima. â€śSicario 2: Soldadoâ€ť will provide some grit among the summerâ€™s tentpole movies.
Martin Scorsese’s mob drama boasts a stellar cast including Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Itâ€™s nearly 25 years since Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro worked together. â€śThe Irishmanâ€ť is their forthcoming gangster flick about the assassination of Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters union boss who disappeared without a trace, in 1975. The cast is sensational. Joining De Niro is: Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin and Stephen Graham. Scorseseâ€™s return to the gangster genre has a lot of fans expecting a masterpiece. Netflix have backed the venture after funding the $100 million dollars plus budget frightened off traditional studios.
Shane Black’s “The Predator” hopes to the revive the sci-fi horror franchise.
Another of the yearâ€™s big franchise relaunches is Shane Blackâ€™s â€śThe Predator.â€ť Black played one of the soldiers (Hawkins) in the 1987 sci-fi survival horror classic, but heâ€™s best known for being one of Hollywoodâ€™s great screenwriters. In recent times, heâ€™s taken up directing.
Set in the present day, â€śThe Predatorâ€ť sees the alien hunters let loose in suburban Los Angeles. â€śNarcosâ€ť actor Boyd Holbrook leads the cast with Olivia Munn and Jacob Tremblay co-starring. Expect gory mayhem, smart dialogue andâ€”knowing Blackâ€™s penchant for Christmastimeâ€”the film to be set during the holiday season.
Elle Fanning as sci-fi author and “Frankenstein” creator, Mary Shelley.
In 2012, Haifaa al-Mansour shot the first film ever made in Saudi Arabia. For her follow-up, sheâ€™s headed to Europe and focused on the famousâ€”and for its time very controversialâ€”19th century love story between â€śFrankensteinâ€ť author Mary Shelley and her husband, doomed Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Elle Fanning stars as Mary, Douglas Booth as Percy and Tom Sturridge as the mad, bad and dangerous to know Lord Byron. The trioâ€™s famous storytelling sessions at the Villa Diodati, on the shore of Lake Geneva, led not just to the eventual creation of â€śFrankenstein,â€ť but another major literary and screen monster: the aristocratic vampire. Reviews from the festival circuit havenâ€™t been great, but this movie will attract a viewership because of the subject matter.
“Zama” premiered at the Venice film festival in 2017.
Lucrecia Martel is one of the leading directors in the New Argentine Cinema. Yet since her debut in 2002, sheâ€™s turned in only 4 movies. â€śZamaâ€ť has received ecstatic reviews when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year.
Based on a 1950s novel, â€śZamaâ€ť is the story of a Spanish officer attempting to transfer from the coast back to Bueno Aires and finding his efforts constantly frustrated. It might be one for arthouse fans alone, but â€śZamaâ€ť promises an unforgettable and haunting cinematic experience.
Images Â© respective film studios.