What’s On – July 2020


…are… are we back? Is this it?? Are we seeing cinemas start to return (in the UK, rightly or wrongly) this month? If so, then there is MUCH to look forward to, many films that obviously had their releases postponed (some went on to be released via streaming services, others await a more cinematic introduction) will finally be making their way to the big screen, giving us all a chance to escape reality once again in one of our favourite ways. Admittedly this month’s not really quite as jam-packed with films as we’re used to seeing at this time of year, including a distinct lack of summer blockbusters and very few aimed at kids that would normally be appearing now in time for the summer holidays. But, at this point, we’ll take what we can get! As always, I’ve picked out three movies that may prove most appealing, but as mentioned, there’s not a lot to choose from (which, unfortunately, makes sense – cinemas will not have the time to show many films right now and so are unlikely to invest time in films that may not pull the much-needed money in right now).

If your local cinema is indeed opening up again this month, be sure to check their new policies regarding keeping you and cinema staff safe before organising a trip. We’re living in a very abnormal world (well, more abnormal than usual) right now, so let’s all be thoughtful and kind to one another while traversing this “new normal”.

**Please note, many of the dates of these releases are subject to change, and some may have appeared in previous “What’s On” lists only to have obviously been postponed until now (such as Mulan, with its original release set for March, postponed to July and again to August) and may be repeated here or in future “What’s On” lists. The below are correct to the best of my knowledge/internet scouring as of June 28th.


Hamilton (3rd)

Ok, so I’m being a bit naughty and starting off with a release that was supposed to come to cinemas at some point, but instead is being released on the Disney+ streaming service. Why am I doing this? Because it’s a BIG. EFFING. DEAL. Hamilton is a hugely successful musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States, using a talented racially-diverse cast; old America is represented by modern America, to somewhat paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda. Created in its entirety by the incomparable and incredibly talented Miranda (who also stars in the title role), Hamilton began life on Broadway in 2015 and made its way to the West End in 2017 (where I was extremely fortunate to see it on my birthday barely 2 weeks before lockdown began in England). If you don’t have a Disney+ subscription, unfortunately there is no longer an option for a free trial, however just one month of the service will cost £5.99, which, let’s face it, is definitely cheaper than a ticket at most cinemas, if not around the same price, and for that you can have access to many other films and shows! You can always cancel the subscription after seeing Hamilton, but whatever you do, I assure you, if you enjoy musicals (or even if you don’t normally), you will not want to miss this one.


Clemency (31st)

The premise and reviews for Clemency promise a very real and gritty look at the reality of working as a prison warden, and a female one at that, dealing with inmates on death row and the personal toll it takes. Alfre Woodard’s performance has been lauded all over, along with Chinonye Chukwu’s directorial skills throughout. Judging by plaudits alone, this film stands to continue proving that there are so many talented Black people within the film industry, creating astounding cinema that will both entertain and educate us, and their work deserves our support and attention just as much, if not more so right now, than any other.


Summerland (24th)

Set in the English countryside during WWII, Gemma Arterton plays a writer, who prefers her own company, that is enlisted to house and take care of a young boy evacuated from London. Through the trailer we come to learn that Arterton’s character was once in something of an interracial gay relationship, the kind of relationship that would land one in serious trouble with the UK law at the time, and the boy loses his father, presumably to the war. Together they learn to enjoy each other’s company and perhaps even help to heal each other as they get to know one another. It looks like a real emotional rollercoaster of a film with many layers full of themes that could resonate long after the credits roll.

Non-English Language Choice:


Proxima (10th)

Proxima is actually mixed English and French, however it is a French/German production, so I’m considering it non-English. The premise is a heart-wrenching story of a mother preparing to leave her child in order to embark on a year-long job on the International Space Station. Reviews seem favourable on this film, and the trailer boasts an emotional vein through the mother-daugher relationship that is highly praised. It could definitely be relatable to many parents/families on many levels.


Other July releases:

Bayala: A Magical Adventure
Black Water: Abyss
Saint Frances

Elleville Elfrid (Ella Bella Bingo)
I Am Vengeance: Retaliation
Masters of Love
SGT. Will Gardner

R.I.A (no trailer yet)

The Vigil

American Fighter
7 Days to Vegas

The Traitor

Anderson Falls (Darkness Falls)
Make Up
Stage Mother


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