On January 8th 2020, before the world exploded, I wrote a post titled “My 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2020” which is exactly what you think it is. Go read it for context, then come back here because I’ll discussing those films (plus the 3 honourable mentions) in terms of whether I’ve actually seen them yet, whether I liked them as much as I thought I would, and this will serve as a lead into my end-of-year Top 20 list in a few days time!
I think that’s all I really need to say, I’m writing this as I go, which means I haven’t looked at the old list in a while and can only remember a select few films from it. I guess I’ll start with the honourable mentions.
Honourable Mention #1: A Quiet Place Part II
Initially supposed to come out right when the national lockdowns began, A Quiet Place Part II was one of, if not the first I can remember, to be postponed due to the pandemic. Initially moved September 2020, and then further to April 2021, here’s hoping we can see the second instalment when planned! I actually think it looks better than the first and more focused with some brilliant themes about trust, and continuing on while experiencing tremendous grief and trauma. Cillian Murphy being added to a cast only means good things in my eyes.
Honourable Mention #2: Birds of Prey
Oh I saw Birds of Prey alright! And it rules. I was right to have it on my list somewhere because Margot Robbie spearheading any project that also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead has to be a success. And it was. the best DCEU film by quite a way, Birds of Prey is fun, fresh, and a dynamic film experience. Squeezed this one in about a month before the rescheduling started with some dear friends and we had a great time watching it! My overwhelming desire to be a bad bitch crime-fighting outfit had reached new, impossible heights.
Honourable Mention #3: First Cow
I managed to see First Cow, but not in cinemas, which I would’ve really loved. I did like it a lot, but not as much as I was expecting to. The cinematography and story were beautiful and the performances are rich and natural, but I thought there could’ve been more to it. Reichardt had a talent for mining the best possible outcome of a premise and I’m not sure it fully worked here. Perhaps the story just took some unexpected turns for me, but I was a little underwhelmed by it. Maybe a rewatch will fix this now that I know what I’m in for as an experience!
Okay, 2/3 isn’t bad so far! Let’s move onto the list itself!
10. The Woman in the Window
Who even knows what has happened to this movie? While researching, the latest news I can find is that it was removed from the release slate and was being talked about at Netflix in August 2020, but I haven’t heard any movement on that thus far.
What a great start to this list. I know now that this film is going to be bad, but I can’t deny myself seeing Amy Adams in anything, even if 2020 hasn’t exactly been her year…but I’ll have to be surprised with whenever this film wants to appear on my screen. It wouldn’t make my Top 10 list now, but that’s the magic of perspective. Something about me 12 months ago was super excited to see this, perhaps it was simply the idea of Amy Adams making a movie about anxiety and showing off her facial acting talents…yeah that’s probably it.
Suffice to say that I may never see this movie and honestly at this point it might be for the best!
Okay getting back on track, another movie that I have seen! Hooray! This one is interesting because, while I did love it, I didn’t love it for the reasons I expected to!
I expected a Sarah Paulson vehicle and it’s sort of what I got, but I came away far more impressed with the debut of Keira Allen in her lead role, as well as the tightly-written thriller that Chaganty provided. I do think I prefer Searching out of the two, but Run is an exciting sophomore feature that promises nothing but a great career for Chaganty and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!
PS: If I don’t see Keira Allen in at least 2 movies a year, Hollywood has done something wrong, she is a STAR.
8. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Okay, doing well so far.
I was right to be excited by this one because it’s so good. If you haven’t read my review…it’s there if you want my thoughts. I’ve seen this 3 times now and it’s still just amazing. One thing that I’m a little glad for in 2020 was Netflix, who provided a lot of quality material this year when things were being pushed back or cancelled entirely.
Kaufman, in some ways, out-Kaufmans even himself in the third act and that’s what makes for such exciting viewing! If you still haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it and would love to know what you think!
Now let’s see if the rest of the list bodes well for my 2020 viewing habits…
Oh. Never mind.
Antlers has been removed from the schedule at Searchlight with no signs of release after previously being toted as February 2021…when will we see Keri in a lead role again???
Because yeah, Keri Russell lives in my mind rent free and I needed to see this because she was in it. Plus, Jesse Plemons, who’s doing double duty on this list. I was ready for performances and cool visuals and monster horror. Alas, that is not what I will be receiving anytime soon. Though I do hope they can find a way to bring this to me.
Keri, I’ll do my best to see this in cinemas, but I’m gonna need Searchlight to do their part too!
Okay, misstep here. Onto number 6!
6. Promising Young Woman
Okay so maybe January 2020 Jamie was onto something with this one. Another film I’ve reviewed on the site, another absolute masterpiece!
Everything defied even my high expectations, from Mulligan’s performance to Fennell’s script and direction, go read my spoiler-free review and check it out whenever it releases near you!
I was right on the money with this one and so glad I was able to see it this year and include it in my rankings (and perhaps my Top 2020…who am I kidding, of course this is there).
To say anymore would be counterintuitive so I’ll just skip along to Number 5 and hope I have more luck!
5. West Side Story
Yeah, this hasn’t aged well at all.
Now being released in December 2021 (!!), West Side Story will remain an enigma for quite some time before we all get to witness it!
Plus with the controversies that surrounded its star Ansel Elgort this year, it might leave a bad taste in the mouth for many.
BUT, on a positive note, Rachel Zegler is no doubt coming to absolutely demolish this role and show what a star she’s going to be (seriously cannot wait for this performance so I can stop simping for Rachel on Twitter and be a stan of her work instead, love you Rachel).
Spielberg doing this is still a strange combo for me as I mentioned a year ago, but I’m a little more hopeful about its quality. Oh yeah, and Ariana DeBose is going to kill it as Anita, I just know it.
I’ll see it in December (hopefully) and judge for myself then!
Onto Number 4, hopefully I’ll have seen it!
Yes, another one I’d managed to see!! This is quite a mixed bunch I have to say!
Netflix dropped this only a few weeks ago and already it feels like it’s dissolved from public consciousness, barely any mentions of it online besides awards bodies theorising about Amanda Seyfried’s Oscar chances.
I liked Mank a great deal but, considering Fincher’s last 3 films before it were 5/5s for me, it’s a little underwhelming. Oldman was off, it was a little inconsistent tonally, but the technical craft is superb. Reznor & Ross re-affirm their talents with a beautiful score, and the editing was great too! Seyfried is brilliant, but Ferdinand Kingsley is my MVP. Shout out to Tom Pelphrey too, a surprise stanning was done that day.
I want to watch Mank again at some point just to confirm how I feel about it, but I’m a little worried about it holding up. Whatever. Fincher’s back. Hopefully he doesn’t take 6 years to release another film!
Top 3…I know what 2 of them are just by context clues, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what the third one is…guess I’ll find out!
3. Black Widow
Oh of course.
With all the flip-flopping that happened with this one, it all but disappeared from my mind. I am still excited for it and I think Marvel owes it to Natasha Romanoff to keep her solo film for the theatrical experience, rather than dropping it on Disney+. I think that’s their plan, but I’m just hoping they stick to it because I’m thinking there’s gonna be more than a few little Easter eggs in here that’ll hint at the rest of the phase, including the rise of Yelena and Florence Pugh’s presence in the MCU perhaps? Who’s to say?
I’m not even going to try and guess when this is gonna open because I doubt I’d get it correct. I’m just going to wait and hope things transpire the way I hope and that I’ll be able to see my girl Nat on the screen for the last time..
I did a double whammy with this one.
Not only did I see it, I saw it in a cinema! How cool and weird does that feel to read? I know cinemas in a lot of places are open and showing films, but Tenet was the last thing I was able to see on the big screen and it’s been four months since that.
Tenet, as you may know from my confusing review, was a very complicated theatrical experience. The IMAX didn’t help as well as Nolan’s penchant for bombastic sound design. I plan to rewatch this in the coming days to solidify how I feel about it, but it’s safe to say that I’ve become more mixed on it the more time has gone by. Appreciate the complexity, loathe the execution.
This makes me sad. By now, if everything had gone according to plan, I would’ve seen Dune in cinemas by now and would probably have seen it again. I’m so incredibly hyped up for this film to come out I’m going to support it incessantly and it’ll be all I ever talk about!
I know the Warner Bros rollout announcement has people up in arms about Dune, and I fully agree with everything Villeneuve said about it. Dune needed the cinemas to prove its quality and viability, so I’m hoping something can be done in order to save it and show it fully in cinemas!
Okay so I saw 5/10 of my Most Anticipated, not including the 2/3 honourable mentions! 7/13 isn’t a bad statistic at all considering the year we’ve had! I’m hoping to see all of these eventually, maybe 2021 will grant me all of them as penance for all the other delays!
How many films have you all seen from this list and your own lists? Sound off below or on Twitter as always!
My ‘Top 20 of 2020″ list should be posted on New Year’s Eve, so make sure you come back for that, it’s bound to be eventful even though I haven’t properly finalised it yet…another job for myself!
As always, take care of yourself and stay safe!