Blog post by Ross Munro for Wholly Cinema.

I know what you’re thinking: a mere couple of days after barely surviving television broadcasting’s equivalent of the Bataan Death March known as the Oscars, you’re now overcome with a paralyzing desire to scan the cinematic horizon for the next slate of films to be feted by Hollywood (especially those hardcore cinephiles representing the Academy’s Publicist Branch).

With 2018 well under way, the only thing we know for sure is that “Fifty Shades Darker” pretty well has a lock on a Best Song nod for the stirring “Handcuff My Love” featured during the dramatic coda of this truly underrated classic-to-be.

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With a respectful acknowledgement to any number of small indies that will surely find their way into the hearts and minds of critics Top 10 lists (“I laughed! I cried! I asked the person seated next to me to stop snoring!”- Entertainment Weekly), I’ve decided, instead, to choose more large scale films whose total catering budgets would’ve been sufficient to fund three more “Moonlight”s.

Despite being deprived of an almost non- existent health benefit package, I was pleasantly surprised when my crack research team here at Wholly Cinema agreed to dig up a long list of potential film titles for me to cull.

What follows is a random sampling of those I feel have a great shot at Oscar 2018 gold (or not):

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1) “Dunkirk”- Directed by Christopher Nolan. The build up for this WW2 drama is already creating online buzz with its amazing trailer and why not? This extremely visceral war movie about a grunt eye’s look at a key battle involving British infantry troops is probably one of the year’s most eagerly awaited movies (only because “Trolls 2” is getting a 2019 release…) as Christopher Nolan continues his reputation as a big screen master filmmaker. War historians still argue whether the Allied Force’s introduction of the Bat Utility Belt turned the tide against the Germans…

2) “PT Anderson’s Unnamed Fashion Film”- Directed (surprisingly) by PT Anderson. Currently filming in London, this top secret new film by America’s greatest living filmmaker (note- it’s been confirmed that he’s still living as of this filing) has PTA (he lets me call him this) teaming up with his thespian good luck charm Daniel Day-Lewis in a movie set in the world of 1950’s European fashion. I’m hoping beyond hope there’s a scene with a young Karl Lagerfeld pleading “I drink your milkshake!).

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3) “Murder on the Orient Express”- Directed by Kenneth Branagh. A remake of Sidney Lumet’s ‘70’s era version of the classic Agatha Christie mystery featuring everyone’s favorite mumbling Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (must be all that country’s breweries…), Kenneth “Thor” Branagh brings an equally star-studded cast (Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, et al) to the tense proceedings as they all attempt to unpuzzle the pieces of a nefarious murder amongst the train passengers (no doubt triggered by the dining car’s outrageous pastry prices…).

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4) “A Star is Born”- Directed by Bradley Cooper. Speaking of remakes, Hollywood takes a fourth stab at this famous musical property (although the original released shortly after the invention of the steam engine with Frederic March and Janet Gaynor played it sans tunes) made famous by Babs Streisand singing about an easy chair. In this new version, actor Bradley Cooper does double duty as the film’s director while playing the role of the insanely jealous and self destructive husband of his more famous spouse Lady Gaga for beating him to the punch in creating a dress made of meat. The movie hopefully answers the all important question: Can I get 24 hour dry cleaning on a meat dress?

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5) “The Current War”- Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. This “electrifying” story of the feud between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse (see what I did there…?) is finally “illuminated” on the big screen with the “high wattage” star power of Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as they race against each other to see who will be first to phone up and tell them their fridge “is running”. No word on whether or not the hit song “You Light Up My Life” will be on the soundtrack…

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Viva La Cinema!