The most anticipated films of 2019: 21-30

Matthew McConaughey as a stoner poet, Hitler as an imaginary friend and Cats the movie – the third in our five-part look at 2019’s key titles takes us into strange territory

21. You Are My Friend

Key players from two of this year’s most affectionately met movies collaborate for this new biopic. The first is Marielle Heller, director of the brilliant, scabrous comedy Can You Ever Forgive Me? The second: Mr Rogers, subject of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and beloved US children’s TV presenter, being played here by – who else – Tom Hanks.

22. Untitled Richard Curtis/Danny Boyle movie

EastEnder Himesh Patel gets a high-profile big screen lead in this comedy, scripted by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle, about the only man in the world who can remember the Beatles. Lily James co-stars; Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon also feature.

23. Jojo Rabbit

This, we suspect, will be something like Donnie Darko had Mel Brooks directed it. During the second world war a lonely American kid has an imaginary friend: Adolf Hitler. And Hitler is played by Taika Waititi, of What We Do in the Shadows and Thor 3. Well, of course he is. Waititi also directs – it’s exactly how any sane film-maker would follow up a smash hit Marvel superhero movie, isn’t it?

24. Bergman Island

The English-language debut from Mia Hansen-Løve stars John Turturro and Greta Gerwig as an American couple who head to Faro, the Swedish micro-island where Ingmar Bergman lived and worked to soak up the atmos and work on their own screenplays. But the muse proves insidious and their relationship – and well as they work – starts to suffer. Mia Wasikowska co-stars.

25. Last Christmas

This time next year there will be no more thinkpieces about how Brits no longer make festive films, for we shall have this great big gift: a holiday romance, set in London, written by Emma Thompson, directed by Paul Feig and using the music of George Michael. Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding star.

26. Cats

The claws have already been out for this one: Tom Hooper’s latest big-screen transfer of a West End staple – in this case, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s yowling feline extravaganza. The cast is as starry and as batty as you’d hope: Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Ian McKellen. Even if the prospect gives you hives, this puss will boot out the competition next December.

27. Knives Out

The project that Daniel Craig hopped aboard after Bond 25 was pushed back is a return for Rian Johnson to Brick neo-noir territory: a modern-day murder mystery with classic whodunnit stylings. Joining Craig are Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lakeith Stanfield.

28. Ad Astra

James Gray’s latest looks set to catapult Brad Pitt into Gravity territory, as he travels through the solar system in search of his father (Tommy Lee Jones) who went to Neptune to look for alien life 20 years previously. Donald Sutherland and Ruth Negga co-star.

29. Avengers: Endgame

The sequel/conclusion to Infinity War, this is shaping up to be the monster hit of 2019. After the finger-snapping, carnage-inducing finale of the last film, the Russo brothers and Marvel will somehow find a way to resuscitate all those beloved superheroes who dropped dead in the last one. Strap in.

30. The Beach Bum

The McConaissance continues in this new comedy from Harmony Korine, very much ploughing the Spring Breakers furrow, but with a dash of Jeffrey Lebowski added to the mix. Matthew McC plays a poet and waster called Moondog, boomeranging from one crazed incident to another. Strip-lit, neon-pink giggles will ensue, we hope.

Guardian film

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