Hayley breaks down the movies and TV series with accompanied reading due to hit screens in the following months.
The Tender Bar
George Clooney is back behind the camera following up his adaptation of Good Morning, Midnight, renamed The Midnight Sky for the Netflix film. His new directorial feature is a coming-of-age tale based on J.R. Moehringer’s bestselling memoir, an effort that had numerous figures knocking on his door to ghost-write for them, including Prince Harry. The Tender Bar recalls Moehringer’s adolescence spent finding father figures in the patrons of his uncle’s Long Island bar (not Boston, as was my knee-jerk assumption due to the presence of Ben Affleck), covering J.R.’s dead-beat absent father, a college romance with a class disparity and his long-harboured dreams of becoming a writer.
The Hating Game
Love them or hate them, romantic comedies are back with a vengeance and The Hating Game, based on Sally Thorne’s monster-hit novel (which kickstarted the "rom-com with a minimalistic, brightly-coloured illustrated cover" genre), is totally not shaking things up with a classic enemies-to-lovers tale. Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell face off as two fellow office workers who hate each other but are also kind of into each other, both fighting for a promotion with an additional wager on top. Get ready for plenty of glares burning equally with rage and desire in this rom-com that heavily leans into the founding tropes that make us roll our eyes, but we devour them anyway.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Scottish Play has been adapted for the screen numerous times, the most recent example being 2015’s stark visual feast Macbeth with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the titular couple who would kill to rule Scotland. The latest version is brought to you by just one of the Coen brothers (Joel, in his first solo effort), and this time pairs Denzel Washington with Coen’s wife and longtime collaborator, Frances McDormand. The film, which stunned audiences when it opened the New York Film Festival in September, is shot in black and white and entirely on sound stages, bringing a classic and theatrical feel back to this timeless tale of ambition, greed and power.
Death on the Nile
Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express was a surprise mid-budget hit in among the blockbusters of 2017, which always leads to Hollywood ordering another just like it. Cue Branagh promptly adapting Death on the Nile and starting what is sure to become the Agatha Christie Cinematic Universe. The sprawling ensemble of characters waiting to be accused of murder by Poirot and his hearty moustache find themselves this time on a river cruise through Egypt, where a young heiress is killed by another unknown passenger. Unfortunately for its new owner Disney, the film is plagued by accusations against headliner Armie Hammer, prompting the age-old strategy for troubled films: dump it in February and hope for the best.
You'd be forgiven for flinching at the term "movie musical" in 2022. To call the genre inconsistent of late would be an understatement; for every In the Heights and West Side Story, there is a Cats and a Dear Evan Hansen. Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina), however, is putting his faith in off-Broadway and sticking to what he does best: sweeping romantic period dramas. Cyrano is adapted from Erica Schmidt's stage musical of the same title, re-imagining Cyrano de Bergerac as a dwarf rather than large-nosed. Schmidt's husband Peter Dinklage fits perfectly into the role of the unrequited-love-struck hero, with the cast singing original music by members of The National.
Batman is back again, and he’s broodier than ever. This is the third big-screen version of the Caped Crusader in the 21st century, and long gone are the days of batsuits with nipples. Robert Pattinson now steps into the black boots (and a curiously emo side-fringe), heading a big ensemble cast of friends and foes, including Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and an unrecognisable Colin Farrell as The Penguin. Director Matt Reeves flexes his blockbuster experience from the acclaimed Planet of the Apes films, drawing inspiration from a range of comics including Batman: Year One to craft a story of Bruce Wayne in his early years as a vigilante, and a detective, a side to the character we have yet to see on film.