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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2019

Written by on January 10, 2019 

60. Walking to Paris (Peter Greenaway)

walking-to-paris

Peter Greenaway has been working on his latest feature for the last few years—with initial production beginning as far back as 2015—so here’s hoping that Walking to Paris finally sees the light of day this year. Starring Carla Juri (Wetlands, Blade Runner 2049), the film follows the life of sculptor Constantin Brancusi, who journeyed across six countries in Europe by foot. With Greenaway’s epic scope and singular style, we imagine this will be an adventure like no other in 2019. – Jordan R.

59. The Passenger (Corneliu Porumboiu)

the-passenger

After his hilarious documentary Infinite Football last year, Corneliu Porumboiu returns to narrative filmmaking this year with The Passenger. The noir thriller is said to have shades of comedy as we follow a Romanian policeman who gets lost in translation when he ventures to a Spanish island in order to help a detained Bucharest businessman. – Jordan R.

58. Proxima (Alice Winocour)

proxima

Her visually and aurally arresting drama Disorder went painfully overlooked a few years back, but we imagine Alice Winocour will reach a wider audience with her next film. Proxima, starring Eva Green and Lars Eidinger, follows an astronaut who is preparing to go on a journey and must deal with the pending separation from her daughter. – Jordan R.

57. Missing Link (Chris Butler; April 12)

missing-link

Laika is the current reigning champion of stop-motion animation, and running off the heat of a string of critical hits that tend not to make as much money as they deserve. Still, every movie has been a handcrafted work of art with enough wit and heart to make them instant classics, and there’s no reason to think the streak will end with their latest film, Missing Link. Laika thrives off of exploring and celebrating oddity, and the titular man-ape should provide plenty of fodder for heartfelt examinations of humanity as well as stirring jokes of the visual and verbal kind. – Brian R.

56. Salt of Tears (Philippe Garrel)

Philippe Garrel

I first thought I knew nothing of Salt of Tears‘ plot, and then I realized that’s entirely wrong: it’s a Philippe Garrel film, which means it will involve a man, a woman, maybe another man and another woman, frank explorations of desire and sexuality in all their incompatibility with society, etc. Lo and behold, this synopsis from our friends at Ion Cinema: “documents a young man’s amorous rendezvous with three different women as he goes to and returns from college, while meanwhile exploring the relationship of father and son.” Sometimes you just know. Just as I know I’m onboard with his recent run of short, funny-but-not black-and-white moral tales, with which this would seem to fit directly; the further he goes down this path the more I get from them the sense of emotionally expunging with a wise friend. – Nick N.

55. 1917 (Sam Mendes; Dec. 25)

sam_mendes_spectre

After back-to-back James Bond movies, and directing one of the decade’s buzziest plays in the West End and Broadway, Sam Mendes is back with his very first screenwriting credit: a WWI drama starring George McKay (Captain Fantastic) and Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones). Even though details of the plot are still under wraps, executive producer Steven Spielberg has already called it a “daring and ambitious” movie. When making a war film one could certainly have worse endorsements than Spielberg who’s made some of the greatest works of art about the World Wars. – Jose S.

54. Ahmed (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)

Dardennes

After their first foray into mixing genre with their trademark careful, devoted examinations of singular individuals in 2016’s underrated The Unknown Girl, the Dardenne brothers appear to be taking further steps with Ahmed, which according to reports “concerns the radicalization of a Belgian boy and his scheme to kill his teacher.” Though the Dardennes have never shied away from the present moment, this seems to be perhaps their most direct engagement yet, and the results of this uncharted expedition are eagerly anticipated. Expect this, like almost all of the brothers’ other films, at Cannes. – Ryan S.

53. Radioactive (Marjane Satrapi)

radioactive

The incredible tale of Marie Curie comes to life this year in Radioactive. Directed by Marjane Satrapi, the film will detail how Curie went on to become one of the most important figures of our time for her research into radioactivity, becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. While seeing Curie’s story come to life is most definitely exciting, one of the most exciting prospects regarding Radioactive is the lead performance of Rosamund Pike. After her stunning work in Gone Girl back in 2014, Pike returned to form last year playing another iconic Marie–Marie Colvin, famed war photographer in A Private War. A truly exceptional actor, taking on a truly exceptional woman. – Stephen H.

52. Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)

sorry-we-missed-you

May Ken Loach never stop working! The 82-year-old socialist filmmaker, who’s been averaging a film every two years this decade is now turning his eye to the “gig economy” by telling a story of a family who find themselves in financial problems following the 2008 financial crash. Kris Hitchen, who previously appeared in Loach’s The Navigators, plays Ricky, a husband/father who buys a van and starts a delivery service to make ends meet. Loach’s previous film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2016. – Jose S.

51. The Personal History of David Copperfield (Armando Iannucci)

peter-capaldi

The Death of Stalin was the perfect dark comedy for our dark political times, and for his next film Armando Iannucci is taking the unexpected route of adapting Charles Dickens. “I want to make a film that doesn’t feel hidebound by the conventions of a costume drama or a period drama,” the director said of his take on the orphan-turned- author David Copperfield. “I want to start again. I want it to feel real and present, even though it’s set in 1840 in London. I want it to feel immediate and current. And therefore I want the cast to be much more representative of what London looks like now, and I want a lot of the behavior in the film to feel current and contemporary.” Starring Dev Patel, Peter Capaldi, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Aneurin Barnard, Ben Whishaw, Morfydd Clark, Gwendoline Christie, and Benedict Wong, production concluded a few months ago, so we should see it by fall festivals. – Jordan R.

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