I’m a little late in getting this out (time is limited right now with my new job) but here is my round-up of British movies to look forward to in 2020. I’ve left off 1917, as it’s already out (I need to see it). There’s a wide variety coming out – from big blockbusters like James Bond to smaller British indie films. I usually find myself enjoying the smaller indie films, personally (though I always look forward to a new Bond film). A couple of caveats. This list is not comprehensive. There are loads of movies I’m sure I couldn’t find in the resources I used. There are also movies currently in production that don’t have a release date but will probably come out later this year. Also, some films have British subject matter or were based on British intellectual property but may have been Americanized (like The Witches or The Turning). I’ve included them anyway in the interests of thoroughness. Where possible, I have included the trailers. Some films have not released them yet.
What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!
The Gentleman – January 24th
From writer/director Guy Ritchie comes THE GENTLEMEN, a star-studded sophisticated action comedy. THE GENTLEMEN follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him (featuring an all-star ensemble cast including Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant).
My verdict: will probably be as good as most Guy Ritchie movies. Early buzz has been good.
The Turning – January 24th
A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents. A modern take on Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw”.
My verdict: Looks filmed in a British stately home but has Americanisms, looks terrifying.
Emma – February 14th
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of EMMA. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along. Directed by Autumn de Wilde. Written by Eleanor Catton. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Tanya Reynolds, and Connor Swindells.
My verdict: 2020 will be a great year for Austen fans – this will surely be good.
No Time to Die – April 3rd
In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
My verdict: I can’t wait for this.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – April 3rd
In PETER RABBIT™ 2: THE RUNAWAY, the lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.
My verdict: Well, they did it again. The first one made a boatload of money so they made another one. We only have ourselves to blame, we all went and saw it. To be honest, I watched it on a long flight and I didn’t hate it.
The Secret Garden – April 17th
THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx, Genius, The Little Stranger and A Royal Winter), a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they suddenly die, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Academy Award® and BAFTA-winner Colin Firth – A Single Man, The King’s Speech, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Bridget Jones’s Baby) on his remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors. There, she begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her sickly cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst – Genius, There She Goes), who has been shut away in a wing of the house. Together, these two damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other through their discovery of a wondrous secret garden, lost in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor. A magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever.
My verdict: A classic story and one that turned many of us into Anglophiles as kids, gets a modern update. Looks very good. As someone who loves wandering around English gardens at stately homes, I’ll be there.
The Personal History of David Copperfield – May 8th
An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterizations to bring to life one of Dickens’ most cherished characters in THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD. From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all. The film stars Dev Patel in the title role alongside a wealth of British talent including Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw and Paul Whitehouse.
My verdict: I love Ianucci’s work (The Thick of It and Death of Stalin), so I’ll be there on opening day. This will probably be the ‘big’ period British film this year and win all the awards.
The King’s Man – September 18th
As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man.
My verdict: The King’s Man movies are good movies, but personally I’m disgusted by the ultraviolence in them, so I will probably sit this one out or wait until I’m held captive on a plane and there is nothing else to watch.
Last night in Soho – September 25th
A young girl, passionate in fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
No trailer yet.
My verdict: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End, Hot Fuzz) can do no wrong in my book, so I look forward to this.
Death on the Nile – October 9th
While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress. Sequel to Murder on the Orient Express.
No trailer yet.
My verdict: Murder on the Orient Express was an unexpected hit that many enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to this.
Enola Holmes – No Date
When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers—all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother’s strange disappearance.
My verdict: Yet another ‘new’ take on Sherlock Holmes. Could be good.
Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book ‘The Witches’, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches! With mostly American cast, not sure how ‘British’ this one will be.
My verdict: I’ve always loved the ‘classic’ film so I’m dubious about a remake with a mostly American cast.
A group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London.
My verdict: Looks fun. Anything that pokes holes in the absurd beauty pageant tradition that has no place in the modern world.
Judy & Punch
Seaside (nowhere near the sea), puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their marionette show in an an anarchic town on the brink of mob rule.
My verdict: Looks interesting and dark.
A young newlywed finds herself in living in the shadow of her wealthy husband’s previous wife. Director: Ben Wheatley | Stars: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Keeley Hawes, Kristin Scott Thomas
My verdict: Don’t know enough but Ben Wheatley is fantastic and he has a great cast lined up.
The Last Duel
When Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight, returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing Jacques LeGris, her husband’s old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her, the knight takes his cause before the teenage King Charles VI.
My verdict: Sounds very French but in the best tradition of British films, I’m sure everyone will have a British accent.