Escaping to the cinema – new films you might like

The movies have always been and ever will be where we go to escape and goodness knows we need it now. If doing this together carefully is allowed where you are, then you should grasp and value the chance to go. We are in danger of losing the communal experience of film.

I understand why you might to sit at home and pay for the streaming giants to send them to you. But the key word in this is in the paragraph above.

Together.

In this new, rather uncertain world of 2022 what has the film industry got to tempt us out? Here are some to consider.

BELFAST

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, this film tells a story based on his own working class boyhood upbringing in Northern Ireland in the late ‘60’s.

With a stand out performance from Jude Hill as 9 year old Buddy and Judy Dench as his Grandma, this black and white offering is both funny, emotional and uplifting. With a Van Morrison score I defy you to dislike this. It’s out in UK cinemas this month – and top of my list.

OPERATION MINCEMEAT

Long forgotten now but something I read as a youngster is a tale of espionage by the UK government in 1943. They took a corpse of a tramp, dressed it as a senior Royal Marines officer and allowed the body to be washed up with a briefcase containing apparently top secret documents showing the Allies intended to start their invasion of mainland Europe in Greece.

Operation Mincemeat is one of the most remarkably true and untold episodes of WW2. It undoubtedly saved the lives of thousands. Deception may be the greatest weapon in war but this most convincing performance by Colin Firth comes a close second. 

MARRY ME

Rom-coms are not my thing (what a surprise). But good ones are box office and I cannot ignore the possibility Jennifer Lopez might just be able to act. After all Whitney Houston did an amazing job in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner (which I would urge you to revisit).

Lopez refers to type as a pop superstar. She picks a guy from the audience holding a sign saying “Marry Me” after discovering her fiancé has been cheating on her. Owen Wilson is a maths teacher well out of his depth when she takes him up on his offer.

It’s a silly idea (think Notting Hill meets The Proposal) but then so was My Fair Lady. Guess what. It’s coming out for Valentine’s Day.

LIGHTYEAR

As someone who remembers Andy Pandy, Buzz Lightyear still cannot compete.

I still don’t know why Looby Loo never came out of the basket when he or Teddy were around. But I came to the conclusion Teddy was a bit of a thug whilst I watched him bouncing around on his strings through the legs of my mother’s ironing board.

Lightyear is a spin-off from Toy Story which has been an enormous success for Pixar studios since its release over 25 years ago – but that was then. So why the back-story? Two reasons.

Director Angus Mclane desperately wanted Chris Evans (no, not that one) to agree to him voicing the part. He said yes. The second is everyone who saw Toy Story and the sequels wanted to know where this likeable hero began. Here it is.

ELVIS

Elvis is a biographical film directed by Bas Luhrmann.  Tom Hanks plays Colonel Tom Parker and young Austin Butler is The King. The production filmed in Australia and was delayed as Hanks contracted the virus. Lurhmann said this: “We just dug in deep. I think everyone was aware of the privilege of being able to actually make something.” So far just a short teaser has been released. Expect it in June.

THE DUKE

The Duke filmed in West Yorkshire is finally set to be released this year. Starring Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent it was filmed in Bradford two years ago just before the pandemic. Here’s a behind the scenes look Yes, I was an extra.

Whilst we’re in my neck of the woods I should mention THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON. The streets of Hull were used to depict Georgian London in this four part ITV drama depicting a “searing depiction of race, class and oppression.” Sledmere House near Driffield was also utilised. Like many productions this has been delayed but looks well worth the wait and is expected later this year.

Whilst on the TV front, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL has been green-lighted for another two series and Christmas specials on C5 following the positive worldwide reaction to the remake by production company Playground Entertainment. I’m so pleased for the cast and crew who are really lovely and work so hard.

TICKET TO PARADISE

Meanwhile on the big screen Ticket To Paradise is a George  Clooney/Julie Roberts vehicle set in Bali. They obviously have chemistry both on and off set. Ol Parker wrote and directed it in Australia. As yet there is no trailer. Expect it in October.

AVATAR 2

Finally the Christmas 2022 blockbuster for many will be Avatar 2. James Cameron was so sure his original 2009 film would be a hit he filmed four sequels at the same time. The second arrives in mid December 2022.

Cameron is a director who does immense, edge of your cinema seat stuff. But he won’t finish Avatar 3 or 4 until he sees your reaction to his sequel. You might call it the difficult second album. It would be a shame if you didn’t get out from your comfy sofa to see the man who brought you Titanic. Watch it on Netflix and he just might bin the rest. Your choice.

I should add there’s a mountain of new creativity happening now. Not just on film but live. Please get jabbed, out there and support the entertainment industry in whatever form it may come.

You need them and they need you. My old biology teacher called it Symbiosis.

Northern Male has some other good film suggestions you might like here