Hopefully you’ve had time in between last-minute Christmas shopping and mince pie binge to peruse our Best Films of 2016 rundown. Now that the year’s end is almost upon us – thank goodness – it’s time to present some of the film we’re most looking forward to seeing in the next twelve months. 2017 sees the return of auteur giants Michael Haneke, Lynne Ramsay and Andrey Zvyagintsev, as well as new offerings from CineVue favourites Clio Barnard, Bong Joon-ho and Giorgos Lanthimos. Tweet your own picks to @CineVue.
More smart science fiction is expected from Alex Garland’s adaptation of Annihilation, the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s mind-bending trilogy. Those familiar with the novel will be anticipating a Stalker-esque exploration of inner space as Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh trek across an environmental disaster zone which has deep psychological effects. [John Bleasdale]
Blade Runner 2049
The incessant and mostly unnecessary retooling of past classics claims another victim but coming off the back of recent successes Sicario and Arrival, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins seem like a safe pair of hands to make sure that this replicant doesn’t end in tears (in rain). Should open Venice. Ryan Gosling and a returning Harrison Ford star. [JB]
Following The Arbor and The Selfish Giant, British director Clio Barnard is on an indisputable roll. Her new film Dark River stars Ruth Wilson as Alice, a grieving daughter who returns to her home village for the first time in 15 years to claim the tenancy to the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Standing in her way is her brother (Mark Stanley), worn down by years of ownership. [Daniel Green]
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
After being a pioneer of the Greek Weird Wave, Giorgios Lanthimos expanded his gaze beyond his country’s shores with his brilliant, darkly absurd drama The Lobster. He’s reteaming with Colin Farrell for his follow-up The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which is widely reported as being inspired by a Euripidean tragedy – presumably Iphigenia at Aulis, given the title. Nicole Kidman co-stars in what promises to be another strange and bleak reflection of the modern world. [Ben Nicholson]
Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev has established himself as one of the world’s best makers of gripping familial dramas. Hot on the heels of Leviathan, one of the best films released in 2014, Zvyagintsev once again depicts a brutal and pitiless humanity – fragile, broken – in this uncompromising portrait of the struggles of a loveless family. A sure-fire heavy-hitter on next year’s festival calendar. [DG]
Darren Aronofsky will be looking to recover from the epic – if not Biblical – fail of Noah with a tense psychological drama. Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and the ubiquitous Domhnall Gleeson are the thesps appearing in what has been described as a relationship drama and about which very little has creeped out. Long-time musical collaborator Clint Mansell has been replaced by Johann Johansson, who also succeeds Vangelis as the composer on Blade Runner 2049. [JB]
It’s been almost six years since the release of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy so we’re delighted to welcome sensational Swede Tomas Alfredson back to cinema screens, albeit with an adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman. Michael Fassbender plays long-running detective Harry Hole as he investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, fearing that an elusive serial killer may be active again. [MA]
You Were Never Really Here
It would be hard for Lynne Ramsay to go any darker than her stomach-churning tour de force, We Need to Talk about Kevin, but she’s intending to give it a go. Returning to cinemas after six years away, her next film is an adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ pitch-black noir novella You Were Never Really Here. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a war veteran turned guardian angel who becomes embroiled in the world of sex trafficking. Expect physical and psychological torment. [BN]
Tweet your own picks to @CineVue.