The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water is currently one of the top three frontrunners to win Best Picture at the Oscars this year. The film comes from director Guillermo Del Toro, who’s previously given us Pan’s Labyrinth, and according to the early reviews, The Shape of Water is his best film yet. The film tells the story of a mute cleaning lady working in a laboratory where a mysterious aquatic creature is being tested on. As usual, there are a lot of great movies coming out in December, but this might be the one I’m most excited for.
I, Tonya tells the true story of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and the notorious “run-in” she had with her rival, Nancy Kerrigan. The film stars Margot Robbie as Harding, who is sure to land an Oscar nomination for her performance. Allison Janney has also been receiving a lot of attention for her performance, so she’s looking good for a nom as well. Fright Night director Craig Gellespie looks to be taking a fascinating dark comedy approach to the film, making even just the trailer incredibly engaging. The early reviews for the film are great, and I’m personally very excited to watch this.
Just Getting Started
November Criminals – Limited
Big Sonia – Limited
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Do I really need to tell you anything about this one? Easily the most anticipated movie of the year, you’d have to be living in a cave to not know that this movie was coming. Looper director Rian Johnson is helming this episode, and considering Disney has already enlisted him to create his own original Star Wars trilogy, I think we can expect The Last Jedi to be even better than we first thought. Say what you want about the plethora of spoilers present in the trailers, I don’t think anything’s going to stop this movie from being ridiculously fun.
The only film brave enough to compete with The Last Jedi for box office is Ferdinand, the animated film adaptation of the picture book so many of us grew up reading. The film is directed by Carlos Saldhana who gave us Rio and all the Ice Age films. Saldhana has proved himself to be a reliable director of animated films directed solely at children, which frankly is all anyone should expect from Ferdinand. The cast is pretty fun, with John Cena playing the famous bull and Kate McKinnon playing a goofy-looking goat, along with plenty of other fun and comical names. Don’t expect Ferdinand to be anything extraordinary, but it’ll still be a fun trip to the theater if you’re a Star Wars hater.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Probably what’s going to be the top movie released Christmas weekend (second to Star Wars, that is,) is this Jumanji “sequel.” The film has four highschoolers discover an old video game while in detention, and when they start playing the game they get sucked in and become Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. The movie is sure to be packed with great humor from all four of the leads, along with some fun visual effects and action. New Girl director/creator Jake Kasdan directs, telling us comedy is going to be the main focus of the film. After watching the trailers, seeing the concept, and knowing the lead actors, that’s totally okay with me.
Pitch Perfect 3
Yes, there’s a third Pitch Perfect film. This one is supposed to be the “farewell performance,” so take that as you will. Don’t get me wrong, the first one was good, but the second film was certainly a huge step down. And seeing that they’re switching to another new, and significantly less experienced director, I don’t have a lot of confidence this movie will be very good. Still, if you’re a hardcore fan of the franchise, which I know there are plenty of you out there, I’m sure it’ll still be fun to see the final chapter in this unusual trilogy.
All the Money in the World
Making for one of the most unusual stories in the film industry this year, All the Money in the World will still keep its December 22nd release date. The film had originally featured Kevin Spacey in a major role, and if you watch the first trailer they use him as their main marketing tool. After the sexual assault accusations dropped against him, Christopher Plummer was recast in Spacey’s role, and millions was spent reshooting all of Spacey’s scenes within less than six weeks in order to maintain the same release. The movie’s going to be worth watching if only to see if they can pull of this recasting. Regardless of the entire fiasco, though, this movie will be worth watching. Ridley Scott directs this true story, with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams starring alongside Plummer.
This has been one of my most highly anticipated movies this year. Downsizing comes from Alexander Payne, whose previous films include Sideways, The Descendants, and Nebraska, which were all Best Picture nominees at the Oscars. I expect Downsizing to continue the tradition. Downsizing tells an interesting story about a slightly futuristic world where science has figured out how to shrink people down to a couple inches tall. The film stars Matt Damon and Kristin Wiig, along with a supporting cast including Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz, and Hong Chau, the last of which has been getting a lot of attention for her performance. It’s possible Downsizing will be Payne’s first disappointing film in nearly fifteen years, but my expectations are still very high.
The Post – Limited
Happy End – Limited
Molly’s Game is the directorial debut of one of the greatest screenwriters alive: Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin has given us screenplays including A Few Good Men, Social Network, and Moneyball, along with countless other great scripts. For his directorial debut, his newest screenplay tells the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier-turned-high-stakes-poker-game-runner. Jessica Chastain stars as Bloom, and frankly, I don’t think there’s ever been an actor more perfect to speak Sorkin-written lines than Chastain. My hopes are very high for this film, and I don’t expect to be disappointed.
The Greatest Showman
Rounding out 2017, we have our only bona fide musical of the year. Surprisingly, this musical is actually completely original, with a screenplay co-written by Jenny Bicks and Dreamgirls and Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon. Oddly enough, the director of the film, Michael Gracey, is getting his directorial debut with the film. Perhaps, then, we can rely on the film’s cast, which includes Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, and Rebecca Ferguson. The Greatest Showman is sure to be more Broadway-like than, say, La La Land, but with such a new name directing, we’ll have to see if it ends up being anywhere near the same caliber.
Phantom Thread – Limited
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool – Limited