Films to Look Forward to in 2019: Part Four

01 Oct 2019 BY Maria Cabrera in Film Features

5 mins

As winter approaches we look forward to the release of a number of possible award contenders, as well as the release of a wide variety of both blockbusters and independent films, ending a year of impressive films on a high.


The highly-anticipated Joker kicks off October and tells the dark origin story of the DC comics' super-villain and Batman's arch-enemy. Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, this psychological thriller is expected to be a fascinating, if disturbing, take on the character's journey from failed stand-up comedian to vicious criminal.

November ends with the action-packed reboot of Charlie's Angels, directed by actress Elizabeth Banks and and led by a female cast, this thrilling follow-up sees the next generation of the now international investigative agency embarking on a mission to protect the world from the threat of a piece of dangerous technology.  

Two of Hollywood's biggest offerings battle it out at cinemas in the run-up to Christmas. The third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy brings the Skywalker saga to an epic end with the Jedi and Sith battling each other one last time. A wildly different film, yet similar in scale, is the screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical Cats, featuring some of the world's biggest stars as the Jellicles, a gang of singing cats deciding who gets to go to heaven.

Release dates*:

  • Joker - 4 October
  • Charlie's Angels - 29 November
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - 20 December
  • Cats - 20 December

For more blockbuster titles like these, check out our Fantasy & Adventure strand as part of the Into Film Festival.

Films for the Family

A great resource for discussing the role of animals in our lives is documentary The Biggest Little Farm. Directed by a married couple with a passion for animals and food, they record the process of creating a sustainable farm from scratch. Going beyond the farm, Shaun the Sheep embarks on an intergalactic mission with his woolly friends to take an adorable alien back home in A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon.

Also exploring the theme of the natural world, Abominable Dreamworks' latest animation about a young girl and a Yeti on a voyage from China to Himalayas - is a fast-paced adventure that will charm younger audiences with its inspiring characters and stunning visuals. Elsewhere, six years after the phenomenal success of its predecessor, Frozen II arrives and sees Elsa travelling into an enchanted forest to find out how she came to have her icy powers. Created with the latest animation technology and with strong themes around nature and sisterhood, this is sure to be another hit with audiences of all ages.

Release dates*:

  • Abominable - 11 October
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - 18 October
  • The Biggest Little Farm - 8 November
  • Frozen II - 22 November

For more films about animals, check out our The Natural World strand as part of the Into Film Festival.

Diverse Representation

Offering a wide range of perspectives and diverse characters, the upcoming independent film releases provide a great platform to spark discussions around identity and representation with students. Heart-warming and optimistic buddy comedy The Peanut Butter Falcon has been compared to Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn' for its narrative which centres on a friendship between a troubled thief, played by Shia LaBeouf, and a young man with Down's syndrome who dreams of becoming a wrestler.

Another festival favourite, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, gets its UK release later this month. A debut by director Joe Talbot and based on the life of writer-performer Jimmie Falls, the film is a meditative exploration of gentrification, art and Black culture in the west coast city. Also touching on a fast-changing society and how it affects working class families, Ken Loach's Sorry We Missed You takes a close look at how the gig economy and precarious employment negatively impacts a family trying to make ends meet in modern Britain. 

Following on from her successful directorial debut, Lady Bird, actress-filmmaker Greta Gerwig adapts Little Women, the popular novel about three sisters' coming-of-age, set in New England in the aftermath of the American Civil War. 

Release dates*:

  • The Peanut Butter Falcon - 18 October
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco - 25 October
  • Sorry We Missed You - 1 November
  • Little Women - 27 December

For other films which explore similar topics, check out our Mental Wellbeing & Identity strand as part of the Into Film Festival.

Based on a True Story

Revisiting remarkable stories from the past, the following films are engaging accounts of pivotal or intriguing moments in history. Biopic Judy takes a look at the later part of Hollywood star Judy Garland's life as she completes a series of shows in London, drawing out the severe impact fame and a difficult childhood had on her mental health and family life. Also a British production, Official Secrets is a political true-story about the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion and focuses on whistlerblower Katherine Gun, who exposed blackmailing for votes on behalf of the US and UK.

Setting off in an air balloon to reach the highest a human had ever gone, the nerve-wracking The Aeronauts reimagines the impressive expedition undertaken by scientist James Glaisher with the goal of advancing weather prediction, with the fictional addition of pilot Amelia Wren. And finally, starring Tom Hanks as the iconic American television host Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood tells the story of his transformative friendship with a cynical journalist who was given an assignment to interview him.

Release dates*:

  • Judy - 4 October
  • Official Secrets - 18 October
  • The Aeronauts - 8 November 
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood - 6 December

For additional titles which delve into historical figures and periods, check out our Exploring History strand as part of the Into Film Festival.

* = release dates are subject to change

Maria Cabrera news author image

Maria Cabrera , Curation Officer

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