The ninth episode in the Star Wars Skywalker saga and the third instalment in the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set a year after the events of The Last Jedi. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) lead the Resistance’s final stand against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. Forced to confront their past, it’s time for the battle between the Jedi and the Sith to come to an end.
Written and directed by Dan Fogelman, Life Itself sees a young New York couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) go from college romance to marriage and parenthood, as the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and lifetimes. A multi-generational saga set in New York and Carmona, Spain – focusing on Vincent (Antonio Banderas), Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), Isabel (Laia Costa) and Rodrigo (Alex Monner) – the film is a celebration of the human condition laced with humour, poignancy and love.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second instalment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following 2015’s The Force Awakens, and is the eighth episode of the franchise. The plot follows Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. Meanwhile, the Resistance – General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) – attempt to escape a First Order attack.
The ninth instalment in the X-Men film series, following on from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and again directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men: Apocalypse is set in 1983 when the first and most powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur a.k.a. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), awakens after thousands of years. Amassed with the powers of many other mutants, which has enabled him to become both immortal and invincible, Apocalypse plans to wipe out modern civilisation and take over the world, and recruits a team of powerful mutants – including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) – to help him cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), return to lead a team of young X-Men – including Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) – to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
Set 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi (1983), and the seventh installment in the main Star Wars film series, Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens, directed by J. J. Abrams, sees a new threat rise from the ashes. Led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), The First Order are attempting to rule the galaxy, but the Resistance is still strong. Newcomers Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) join the fight with the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, as they find out the truth about the Jedi force that they thought were only myths.
Written and directed by Alex Garland, Ex Machina follows a young programmer at an internet-search giant, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), who is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence, at the private mountain estate of the company’s reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Caleb has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing Test, where he must evaluate the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment, Ava (Alicia Vikander).
The latest from Coen Brothers Joel and Ethan, Inside Llewyn Davis follows the week in the life of a young folk singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), circa 1961, as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene. Struggling to make it as a musician, Llewyn is faced with many obstacles, many of them of his own doing, including getting between his only real friends Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan).
(Written for Lost In The Multiplex)
Carey Mulligan gave a stunning performance is last month’s Drive, and is now becoming a face that we look forward to seeing. Fortunately, she’s keeping herself busy in 2012, landing the female lead in Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and beginning negotiations for a lead role in a project for Spike Jonze.
Inside Llewyn Davis follows a musician trying to make it in the 1960s New York music scene. Mulligan, the lead female musician, will star opposite Oscar Isaac. Whilst it is unknown if Mulligan will be asked to sing in the film, she has certainly proven that she is up to the job in Steve McQueen’s Shame, which is set to be released in January 2012.
(Read this in my publication In Retrospect – Issue 2)
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive is based on James Sallis‘ 2005 novel of the same name, with screenplay by Hossein Amini. The film is undoubtedly one of the best film’s of 2011, and even received a standing ovation at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Ryan Gosling, who remains unnamed throughout the film, plays a Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a getaway driver. He works for Shannon (Bryan Cranston) in a garage, who approaches mobsters Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman) for backing to buy a racecar and have the “Driver” race it. Driver meanwhile becomes involved with his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her younger son, but as a romantic connection begins to develop, Irene’s boyfriend Standard (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison. Standard still owes an old associate some money, so Driver offers to help out of his concern for Irene. But when it all goes fatally wrong, Driver is left to clean up his mess.