Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

(Possible) Release Dates For The Year’s Few Big Movies

Photo by mohamed hassan

Photo by mohamed hassan

Photo by mohamed hassan

Peyton Berry, Staff Critic

Back in January, when I compiled my list of the Best Movies of 2019, I expressed my hope that 2020 would be a better year. I was wrong. 2020 has been one life-altering disaster after the other, and at this point, I don’t think anything would surprise me. However, the one thing that hasn’t surprised me about 2020 has been the quality of the handful of movies that have been released so far. To put it bluntly, they haven’t been that good. That being said, awards season is finally starting to rear its head, and there are still yet a few brave studios who seem willing to test the icy water before the year is out. So, without further ado, here are my most anticipated movies for the fall semester.

Disclaimer: Before I begin, some of these films will likely be pushed back to 2021 or taken off of the release schedule entirely. In order to clear up your conclusion on these dates, whichever movie has an asterisk means that its release date isn’t set in stone. Also, thanks to the delays of “No Time To Die” and “Soul”, the rest of 2020 is now almost completely devoid of movies.

November

13: “Mank”*

David Fincher, (“The Social Network,” “Fight Club”) one of the best directors working today, is finally making his return to filmmaking after 2014’s “Gone Girl.” Without having seen the film, it’s safe to say that he couldn’t have picked a more Oscar-friendly project. “Mank” stars Oscar-winner Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour,” “The Dark Knight”) as Herman J. Mankiewicz, the alcoholic screenwriter of “Citizen Kane,” which is now regarded as one of the best films ever made. However, the central conflict of the film focuses on director-star Orson Welles attempting to take any and all credit for the script, which forces Mankiewicz to fight his old friend for the credit of his own work. Now, why is this film such an Oscar contender? It’s in black-and-white, centered around one of the most famous films in history, and it’s about Old Hollywood. However, this doesn’t look like your average Oscar-bait movie. The Netflix original has the potential to become one of Fincher’s best films yet. He was able to reunite with the Oscar-winning duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of the popular band Nine Inch Nails, and Kirk Baxter, who has gained a reputation as one of the best editors in the business due to his two Oscars. Just from the technical aspects alone, “Mank” has earned a spot on this list, and it doesn’t even have an official release date yet.

December

4: “Nomadland”

Chloe Zhao has quickly become one of the best filmmakers working today. After earning widespread acclaim for the 2018 film “The Rider,” she’s been given the opportunity to work with one of the best performers of all time, two-time Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand (“Fargo,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”). With “Nomadland,” Zhao and McDormand have brought us a story that is allegorical to the struggles that we, as Americans, faced under the Great Recession. This is a topic that speaks to all of us, and it’s the exact thing that the Oscars love. Critics have welcomed this film like a long-lost relative, with only two negative reviews being posted under Rotten Tomatoes. It’s won the Golden Lion for best film at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, which has become an important part of the awards season, and now seems to be the early favorite for several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress. If it can live up to the pre-release hype, why should it not win?

25: “Wonder Woman 1984”***

Although I’m not a huge fan of superhero movies in general, I’ve always been partial to DC over Marvel. The first “Wonder Woman” was surprisingly great. I thought Gal Gadot knocked it out of the park as the character, and it also made all of the money. It was inevitable that we would get a sequel, and just like the first movie, I’m not sold on the trailers. It looks like just another superhero movie, although the presence of Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine (“Star Trek,” “Hell or High Water”), is quite intriguing. However, as I said earlier, I felt the same about the first movie, and I thought it was great. It’s this knowledge, and the return of director Patty Jenkins, that makes me excited for “Wonder Woman 1984.” However, I’m not sold on the Christmas Day release date. This movie has been delayed at least twice because of COVID-19, and I can’t see Warner Bros. sacrificing another surefire box-office smash in order to save movie theaters. (I’m looking at you, “Tenet.” I still love you.) Don’t be surprised if this gets delayed to next year.

25: “Soul”

Despite my prolonged hate of kids’ movies, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Pixar. I adore the “Toy Story” films, and “WALL-E” is still one of my favorite movies of all time. So, as a result, I’m actually pretty excited for “Soul.” For those of you who don’t know what the film is about, “Soul” stars Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Collateral”), as Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher who has dreamed of performing jazz music onstage. Just when it looks like he might get his chance to shine, he’s involved in an accident that knocks his soul out of his body and sends him to the afterlife. In order to get back to reality, Joe must team up with some unlikely allies before his nemesis steals his chance at his dream. Any reasonable person can expect near-photorealistic animation, an incredible score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and a heartfelt story, the most important element in any film and a long-term staple in Pixar’s diverse filmography. As I said earlier, it’s very rare for me to throw premature support behind a kids’ movie. However, “Soul” has vast potential to become the 11th Pixar production to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and just the fourth to be nominated for Best Picture. I can’t wait. Sadly, for those who don’t have Disney Plus, you won’t be able to watch “Soul” until it comes out on iTunes.