Coming soon: 40 unmissable movies

The best new films of 2013 and beyond

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After a rocky 2012, British film bounces back with a spectacular slate of new films, including the return of ‘The Guard’ director John Michael McDonagh, ‘Submarine’ mastermind Richard Ayoade and Pear Tree Productions supremo Alan Partridge. All this, and Princess Di!

  • Calvary

    If you liked John Michael McDonagh’s shaggy dog tale ‘The Guard’, prepare to get very excited about his follow-up, ‘Calvary’. It’s another black comedy, and Brendan Gleeson (the drug-sniffing, booze-swigging copper in ‘The Guard’) is back in the lead role. This time he plays a priest – a decent man tormented by intransigent locals.

    The origins of the film belong to Gleeson, who apparently joked to McDonagh while they were shooting ‘The Guard’ that he’d always wanted to play a good priest. Hey presto, McDonagh wrote him the script. The rest of the cast is comprised of some of Ireland’s finest – Aiden Gillen, Domnhall Gleeson (Brendan’s son), Dylan Moran and Chris O’Dowd. A feckin’ great movie? Here’s hoping.

    Calvary’ is out in 2013.

    Calvary
  • The Alan Partridge Movie

    Aha! It’s about time, as Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci team up for the big-screen debut of Norwich’s finest daytime radio host. Rumours of a Partridge movie have been flying around for years – at one point, an incomplete script involved Alan being held hostage by Al Qaeda terrorists, while other grapevine rumbles alleged he’d be crossing the Atlantic for an American adventure.

    Apparently none of this has made it into the final script, which will see Alan dealing with the vagaries of modern marketing when a multimedia conglomerate buys out North Norfolk Digital. Two of the co-writers, Rob and Neil Gibbons, have confirmed that the entire film will be shot in and around Norwich. TV veteran Declan Lowney (‘Father Ted’) will oversee proceedings. All in all, it sounds like a satisfyingly low-key and non-bombastic big-screen experience. But can Coogan, Iannucci and the Gibbons boys bring the funny?

    The Alan Partridge Movie’ is out on Aug 16 2013.

    The Alan Partridge Movie
  • How I Live Now

    Right now it seems as though every novel with even a tangential connection to teenage life is being rush-released as a movie, but ‘How I Live Now’ has a more impressive pedigree than most. Boston-born Meg Rossoff’s novel, set in rural England in the early days of World War III, was a critical and commercial success on its release in 2004, winning a number of awards.

    Director Kevin Macdonald has significant experience in this department – his 2011 film ‘The Eagle’ was an unfairly overlooked adaptation of a classic kids’ book, and his films ably depict ‘normal’ life in violent, dramatic circumstances. Saoirse Ronan also has an appropriately literate CV – ‘Atonement’ and ‘The Lovely Bones’ for starters – and here she’ll play Daisy, the young woman whose life on a remote farm becomes more difficult as Britain is occupied by enemy forces.

    How I Live Now’ is out in 2013.

    How I Live Now
  • The Double

    Following a one-two punch of public disappointments – he starred in dreadful mainstream comedy ‘The Watch’ with Ben Stiller, before doing his best ‘gosh aren’t I wacky’ Noel Fielding impression on Channel 4’s tabloid-baiting panel quiz disaster ‘The Big Fat Quiz of the Year’ – TV comic turned filmmaker Richard Ayoade is slipping back behind the camera for an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s 1846 novella about a man whose mind begins to unravel after he spots his own doppelganger.

    The film is being pitched as a comedy, but given the author and subject matter we’re assuming it’ll be fairly dark around the edges. It seems like a step up in budget from Ayoade’s debut ‘Submarine’, with American stars Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska in the lead roles. The supporting cast are a joy: ‘inconceivable!’ homunculus Wallace Shawn, Ayoade alumni Noah Taylor and the increasingly vulpine James Fox all show their faces.

    The Double’ is out in 2013.

    The Double
  • Diana

    Now this is an odd concoction. It was inevitable that sooner or later a film would be made about the plush life and sudden demise of Diana, Princess of Wales. It seemed equally inevitable that Naomi Watts would end up playing her. But there the predictability ends.

    The director of this biopic covering the last two years of the Princess’s life is Oliver Hirschbiegel, the German filmmaker whose early success with the likes of ‘The Experiment’ and ‘Downfall’ was swept away when he tangled with the Hollywood machine making the disastrous ‘The Invasion’, and whose work since has been of decidedly variable quality.

    Aside from Watts’s shiny-toothed, big-haired presence, the rest of the cast is largely comprised of British bit-part actors and newcomers, and every aspect of the production has been kept strictly under wraps. This could end up capturing the nation’s hearts, or it could be a shamelessly manipulative and forgettable TV movie. But between this and the forthcoming spawn, it looks like another big year for the Windsors.

    Diana’ is out in 2013.

    Diana
  • Frank

    Since his last film, the impressive teen drama ‘What Richard Did’, only recently released in UK cinemas, Irish writer-director Lenny Abrahamson has already upped sticks to the US to shoot his next movie, ‘Frank’. It promises to be a step up in both budget and ambition for Abrahamson, whose first three features were all decidedly low key.

    The script was co-written by British journalist Jon Ronson, and is partly based on his experiences in the backing band for oddball cult musical hero Frank Sidebottom – though whether star Michael Fassbender is actually playing Sidebottom himself remains to be seen. Either way, ‘Frank’ looks set to be an unusual, sidelong examination of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, as Domhnall Gleeson’s aspiring musician falls under the spell of Fassbender’s charismatic loner. Abrahamson has described the film as a comedy, but it’s likely to have more in common with his Finnish hero Aki Kaurismäki than your more traditional rock movie hi-jinks.

    ‘Frank’ is out in 2014.

    Frank

Calvary

If you liked John Michael McDonagh’s shaggy dog tale ‘The Guard’, prepare to get very excited about his follow-up, ‘Calvary’. It’s another black comedy, and Brendan Gleeson (the drug-sniffing, booze-swigging copper in ‘The Guard’) is back in the lead role. This time he plays a priest – a decent man tormented by intransigent locals.

The origins of the film belong to Gleeson, who apparently joked to McDonagh while they were shooting ‘The Guard’ that he’d always wanted to play a good priest. Hey presto, McDonagh wrote him the script. The rest of the cast is comprised of some of Ireland’s finest – Aiden Gillen, Domnhall Gleeson (Brendan’s son), Dylan Moran and Chris O’Dowd. A feckin’ great movie? Here’s hoping.

Calvary’ is out in 2013.


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