2021: Films to look forward to

Image Credit: Nurina Iman Nizam

Eoin O’Gaora outlines some of his most anticipated films of 2021

Few would argue 2020 was a good year for film – cinemas were closed for most of the year, with almost all films delayed or moved online. 2021, however, will hopefully feature a fuller programme, with a mix of delayed films finally releasing in cinemas after an extra year of hype or agonising wait (depending upon your perspective) and newer ones that were filmed in less-than-ideal circumstances. Here are a few I am personally looking forward to.

Nomadland - Chloé Zhao

While Zhao’s previous films have experienced modest commercial success, they have yet to find mainstream audiences. Hype has been slowly building around Nomadland, in which Fern (Frances McDormand) abandons her existing life to travel an America devastated by the Great Recession. The film has already won top critical prizes like the Golden Lion, and its delayed release means the film’s marketing has had time to reach broader audiences. Frances McDormand is excellent in every film she stars in, and with a talented director in Zhao, and a screenplay based on a great book, the film’s formula seems set to equal huge success. Probably my most anticipated film of 2021.

Dune - Denis Villeneuve

Another film based on a great book, Dune was slated to release in December 2020, but has been delayed until October this year. The new trailer which dropped shortly before the film's initial release date has only served to further excite the Dune fandom, many of whom have been waiting more than fifty years for a decent adaptation. Almost everyone involved with this film is a huge star and Denis Villeneuve has proven his ability in the sci-fi genre with Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya are pop culture icons, and Hans Zimmer is probably the best-known film score composer in the world right now. I can only hope this film lives up to the hype.

Candyman - Nia deCosta

After over twenty years of waiting, the Candyman franchise is finally getting another instalment. Often regarded as one of the foremost horror film classics, the original Candyman (1992) was a finely crafted film that dealt with difficult issues of racism and inequality in contemporary America. With those issues still as relevant now as they were in the early nineties, Nia deCosta, Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld have collaborated on a script for what will hopefully be a compelling revisiting of those same themes. Given Peele’s record of interrogating these themes in his own films such as Get Out and Us, Candyman is likely to be much more than simply a cash grab banking on name recognition.