Here we are, at the start of a brand new year, and there is so much to look forward to in January alone! From extremely buzz-worthy, female-led and very British (though not thoroughly) offerings such as The Favourite, Colette and Mary Queen of Scots, to family and relationship-driven heart-wrenchers like The Upside, An Impossible Love and Beautiful Boy, and films with darker but arguably more important issues such as Love Sonia and Monsters and Men, we are spoilt for choice. Gone are the mainstream blockbusters (for this month, anyway), making way for films that have been released close to awards season to stand a higher chance of remaining fresh in the eyes of the voters. But what in particular might be worth your time and money as the cold weather hits? Find out now…
The Favourite (1st)
From esteemed director (and one of my favourites, ironically) Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Dogtooth), comes this strange historical comedy starring the brilliant Olivia Colman along with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz (both equally wonderful actors). Based on Queen Anne and her relationship with two cousins vying for her attention, it already boasts incredible reviews and numerous awards nominations, with Oscar noms also highly likely in the upcoming Academy Awards, particularly for Lanthimos and Coleman. This is surely not one to be missed.
Beautiful Boy (18th)
Featuring the marvellous Steve Carell in his second film out this month (the other being Welcome to Marwen, which looks good judging by the trailer but isn’t reviewing so well thus far, unfortunately) and based on a true story, this is a potentially very moving film about a father watching his beloved son go through the extreme highs and horrendous lows of drug abuse. Also starring the fantastic young up-and-comer Timothée Chalamet this is another one that is likely to be worth venturing out into the cold and into your nearest cinema for, particularly if you want to really bury yourself in winter misery with (hopefully) a happy ending.
In what is being hailed by many as her magnum opus, if you will, Keira Knightley stars in this true tale of a female author whose identity as a woman was hidden by her husband (and fellow author) as her books began to surge in popularity. Adding to the proof that female-fronted films can, will and do impress audiences, Colette, just like The Favourite, is also receiving good reviews thus far, and just like many female-centric films out recently, it very much speaks to the current changing times. It also helps if you enjoy Knightley’s other period films, such as Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and, yes, even Pirates of the Caribbean, then you’re sure to enjoy this one just as much, if not more.
Non-English Language Choice:
Love Sonia (25th)
This Hindi-language film (that also includes a small amount of English) sheds an important light on the issues of human trafficking, particularly in India. It tells a fictional story based on true events of a young girl attempting to rescue her sister after she is essentially sold into sexual slavery. Thanks to many of the names attached to the film, including director Tabrez Noorani, who also produced films such as Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire, and well-known Western actors such as Demi Moore and Mark Duplass, this is sure to pull in audiences it may not have without such recognisable names. Whether you recognise them or not, this is still potentially one of the most important films of the year already.
Other January Releases:
Welcome to Marwen
An Impossible Love (Un Amour Impossible)
The 12th Man
The Front Runner
The House By the Sea (La Villa)
Stan & Ollie
Mary Queen of Scots
Monsters and Men
A Dog’s Way Home