While 2020 did have its moments, it was an excruciatingly slow year for film. Most studios were forced to either push their movies to a streaming service or delay them to 2021. Luckily, there is a slew of movies coming to theaters in 2021, so fans of every genre will be satisfied.
The first two significant releases in 2021 are “Minari,” directed by Lee Isaac Chung, and “Nomadland,” directed by Chloe Zhao. Both are films that had short digital releases in 2020 but will receive a full release in theaters February. “Minari” is set in 1980s Arkansas and follows a seven-year-old’s experience moving from Korea to America with his family, while “Nomadland” is about an aging woman living in a van in the western United States after the Great Recession. Both films come from relatively new directors and are expected to be frontrunners for the Best Picture award at the Oscars in April.
Another anticipated film is “Dune,” directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from the classic science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert. The movie follows Paul Atreides as he travels to the universe’s most dangerous planet in order to preserve the most precious resource in the galaxy. Denis Villeneuve was one of the most consistent directors of the 2010s, and, with names like Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac leading the cast, this movie is a must-see this December.
“The French Dispatch” is another movie to keep an eye out for this year. Directed by the legendary Wes Anderson, the movie follows three separate stories written by the journalists of European newspapers. Wes Anderson’s movies always have such a defined sense of quirkiness and charm to them. Combine that with the star-studded cast of Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton and Timothee Chalamet, and this will definitely be one of the best comedies of the year.
Another film with serious potential is Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho.” “Last Night in Soho” is about a young fashion designer who is mysteriously able to travel back in time to 1960s London, but this newfound ability comes with unforeseen consequences. Coming right off “Baby Driver,” Edga Wright continues to be one of the most energetic and entertaining directors of this generation. Pair that energy with Anya Taylor-Joy, one of the few actresses who enjoyed 2020 as she starred in both “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Emma,” and this movie is a match made in cinematic heaven.
Lastly, “Babylon” is the fourth feature film by up-and-coming director Damien Chazelle. While not many details are known at the moment, the movie is set in the Golden Age in Hollywood during the transition of silent films to “talkies” and is rumored to be released in December. Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie are both in negotiations to be the two leads. Damien Chazelle is a director with an amazing amount of potential and, after just directing “First Man” and “La La Land,” it would be a surprise if his upcoming film is a disappointment.