We pick out some of the highlights arriving in cinemas in the next few weeks. This month there’s a biblical epic in time for Easter, as well as a Steven Spielberg blockbuster.
A Fantastic Woman
This Chilean drama has been around for a while, screening at various festivals over the last few months. We’re big fans of the central performance from Daniela Vega who grabs the attention of the viewer from the very first moment.
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams make for an impossible-to-hate pairing in this surprisingly entertaining comedy. The plot veers away from its ‘Games Night’ central premise early on, but you won’t really notice as the laughs keep on coming.
Joel Edgerton stars in this comedy that is directed by his brother Nash. Leading the cast is David Oyelowo, who isn’t really known for this genre, so it will be interesting to see how he does with the material. The always engaging Charlize Theron also stars in the movie.
You Were Never Really Here
A gritty and uncompromising revenge thriller, You Were Never Really Here is one of two Joaquin Phoenix films out this month. The star might still be denying any involvement in Martin Scorsese’s proposed take on The Joker, but there’s no getting away from him on screen right now. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay is known for her darker films, so we’re expecting big things again.
Mom & Dad
When Nicolas Cage really gets into a role, his enthusiasm can be contagious. Sure the Face-Off star can be hammy at times, but that’s what we love about him. In this comedy/horror, Cage is the dad of the title, who along with Mom (Selma Blair) finds himself unable to control his rage towards his own children after a mysterious condition affects the parents of a suburban American town. The craziness is turned up to 10 throughout.
Here’s the other Joaquin Phoenix film that’s out this month, and probably the only one specifically timed for the Easter holidays. Rooney Mara stars in the title role in this film that looks to re-evaluate the reputation of the historically maligned disciple of Jesus. Phoenix plays the Messiah and Tahar Rahim also stars as Judas.
Having wowed audiences at Cannes last year, and picked up several awards since, this comedy (of sorts) is a bullish dissection of the art world. Partly inspired by real events, the international cast have also been winning raving reviews.
Another take on the adventures of Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander steps into the boots vacated by Angelina Jolie, but this is a completely new take on the character. It will be interesting to see how Vikander copes with the action scenes, although the real worry is with the source material. We’re yet to see a truly great film based on a video game make it to screens.
A Wrinkle in Time
For family-orientated fun this Easter, you could do a lot worse than checking out this adaptation of a fantasy novel that looks stunning from the trailer footage. A young girl sets off on a quest to help three mystical strangers, while hoping to find her missing father.
The last time we looked at an Iranian/UK production, we got the genuinely terrifying Under the Shadow (2016), and this production appears to have something special about it too. Set in the Iranian community living in London, the film delves deeper than most in looking at the issues surrounding immigrant life across the sprawling capital.
Steven Soderbergh was supposed to have quit filmmaking several movies ago, but his output clearly suggests he’s fallen back in love with his craft. Insane stars The Crown‘s Claire Foy and was shot on iPhone. The director loves toying with audience expectations, so what looks like a standard horror film from the outside is almost certainly anything but that.
Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg promises to deliver more nostalgia than you can handle in this adaptation of hugely popular novel. Rising star Tye Sheridan (he of Cyclops fame) takes the leading role and the action promises to be spectacular. If anyone can deliver meaningful action movies, then surely it’s the man who kick-starred the Blockbuster phenomenon with Jaws (1975).
Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson does what Wes Anderson does best. We’ve already seen this one and plan on going again. There’s an all-star cast on hand to voice the stop-motion canines of the tale, and a wonderfully quirky narrative that delves into Japanese culture.