20 to try: Film critics' picks

It has been a good year for film so far. Time Out's film team takes a look at what we have to look forward to

The Soloist
The Soloist
The Road and Public Enemies Image #2
The Road and Public Enemies
The Road and Public Enemies Image #3
The Road and Public Enemies

We’re only in May and already it’s been a great year for film, with the likes of Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road finally giving us some food for thought at the cinema (and, perhaps most importantly, providing an alternative to re-makes and action franchises).

Is the future as bright? Time Out gives you the lowdown on the most interesting films in production around the world right now.

UK anarchy

Samantha Morton’s The Unloved: The Nottingham-born, Oscar-nominated actor (Control; Elizabeth: The Golden Age) makes her directorial debut with a story about kids in care.

Nicolas Roeg’s Night Train: Veteran director Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now; The Man Who Fell To Earth) is to start filming this adaptation of Martin Amis’s hard-boiled 1997 detective novel.

Chris Morris’s Four Lions: Promising an insight into what it’s like to be a suicide bomber, British screen satirist Morris, who made his name on the UK’s controversial Channel Four spoof current-affairs show Brass Eye, makes his feature debut with a farce about British extremists. ‘Terrorism is about ideology,’ he says. ‘But it’s also about berks.’

Shane Meadows’s Le Donk: This Is England director Shane Meadows shot this film with Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz; My Summer Of Love), who plays roadie Le Donk, over just five days last year.

Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric: Eric Cantona stars as the figment of a postman’s imagination in social realist Loach’s new film, his eighth with writer Paul Laverty. They’re calling it ‘magical social realism’.

European élan

Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces: Spanish filmmaker and Volver-director Almodovar re-teams with fellow country-woman Penélope Cruz for this complex meta-movie about a director recalling a relationship with one of his lead actresses.

Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon: Haneke’s first film since last year’s US re-make of Funny Games is set in a German village on the eve of World War One.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs à Tire-Larigot: This latest film from Frenchman Jeunet (Delicatessen; Amelie) is a satire on the arms trade.

Danis Tanovic’s Triage: Colin Farrell stars as a photo-journalist who returns home without his colleague in this film from the Bosnian director of No Man’s Land, the tragicomic war drama that bagged both the Oscar and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001/2002.

Bruno Dumont’s Hadewijch: The fifth film from Belgium’s always-interesting Dumont, tells the story of a nun expelled from her convent.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful: Iñárritu, most famous for 21 Grams and Babel, splits with writer Guillermo Arriaga (who worked with him on both the aforementioned) and returns to Spanish language for this Barcelona-shot drama about a criminal confronted by an old friend. Javier Bardem stars.

American action

Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits Of Control: Starring Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray (both of whom worked with Jarmusch on Broken Flowers), this is a crime story, a road movie and a series of eccentric portraits.

John Hillcoat’s The Road: Postponed from last autumn, this Cormac McCarthy adaptation with Viggo Mortensen as a wanderer amid an unspecified apocalypse will finally see the light of day this year.

Michael Moore’s Untitled: What is the pop-doc political activist to do now Bush is out of office? According to his website, he’s got his horn-rims on the Wall Street fat cats.

Joe Wright’s The Soloist: Wright follows Atonement with a story of an LA journalist (Robert Downey Jr) who befriends a homeless musician (Jamie Foxx). It’s already in the can, for release around September.

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds: Still unflappably ploughing the grindhouse furrow, Tarantino returns with this censor-baiting men-on-a-mission movie set in Nazi-occupied France. Both words in the title are spelt wrong on purpose, as it’s partially based on Enzo G Castellari’s 1978 Italian war movie Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato, released as Inglorious B******* in the US. Brad Pitt stars.

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies: Mann (Heat; Collateral) turns his diamond-hard gaze to the inner-workings of the FBI in the ’30s with this star-studded (Johnny Depp, Christian Bale) period thriller.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro: Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66) heads up this drama, filmed in Argentina, about the artistic rivalries of an Italian immigrant family. Autobiographical, one wonders?

Woody Allen’s Whatever Works?: Woody returns to New York for the first time since 2004 to make this comedy with Larry David. But not for long. He shoots in the UK this summer.

Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man: Sixties-set comedy about a professor whose marriage falters when his brother refuses to leave his house.
Compiled by Dave Calhoun and David Jenkins.

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