Flicks for the Fall: 2021's Movie Must-Watch List.
There is so much good stuff coming this Autumn...
2021 has been something of a disappointing year, in terms of television. While there have been some good picks like HBO’s The Mare of Eastown and Channel 4’s It’s a Sin, it often feels like there's too much choice and nothing to watch. If you’re fed up with watching a familiar rehashing of the bestsellers’ list and Netflix shows that keep getting cancelled, then this year’s theatrical releases are set to have you in awe.
It hasn’t been an amazing year for the film industry overall. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown forced cinemas to close and studios were forced to push release dates back (some even by a year or two) and many were dropped on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon or HBO Max. However, with recent global restrictions loosening and the vaccination rollout, movie theatres got the green light and many, if not all, are now open.
Let’s take a look at some of the most anticipated releases coming this Fall, with new films from style icon Wes Anderson to a brand new The Matrix sequel - words we thought we’d never hear!
It’s set to be an exciting year for film buffs and next year’s Oscar race is already looking too close to call.
The French Dispatch - (October 22nd 2021)
Wes Anderson is back! The eclectic director known for his unique visuals and style over substance ethos is returning to our screens with an intriguing tale of expatriate journalists in the fictional city of Ennui-sur-Blase. The film follows the origins of ‘the French Dispatch’ newspaper and has been described as “a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper.” Anderson’s fascination with typography and graphic design is sure to be a major part of the film, as well his romanticism for writers and storytellers.
And, the cast is absolutely stacked. Top billing includes Timothée Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Benicio Del Toro. Frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton and Angelica Huston are also set to make appearances.
Broken down into three separate stories throughout the history of the paper, the film appears to be based on real life events. Lucinda Kremintz ( McDormand) is a news reporter covering the real-life student rebellions of May ‘68 in France, becoming intertwined with revolutionary Zeffirelli (Chalamet) in the process.
Other stories include a scandalous nude painting by an imprisoned, and very much tortured, artist Julien Cadazio (Del Toro) and the kidnap and ransom of a millionaire’s son.
Timothee Chalamet will also be sporting a mustache. Much to think about.
Last Night in Soho (October 29th 2021)
Anya-Taylor Joy is everywhere right now, and for good reason. In the six years since her big-screen debut she’s gone on to give acclaimed performances in Robert Eggers’ The Witch, Autumn de Wilde’s Jane Austen adaptation of Emma and more recently on the small screen in the Netflix Limited Series The Queen’s Gambit.
This performance won her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, as well as a pending Emmy nomination. Having taken the world by storm, we’re in agony waiting for the release of Edgar Wright’s hotly anticipated Last Night In Soho, in which Taylor-Joy plays a leading role.
A psychological thriller set in 1960s London and decked in Mod fashion, Joy plays Sandie a singer and It Girl who becomes possessed by fangirl Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), who time travels from the present day. Combining supernatural elements, the film looks like a cross between Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, taking a dark turn as Sandie and Eloise travel deeper into London’s seedy underbelly and their identities begin to fuse.
The film also features 60s icon Diana Rigg, who played the glamorous international spy in the hit series The Avengers, in her final role before her passing in 2020.
This dark take on the Swinging 60s comes from Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy Edgar Wright but looks slightly less quirky than Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. In fact, it actually looks bloody terrifying.
Bergman Island (October 15th)
Mia Hansen Loee's latest follows a filmmaking couple holidaying on the isle of Faró, where Ingmar Bergman found inspiration, as Chris (Vicki Krieps) grapples with the script for her new project. When she and her husband (Tim Roth) meet an intriguing couple, they find the lines between reality and fiction are not as clear as they thought.
The film’s production has been ongoing since 2017, with Greta Gerwig initially tapped to star in the lead role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Also joining Kripes and Roth in the cast are Mia Wasikowska as Amy and Anders Danielsen Lie as Joseph.
The trailer for this delectable daydream feels in the same vein as Call Me By Your Name or perhaps a more modern take on the Merchant-Ivory period dramas of the 1980s - full of sexual tension and illicit love affairs. Just our cup of tea.
The Matrix: Resurrections (December 22nd)
“I have imagined this moment for a long time. Is it real?”
That’s right, you did read correctly. Coming this December is the long-awaited fourth installment in the Matrix franchise, including Keanu Reeves as Neo, Carrie Anne Moss as Trinity, Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. Solely in the director’s chair is Lana Wachowski but Lily, who had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts, gave her full blessing to the sequel.
Newcomers to the cast include Christina Ricci, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Érendirra Ibarra and Priyanka Chopra. Other than casting, little else is known about the sci-fi action sequel. A trailer premiered at CinemaCon during the Warner Brothers panel but has yet to be released to the public. It’s not known if the film will be a direct sequel to the trilogy or if it is set to be a standalone film and the first in a new trilogy.
In the two decades since its release, the Matrix has gone on to become one of the most culturally influential films of all time. Conceived by costume designer Kym Barrett, the iconic looks of the film became a staple of 90s fashion and even were trending again in 2020. Leather jackets and tiny sunglasses are a way of life. Let’s just hope the sequel will be just as fashionable.
Dune (October 21st)
This is perhaps one we’re most excited about on this list. From the director of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, comes an adaptation of Frank Herbert sci-fi’s epic and cult classic novel.
If you’ve read the 800-page novel, you genuinely deserve an award. If you haven’t, fear not because Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel is arriving in cinemas this October. Featuring an all-star cast of Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista, the film is actually the first installment in a planned series based on the book series.
Dune’s history of being adapted is somewhat fraught. In 1973, director of the avant-garde film The Holy Mountain attempted to bring the book to the screen to disastrous results. Frank Herbert described the script as “the size of a phonebook” and what would’ve resulted in a “14-hour movie.” Not to mention that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget was spent during pre-production.
The second attempt to adapt Dune was more successful and written and directed by - if you can believe it - Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks director David Lynch. Unfortunately, the film was not critically beloved nor did it succeed at the box office. Lynch went on to do well critical and more, um, surreal films throughout his career but still stands by his work on the film, which has amassed cult status since its release.
There are certainly more than enough films coming out this later this year and it feels like there's something for everyone. After the year that's been had, it's important that we show up for local and independent cinemas now more than ever! So go out, and book your tickets.
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