The Films of 2020

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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DarkImbecile
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The Films of 2020

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:00 am

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the place to post your musings of anticipation for and reactions to films released in 2019 that don't already have a dedicated thread in the New Films sub-forum. If enough posts accumulate discussing a particular film, they may spontaneously ignite and leap from the fuel tank of this thread like a jet of flame onto a deranged cultist in a swimming pool and start burning away as their own dedicated thread. Please limit yourself to one film per post — even if that means a few consecutive posts after a day-long trip to the multiplex — as the mods have hard enough jobs already without having to try to split your 1,000-word treatise on Bad Boys for Life and Disney's Jungle Cruise into two different threads.

It's a new year, a new decade, and an American election year all wrapped up in one, so let's all hide from our collective march toward inescapable mortality together in the womb-like darkness of movie theaters for such comfortably familiar delights as:
  • An adaptation of Joan Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted from Dee Rees
  • An adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth from Joel Coen and only Joel Coen
  • An adaptation of August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" from producer Denzel Washington
  • An adaptation of Broadway's "In the Heights" from the director of Step Up 2: The Streets
  • An adaptation of Man Booker-winning The White Tiger from Ramin Bahrani
  • An adaptation of the best-selling News of the World from Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks
  • An adaptation of the racially-charged classic Passing from first-time director Rebecca Hall
  • An adaptation of the Green Knight legend from David Lowery
  • An adaptation of a British soccer documentary from Taika Waititi
  • The first-ever adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, starring Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Yet another adaptation of the viral twitter thread about strippers on a road trip
  • Zack Snyder's return to the zombie genre with a spiritual sequel to his Dawn of the Dead
  • Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall's return to America in an actual, non-spiritual sequel to Coming to America
  • Jon Krasinski, Emily Blunt, and a white board's return in the sequel to A Quiet Place
  • Tom Cruise's return in a sequel to Top Gun
  • Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter's return in a sequel to Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
  • Margot Robbie and Viola Davis' return in a sequel to Suicide Squad
  • Honor Swinton Byrne's return in a sequel to Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir
  • A remake of 1996's The Craft [error: 5,000-word appreciation from domino harvey not found]
  • An English-language remake of 2014's Force Majeure with Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Ben Wheatley's remake of Rebecca
  • Niki Caro's live-action remake of 1998's Mulan
  • The Eyes of My Mother's Nicolas Pesce's remake of the remake of The Grudge
  • Robert Zemeckis' remake of Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches
  • Steven Spielberg's remake of the adaptation of West Side Story
  • Guillermo Del Toro's remake of the adaptation of Nightmare Alley
  • Denis Villeneuve's remake of the adaptation of Dune
  • Leigh Wannell's remake of The Invisible Man with Elisabeth Moss
  • David Gordon Green's sequel to his own sequel to/reboot of Halloween
  • A sequel/remake/reboot of Godzilla vs. Kong from Adam Wingard
  • A sequel/remake/reboot of 1992's cult horror Candyman
  • Chris Rock's sequel/remake/reboot of the Saw franchise
  • Jason Reitman's sequel/remake/reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise
  • George Clooney's Good Morning, Midnight, which I can only assume follows the continuing adventures of Edward R. Murrow
  • And a few lame original films from the likes of ::kogonada, Tomas Alfredsson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Leos Carax, Scott Cooper, Gia Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Josephine Decker, Andrew Dominik, Bruno Dumont, Sean Durkin, David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, Mia Hansen-Løve, Todd Haynes, Michel Haznavicius, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Miranda July, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Lee, Adrian Lyne, Terrence Malick, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mills, Kornél Mundruczó, Christopher Nolan, Sally Potter, Gina Pryce-Bythewood, Paul Schrader, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, Aaron Sorkin, Paul Verhoeven, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Edgar Wright, and Chloe Zhao.
Everyone is encouraged to offer their thoughts on any 2019 release that provokes a reaction, whether it's a hidden art house gem or a big budget studio disaster — you never know when you'll be the one to start a vigorous conversation on the merits of 2020's version of Lucy in the Sky.

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2020

#2 Post by knives » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:08 am

Always the best annual post though that Emma bullet would make more sense without the comma given Goop's history.

Also yeah if that Carax actually gets released.

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big ticket
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Re: The Films of 2020

#3 Post by big ticket » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:44 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:08 am
Always the best annual post
A welcome sight every new year!

bad future
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Re: The Films of 2020

#4 Post by bad future » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:57 pm

! Is there really another Todd Haynes film on the way? I tried googling, but all the results, including the *current draft* of his wikipedia page, are from a world where Dark Waters is still the Haynes project on the horizon. Which, fair; I guess it may as well be still unreleased as far as most people seem concerned...

very exciting post either way!

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2020

#5 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:04 pm

bad future wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:57 pm
! Is there really another Todd Haynes film on the way?
In addition to a possible Peggy Lee biopic that is very unlikely to come this year, he has a documentary on Lou Reed that is finished or very close to it.

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Big Ben
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Re: The Films of 2020

#6 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:54 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:04 pm
bad future wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:57 pm
! Is there really another Todd Haynes film on the way?
In addition to a possible Peggy Lee biopic that is very unlikely to come this year, he has a documentary on Lou Reed that is finished or very close to it.
Imdb lists it as finished but not yet screened. It appears to be about the Velvet Underground years specifically.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Films of 2020

#7 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:46 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:54 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:04 pm
bad future wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:57 pm
! Is there really another Todd Haynes film on the way?
In addition to a possible Peggy Lee biopic that is very unlikely to come this year, he has a documentary on Lou Reed that is finished or very close to it.
Imdb lists it as finished but not yet screened. It appears to be about the Velvet Underground years specifically.
I rarely get hyped for docs but this is incredibly exciting

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Re: The Films of 2020

#8 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:05 pm

Totally agree. And could see it end up with Criterion eventually

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aox
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Re: The Films of 2020

#9 Post by aox » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:15 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:00 am
[*]An adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth from Joel Coen and only Joel Coen
Interesting. Is this a straight adaptation or something more akin to Oh, Brother! Where Art Thou?

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swo17
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Re: The Films of 2020

#10 Post by swo17 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:18 pm

Everything we know about it is in the dedicated thread

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: The Films of 2020

#11 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:46 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:00 am
And a few lame original films from the likes of... Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Not to be a killjoy, but I've seen no indication that Hou has even settled on his next project, much less begun production (and recall that The Assassin started filming nearly three years before it finally premiered). Still lots of exciting Chinese-language possibilities for 2020:
  • Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue, a literature documentary by Jia Zhangke
  • At least one and potentially up to three films from Zhang Yimou: a contemporary urban crime drama in post-production, a WWII espionage thriller called Impasse that just started filming, and One Second if it finally escapes the censors
  • Cry of the Birds, an adaptation of Ah Cheng’s The King of Trees and Tian Zhuangzhuang’s first directorial outing in over a decade
  • A new Tsai Ming-liang film—no English title or details on length, theme, etc.—with Lee Kang-sheng (naturally) and a Laotian newcomer named Anong Houngheuangsy that Tsai discovered on the streets of Bangkok
  • An undercover cop movie from Johnnie To, which will hopefully mark his true comeback after the false start that was last year’s Chasing Dream
  • Love After Love, an Eileen Chang adaptation directed by Ann Hui and photographed by Christopher Doyle
  • Wang Bing’s Shanghai Youth, or perhaps something completely different that we haven’t heard about yet—either way we’re overdue for something from him
  • Stephen Chow’s sci-fi sequel to The Mermaid
  • An omnibus film from Johnnie To, Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Yuen Woo-ping, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, and the late Ringo Lam
  • Two based-on-fact sports dramas from Peter Ho-sun Chan: Leap (about the storied Chinese women’s national volleyball team, starring Gong Li as player-turned-coach Lang Ping) and an untitled biopic of tennis legend Li Na (featuring Vincent Cassel and a still-unidentified newcomer as Li)
  • A semi-autobiographical film from Fifth Generation director Liu Miaomiao inspired by her struggles with bipolar disorder
  • Love Song 1980, the second directorial effort from veteran screenwriter/regular Lou Ye collaborator Mei Feng, whose Mr. No Problem was one of the unsung greats of the 2010s
  • The Neo-New Adventures, an experimental period story about Sichuanese opera from brilliant up-and-comer Qiu Jiongjiong (Mr. Zhang Believes)
  • Song Fang’s long-in-the-works followup to Memories Look at Me, starring Qi Xi
  • The Weary Poet, another wuxia film from The Final Master’s Xu Haofeng, starring Zhou Xun and Chen Kun—hopefully The Hidden Sword (which had its commercial release abruptly canceled last year for seemingly censorship-related reasons) will finally emerge as well
  • Stars Await Us, the sophomore feature of The Summer Is Gone’s Zhang Dalei
  • Surveillance-themed thriller Stranger Eyes, from Golden Leopard winner Yeo Siew Hua (A Land Imagined)
  • An in-name-only sequel to the monument to excess that was Shock Wave, reuniting Herman Yau and Andy Lau
  • The 1970s crime drama Theory of Ambitions starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai—director Philip Yung’s first film since Port of Call in 2015
  • This doesn’t quite fit with the others, but maybe we’ll see Do Fish Sleep With Their Eyes Open?, the new film from Nele Wohlatz (of the wonderful The Future Perfect) that continues her exploration of the Chinese diaspora in Latin America

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2020

#12 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:15 pm

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:46 pm
Not to be a killjoy
Hou's Shulan River project (which has been discussed as a possibility since the release of The Assassin) popped up on enough of the various "Most Anticipated Films of 2020" lists that I threw him in even without any specific new info, so — while you are in fact a killjoy — you're not wrong to be skeptical.

Thanks for the Asia-centric additions!

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2020

#13 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:16 am

Underwater

This was filmed in 2017, then got caught in a Disney/20th Century purgatory, at last dumped in the January doldrums. I found it an entertaining genre piece. Kristen Stewart is far more convincing as an action hero here than she was in her Charlie’s Angel dud. I loved her blonde crewcut and her lithe physicality. Vincent Cassell adds excellent support. I couldn’t help thinking that this group of actors could have carried the film if the dilemma were confined to surviving a deep sea earthquake, but I guess for 80 million you need monsters.

.

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Re: The Films of 2020

#14 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:15 am

I have been casually curious as to how Underwater would compare to the late 80s underwater horror films Leviathan and Deepstar Six.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2020

#15 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:01 am

^ I hadn’t seen either of those but as both are free on Prime I gave each a brief shot. They’re saddled with much introductory exposition, leaden screenplays and wooden performances. The first half hour of Leviathan includes cringe worthy scenes of workplace sexual harassment, treated as boys will be boys comedy. I never got to the monsters so can’t compare. Underwater has no exposition, we’re plunged into the unrelenting suspense in the first five minutes.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2020

#16 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:16 am

The Rhythm Section

A gloomy and disorienting experience for a globetrotting action film, the first of an expected trilogy. Blake Lively de-glamorizes to the max, she goes scrawny and bruised, on a road from a drug addled prostitute to an improbable assassin. To be charitable, she’s miscast. She adopts a specific (in)expression - call it blank, dead, hollow - early on and she never lets it go. The score is emphatically funereal but at inopportune moments of suspense it breaks out in jarring snippets of pop music like Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” and Elvis’ “It’s Now Or Never”(!) The movie appears to be a box office disaster so I’m guessing no sequels.
Last edited by Mr Sheldrake on Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Films of 2020

#17 Post by barryconvex » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:45 am

Horse Girl

As stories of schizophrenia go this is nowhere near Friedkin's Bug but the last half hour of this is so good I can forgive the preceding one hour and change of rote character development and the uncomfortable scenarios Brie finds herself in: her deteriorating mental state as it goes from socially awkward to fully removed from reality is often painful to watch. Brie shares an L.A. apartment with another young woman and works at an art supply store. She has no real friends outside of one of her co-workers and a girl who suffered severe brain damage after a fall from a horse when they were both in their early teens. Her immediate family members are all deceased with the exception of her step father who periodically checks in with her, throws a stack of cash her way and excuses himself. All the supporting characters are nicely realized but the time it takes for the movie to reach its obvious destination could've been filled in with more of what made the last chapter so effective. That final half hour, when the film sheds the predictable story beats of a woman in decline and devotes itself solely to showing reality as Brie's character sees it, is a brilliant shift in perspective, equal parts surreal and dreamlike and giving Brie's character an added weight. Seeing things from the point of view of a schizophrenic, something handled so poorly by a movie like A Beautiful Mind which could only imagine those things ultra realistically and as something to be banished, especially how they're presented here- non judgmental in their strangeness and with an affection for the character's imagination, was revelatory.

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Re: The Films of 2020

#18 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:33 am

I’m curious if you’ve seen Madeline's Madeline which applies the diverse tools of the medium to create the most disturbing idea of a representation of what it might be like to experience a psychotic disorder- and if so, how this compares? The use of sound was key in that film as auditory hallucinations are more common than visual, and the disorientation was nausea inducing at times. I didn’t love that film as much as I wanted to, but it deserves all the accolades in the world for that and the lead perf. I might see this since it’s a topic of interest but I don’t know how a film can top that as far as attempting authenticity to its subjective narrative around mental health. It sounds like they rely mostly on surrealistic yet clearly formed visuals from what I’ve read?

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Re: The Films of 2020

#19 Post by barryconvex » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:52 am

I haven't seen Madeline yet so I can't compare, but it's on my radar. Horse Girl's first two acts are pretty standard territory. Watching Brie drift towards psychosis is frequently painful and several scenes are just unnecessarily uncomfortable, such as when Brie enters her place of work completely naked- a scene that I fast forwarded through. I just didn't want to see her like that. In the last chapter the imagery becomes abstract (but still recognizable) ** as Brie wanders through her subconscious until it begins to collapse in on itself. It sounds like Madeline (based on your brief description) is much more experimental in presenting a fractured and/or disturbing portrait of a person suffering from this illness. Horse would've been a much better movie if it explored more hallucinatory ground and might've gotten there had it allowed itself more time to wander through Brie's headspace. Honestly, I'm hesitant to speculate on how much you might get out of it. I liked Brie a lot, and she continues to prove she's as talented as anyone else of her generation (despite the third season of GLOW being an unholy abomination), I liked the rest of the cast and I really liked the last half hour. I'm not sure that makes for a glowing recommendation but there it is.



** "surrealistic yet clearly formed visuals" is an apt description.

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The Films of 2020

#20 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:04 am

I like Brie a lot which would be enough reason to watch this (though I am seemingly the only person on the planet that didn't like GLOW so I stopped halfway into season 2), along with Baena who I also like more than maybe I should (The Little Hours and Joshy were far better than I expected). However, the description and reviews I've read make me wary, and this kind of subject matter necessitates a lot of compassion and humility for my barometer to appreciate rather than become offended, even if that's not the film's intent.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2020

#21 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:08 am

The Gentlemen

This might set the record for the use of the c-word in a mainstream film. Hugh Grant might set that all by himself. The word comically peppers his every sentence. This of course is jarring to a US audience as the word is still strictly taboo here.

Grant is only one of the actors transformed. One might not have expected with this and A Very English Scandal the feral range of his talent considering the lightness of his rom-com days. I’ve always felt a mild breeze might knock over Michelle Dockery’s wispiness, here she reveals a simmering ferocity that eventually explodes. Henry Golding transitions seamlessly from heartthrob to demonic killer.

Colin Farrell outdoes them all, an underrated actor in need of a great role. Matthew McGonaughy illustrates the potential pitfalls of major stars doing tv commercials in their home country. Their irritating ubiquity may have diminished the appeal of his film personae.

It’s an empty movie to be sure despite all the clever shenanigans, with Ritchie gleefully misanthropic and non-pc. The one qualification to the misanthropy is that he does indeed love actors.

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The Films of 2020

#22 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:35 am

Mr Sheldrake wrote:The Gentlemen

This might set the record for the use of the c-word in a mainstream film. Hugh Grant might set that all by himself. The word comically peppers his every sentence. This of course is jarring to a US audience as the word is still strictly taboo here.
It’s pretty taboo in the UK, too, but the crucial semantic difference is that it’s explicitly misogynist in the US while completely non-gendered in the UK and Australia, as illustrated by this recent example (a satirical response to a British celebrity recently coming out as gay).

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Re: The Films of 2020

#23 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:05 am

I always think it is quite defamatory against perfectly respectable genitalia to have them be associated with such people.

There is also that brilliant story about the censoring of the single use of the c-word in Bridget Jones's Diary, I think to get around the BBFC and keep the 15 rating, but unfortunately they accidentally left it audible in the film running underneath director's commentary! So I'm hoping that because of that mix up the first edition of the original DVD of the film becomes a collector's item one day!

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