If 2020 has proven one thing (aside from the fact that we need healthier coping mechanisms) it’s that the unsung
heroes of Hollywood are films produced outside the major studio system—the one that relies on movie theaters and box office earnings. Gosh, it’d be nice to munch popcorn and listen to the sticky sound of one’s footsteps again. The at-home experience might lack tradition and CGI but not story and talent. While we certainly can’t wait for the return of the summer blockbuster, we’re even more appreciative of independent films. Stellar 2020 films like Nomadland and Minari will become available to the masses in February spearheading a year chock-full of indies. Here are 10 Anticipated Indie Films We Can’t Wait For in 2021.
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10. 'Deep Water' (August 13)
There’s no denying the anointment of Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas as the celebrity couple of quarantine (who have since split...). The pair met on the set of Deep Water , an erotic thriller based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name. De Armas plays Affleck’s less-than-satisfied wife, whose string of lovers keep ending up dead. Director Adrian Lyne is known for such films as Fatal Attraction and 9 ½ weeks . So, yeah. Photo: MEGA
9. 'Stillwater' (November 6)
Not much is known about Tom McCarthy’s ( Spotlight , The Visitor ) Stillwater other than it stars Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin (respectively) as a father who works to exonerate his estranged and falsely accused daughter. Still, we’re intrigued. Photo: OHP
8. 'The Father' (February 26)
Watching the trailer for Florian Zeller’s The Father feels like you’re gearing up for a horror film. Anthony Hopkins plays a man suffering from dementia, trying to make sense of his aging mind, and the fabric of his reality. Olivia Coleman plays his daughter, just trying to help. What’s unique about The Father is that it’s told from the perspective of Hopkins’ character; that said, it comes off as confusing (other characters’ faces change/become unrecognizable, etc.).
7. 'Malcolm & Marie' (February 5)
John David Washington and Zendaya play a filmmaker and his girlfriend who deconstruct their relationship after coming home for a movie premiere. Malcolm & Marie was written and filmed (in one location) in the summer of quarantine—right when Hollywood was scrambling to keep the industry afloat.
6. 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' (TBA)
The Coen brothers are known for their quirky yet dark films mixed in a vat of social and existential commentary. It seems fitting that Joel Coen, in his first outing without Ethan, will be taking on the work of a similar creative, William Shakespeare. The Tragedy of Macbeth will follow the popular tale about a man who encounters three witches, becomes king (by nefarious means), and implodes. Denzel Washington will star as Macbeth with Frances McDormand as his Lady Macbeth. No release date for the film has been announced by filming completed last year.
5. 'Last Night in Soho' (April 23)
Edgar Wright is known for such films as Shaun of the Dead , Hot Fuzz , and Baby Driver. His upcoming Last Night in Soho is a psychological horror film invoking time travel, twists, and a plot uniquely its own. It stars The Queen’s Gambit ’s Anya-Taylor-Joy, Terrence Stamp, and Matt Smith.
4. 'Cherry' (February 26)
Joe and Anthony Russo’s Cherry will either prove they can do something other than superhero movies or assert the contrary. The film’s first trailer certainly appears promising; starring Tom Holland as a “disenfranchised young man” who makes a string of bad decisions impeding his love life. Cherry combines pretty much every genre in an attempt to create an epic equivalent to Forrest Gump on crack (or with an opioid addiction).
3. 'The Green Knight' (July 30)
You may remember Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from your Arthurian Legend class (or not). The poem follows Gawain after accepting a challenge to strike (and behead) the eponymous Green Knight. The latter responds by picking up his head and promising to return the favor in a year and a day. The classic tale deconstructs many of the genre’s conventions (chivalry, courtly love, etc.) something A24 and David Lowery’s adaptation will no doubt utilize. The film will star Dev Patel as Gawain and Ralph Ineson as the Green Knight. It will also star Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, and Barry Keoghan.
2. 'Don't Look Up' (TBA)
Adam McKay ( Anchorman, The Big Short , Vice ) is back with Netflix’s Don’t Look Up , a political satire comedy starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. That’s right, she’s back as well. After taking x amount of time off, Lawrence is playing one of two low-level astronomers attempting to warn mankind of an asteroid that will destroy life as we know it. Please accept this list compiling the rest of the cast:
1. 'The French Dispatch' (May)
A Wes Anderson indie is the equivalent of a blockbuster for those with an affinity for the smaller fare. Anderson’s latest film, The French Dispatch , is beaming with star power: Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, and Anjelica Huston. If that’s not enough, Anderson’s signature melodramatic quirk follows the staff of a European publication that decides to publish a memorial edition focusing on the three best stories of the last decade.