Movies to look forward to in 2019

Coming into 2019 there are many must see movies. Of course there are the big blockbusters like Avengers: End Game, Star Wars: Episode 9, The Lion King but there are several films that I saw at last years Toronto International Film Festival that will be premiering this year.

I wanted to take a moment to give you the ‘heads up’ on some films you do not want to miss this year.

Some of the films have release dates and some do not…yet.

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan
Director: Karyn Kasuma
Expected Release Date: January 2019

Much has been made of the visual transformation of Nicole Kidman in this film. I would say this is the best film of her career.  Playing a detective who is haunted by a case from years ago, her character is one of the most interesting I’ve seen on screen in a long time. A strong supporting cast and a director in Kasuma (The Invitation) who is not afraid to take chances. This is a must see film.

The Hummingbird Project
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, Salma Hayek
Director: Kim Nguyen
Expected Release Date: March  2019

This movie, on paper appeals to the nerd in me. Two relatives (Eisenberg and Skarsgard) attempt to make millions by running a fibe optic cable….yes….a fibre optic cable…all the while dealing with their  rival old boss, played by Hayek. The plot is original and I found this film very entertaining.  Skarsgard, usually known for hearth throb roles, is barely recognizable and Eisenberg rediscovers some of his ‘Social Network’ magic.

Hotel Mumbai
Stars: Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi
Director: Anthony Maras
Expected Release Date: March 2019

Based on true events, this movie deals with the tragic events in 2008 at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India. A group if terrorists held the city and hotel under siege. Words that I would use to describe this film are…Intense…Gripping….Nail Biting…Cinematic Achievement. I will have a full review when it comes out but spoiler alert this movie has an ‘A’ in the grade!

Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz
Director: Neil Jordan
Expected Release Date: March 2019

Neil Jordan directed one of my favourite movies of all time (The Crying Game) and close to 30 years later he’s still making great movies. Isabelle Huppert is deliciously evil as Greta, a woman who takes a very particular interest in Frances. (Moretz) It’s a little Single White Female, mixed with a little Fatal Attraction mixed with a while lot of awesome!

Teen Spirit
Stars: Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall, Zlatko Buric
Director: Max Minghella
Expected Release Date: April 2019

Violet (Fanning) dreams of leaving her small town and becoming a singing sensation so she enters a competition. We have seen movies like this before but what makes this film entertaining is the performance of Zlatko Buric as he plays the most unlikely of mentors. Teen Spirit does a very good of exploring fame and ones desire to achieve it.

The Lie
Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Joey King, Mireille Enos
Director: Veena Sud
Expected Release Date: TBD

I’m a  Veena Sud fan! Her work on The Killing secured that. In this film we have separated parents (Sarsgaard and Enos) who have to put their differences aside to protect their daughter. It’s a good film that asks the question of parents, ‘How far would you go to protect your children?’

The Public
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, Taylor Schilling
Director: Emilio Estevez
Expected Release Date: TBD

Winters in Ottawa are cold and anytime it gets really cold I think of our homeless community and I am thankful I have a warm place to sleep. The Public deals with this issue head on as a group of homeless people decide that enough is enough and they take refuge in the public library. A standoff ensues between the homeless and law enforcement on a brutally cold night. Emilio Estevez has written a fantastic script and an all-star cast gives this movie the heart and depth it deserves.

American Woman
Stars: Sienna Miller, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, Will Sasso
Director: Jake Scott
Expected Release Date: TBD

Sienna Miller blew me away in this movie. Having seen a lot of her work this role is the one that will solidify her as a top actor. Directed by Jake Scott, (Ridleys son) we meet Debra (Miller) who, due to unfortunate circumstances, has to raise her grandson. This wouldn’t be an issue if Debra had her life together but she doesn’t. This movie shows that you don’t need a big budget or massive explosions for a movie to be compelling, you just need a great story and great acting. Mission Accomplished!