Release date: December 8, 2016
In that very British way, Golden Years looks like a quite reserved comedy. Low on ‘obvious’ gags and big punchlines, it seems like the kind of film where the jokes sail by quite easily. Directed and co-written by John Miller, Golden Years follows a group of British old-timers whose pensions have been sucked dry by wealthy bastards. So they, with a cadre of fellow pensioners, decide to get their own back, with Bernard Hill (Theoden in the Lord of the Rings movies) at the helm.
Release date: TBC 2016
What’s scarier than the ghosts and monster of our fiction is the fundamentalists and unhinged of our real life. What’s more frightening: a CGI demon, or a Nazi that reminds you a whole lot of Bill from down the road? The very real scourge of white supremacy is becoming alarmingly more vocal in recent years - thanks to the immigration crisis and various bigoted Presidential candidates, etc - and Imperium tells a disturbing tale.
Daniel Radcliffe plays a rookie FBI informant who is tasked with infiltrating a white supremacist group thought to be harbouring bombs and such. It’s based on the real-life work of FBI agent Michael German, who spent years going undercover in terrifying situations like this. This is no place to be getting bogged down in, say, America’s prioritising of foreign terrorism over the very real and far more dangerous domestic terrorism going on right in their faces, but this film will no doubt illustrate that better than I can.
Release date: January 12, 2017
This is really director David Franks’ (Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada, Hope Springs) wheelhouse: big weepy love-fests. The concepts here are huge and the feelings are so deeeeeep. Will Smith plays an advertising executive trying to cope with a personal tragedy, who suddenly encounters the physical embodiment of the concepts of time, death and love. It’s quite a pitch. The saccharine music on the trailer, hopefully, is not representative of the po-facedness of the film, but I imagine there’s going to be a huge amount of inspirational speeches and ever-so-slightly teary monologues. Look at that cast though, that’s a goldmine.
Release date: January 19, 2017
Hooray, some Aussie names and voices! Lion is the film adaptation of the true-story tale A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. As a small boy in India, Saroo (Dev Patel) is lost and separated from his family, eventually adopted by an Australian family (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham); he decides to find his home and family again after some twenty years. Written by author/poet/screenwriter Luke Davies (Candy) and directed by Garth Davis (in his feature debut!), the film has the kind of heart and beauty I’d love more of from this type of film.
Release date: February 16, 2017
Yes, more of this please. You probably don’t need to be told that women - and more so, women of colour - have had their achievements poached by white people. So Hidden Figures is a chance to see women in action, and give them due credence for their work. This film is the true story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson, Person of Interest, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer, The Help, Snowpiercer) and Janelle Monae (renegade musician and all-round righteous wunderkind) and how they helped put a man on the damn moon amidst civil rights battles and outlandish sexism.