August is an interesting month in the year of cinema. It is the start of the second half of the year and provides an insight as to what kind of film would come up henceforth. The month follows up on the big Hollywood releases of July and usually has a hard time to gain commercial success. However, given that, the month also provides a set of new and innovative narratives. August of 2019 is packed with films but the question is which films are the ones to pick? The month boasts of a variety of genres from thrillers to comedies to action films. For this article, I have taken into account films according to its creative potential and possible commercial avenue. So, without further ado here is the list of all the most anticipated upcoming movies coming out in August, 2019.
‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ is a comedy-drama about Enzo, a dog owned by Denny and Eve Swift. The film follows Enzo reflecting on his relationship with his human family and being around in times of need. The film stars Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo and Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried star as Denny Swift and Eve Swift. It is an adaptation of Mark Bomback’s novel of the same name which was published in 2008.
Directed by Bart Freundlich, ‘After the Wedding’ is a remake of the Danish drama of the same name, which was released in 2006. The drama stars Michelle Williams as Isabel, a manager of an orphanage in Kolkata who travels to New York to meet a benefactor at her wedding, essayed by Julianne Moore. The film had its premiere at Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2019. With the original film being nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, it’ll be quite interesting to see how the American adaptation would do critically and commercially. As of now, the film has a score of 59 on Metacritic.
Dave Bautista is gradually transitioning the world of film like his fellow wrestler Dwayne Johnson and ‘My Spy’ maybe a good one to choose from. Directed by Peter Segal, the film is an action comedy which follows the story of a toughened CIA operative who finds himself at the mercy of an intelligent and bright 9-year-old girl, after he is sent undercover to protect her family. The movie is produced by STX Entertainment and is supposed to release on August 23, 2019.
10. The Informer (August 16, 2019)
‘The Informer’ is an action thriller film directed by Italian filmmaker Andrea Di Stefano and co-written by Matt Cook, Rowan Joffe and Stefano. An adaptation of Swedish crime writing duo Roslund and Hellström’s dark thriller ‘Three Seconds’, the film is the story of Pete Koslow, a reformed criminal and former special operations soldier, who in order to gain complete freedom, has to work in undercover for corrupted FBI handlers to infiltrate the Polish mob’s drug trade in New York. However, as he closes in to achieve success, problems arise when a drug deal goes wrong and his identity is put at stake. The film stars Joel Kinnaman as Pete Koslow, alongside the talents of Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, Common and Ana de Armas. The film is scheduled to release on August 16, 2019.
9. Blinded by the Light (August 14, 2019)
A British comedy, ‘Blinded by the Light’ is set in 1987 and follows Javed, a young British man of Pakistani decent during the grim of Margret Thatcher, who tries to break free from his challenges and socio-political turmoil through finding parallels with the music of Bruce Springsteen. The film is directed by Gurinder Chadha, who has directed beloved films such as ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ (2002) and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (2004). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is reportedly a crowd pleasure. As of now, ‘Blinded by the Light’ holds a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
8. The Peanut Butter Falcon (August 9, 2019)
An adventure film, ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is co-written and co-directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. The film follows Zachary Gottsagen as Zak, a boy with Down syndrome who runs away from his care home to fulfill his dream of becoming a wrestler come true. While Zachary Gottsagen leads line up, Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson are in the supporting role. LaBeouf, despite all the notoriety for his off-screen persona, is undoubtedly a talented actor. The 32-year-old actor has recently starred in critically acclaimed films ‘Borg vs McEnroe’ (2017) and ‘Honey Boy’ (2019). Dakota Johnson has risen from the horror of the ‘Fifty Shades’ series with her performances in the supernatural horror film ‘Suspiria’ (2018), the neo-noir thriller ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ (2018) and the psychological horror ‘Wounds’ (2019). The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 9, 2019, and received glowing reviews, winning the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award.
7. The Nightingale (August 2, 2019)
A period thriller film, ‘The Nightingale’ is written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It is set in 1825 in the British penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land and follows Clare, a young convict woman who is seeking the revenge for a terrible act of violence which was committed against her family. This is the second feature to be directed by the Australian actress and filmmaker, with the first being the critically acclaimed ‘The Babadook’. With ‘The Badabook’ being a horror film and ‘The Nightingale’ being a period thriller, it would be interesting to see as to how the director would perform in a different genre.
Irish Italian actress Aisling Franciosi essays the role of the protagonist. The 25-year-old has the Irish Film and Television Award to her name for her performance in the crime drama series ‘The Fall’ (2013-2016). The film has already had its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and the Adelaide Film Festival. It has since been taken up by IFC Films for worldwide distribution.
6. The Kitchen (August 9, 2019)
Screenwriter and actress Andrea Berloff boast of a number of notable works as a writer in critically appreciated film such as ‘World Trade Center’ (2006) and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (2015). With ‘The Kitchen’, the 45-year-old writer is all set to make her directorial debut. A crime drama, ‘The Kitchen’ stars the talents of Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss as Kathy Brennan, Ruby O’Carroll and Claire Walsh respectively, who are the wives of Irish mobsters. Based on Ming Doyle and Ollie Masters’ comic book miniseries of the same name, which was published by Vertigo, the film follows the three women as they take over the organized crime operations in the 1970s in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood after the FBI arrests their husbands. As stated by Berloff, the premise of the film impressed the executives of New Line Cinema, who boast of producing blockbusters such as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy (2001-20003), ‘It’ (2017) and the ‘Rush Hour’ trilogy (1998-2007).
In addition, the cast looks promising. Melissa McCarthy has already proven her dramatic chops with her Academy Award-nominated performance in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ (2018). Elisabeth Moss has taken part in critically acclaimed shows in recent times such as the ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (2017-), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. Tiffany Haddish has also showcased her acting talents in the comedy film ‘Girls Trip’ (2017) for which she won the African-American Film Critics Association Award for “Best Supporting Actress”. The film is to be scored by American composer Bryce Dessner, who had won a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Original Score” for his collaboration in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’ (2015) and Maryse Alberti is handling the cinematography. In addition, Academy Award-nominated Christopher Tellefsen is the editor for the film. With all these names attached to the project, ‘The Kitchen’ is surely an exciting release.
5. Official Secrets (August 23, 2019)
Directed by Gavin Hood, ‘Official Secrets’ is a biographical political thriller about Katharine Gun, a former translator for the Government Communications Headquarters who leaked a secret memo exposing an illegal spying operation. The film stars a livewire of talents such as Keira Knightley, who plays the protagonist Katharine Gun, Matt Smith, who plays British journalist Martin Bright, Matthew Goode, who is cast as journalist and foreign affairs editor for The Guardian Peter Beaumont and Ralph Fiennes, who essays the role of British barrister Ben Emmerson.
Gavin Hood has gained a reputation for directing the critically acclaimed Academy Award-winning ‘Tsotsi’ (2005) and nearly butchering the iconic Wolverine in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ (2009). The director received positive reviews for his thriller film ‘Eye in the Sky’ (2015) and this one would certainly be an interesting watch.
Knightley hasn’t really made a big screen appearance since the Oscar-nominated historical drama ‘The Imitation Game’ (2014) where she essayed the role of Joan Clarke. Matt Smith has made quite the reputation with his television shows such as the ‘The Crown’ (2016- ), where he donned the role of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Ralph Fiennes, while being a wonderful actor, has not done anything notable since the Italian drama ‘A Bigger Splash’ (2015). With such a talented crew, ‘Official Secrets’ has the potential of being an immensely engaging thriller.
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4. Good Boys (August 16, 2019)
‘Good Boy’, directed by debutant Gene Stupnitsky, seems like a genuinely interesting comedic piece. The film is the story about three sixth graders who try to impress girls and upperclassmen by skipping school and attending parties. A quintessential coming of age flick, the director makes the film such an exciting prospect. Stupnitsky has already proven his writing cohesiveness with NBC comedy series ‘The Office’ (2005-2013). ‘Good Boys’ has its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 11, 2019, and has received highly positive reviews, scoring 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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3. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (August 2, 2019)
With the popularity of the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, it would be redundant to say that the spin-off would make a lot of money. How it fares in terms of filmmaking is yet to be seen. It has been structured as buddy cop action film, and no one can deny that it has executed the funniest actions flicks through the years. The film stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, who reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. It is set two years after the events of ‘The Fate of the Furious’. Hobbs and Shaw are forced to work alongside each other to stop Brixton Lore, essayed by Idris Elba, a cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist who has created a deadly virus that could threaten the human race. However, there is one small problem – both immensely dislike each other.
The film is directed by David Leitch, who has proven his filmmaking skills with ‘Atomic Blonde’ (2017) and ‘Deadpool 2’ (2018), In addition, the long-running franchise in recent years has garnered praise for its unique and innovative action set pieces. With Leitch’s expertise as a stunt performer, the spin-off should be completely adrenaline pumping. The film also stars Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González and Helen Mirren.
The first trailer dropped on February 1, 2019, and the second dropped on April 18, 2019, and the tonality is quite reminiscent of ‘Deadpool 2’. The two actors look very comfortable and churn out comedic moments with succession. While franchise films have plagued cinema with their similar tonality, ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ will be an interesting addition to the genre.
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2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (August 9, 2019)
‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is a horror film directed by Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal. Based on Alvin Schwartz’s children’s book series of the same name, the film is set deep in folklore. ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is set in America in the year 1968 where a group of teens have to face their fears when they are challenged by forces which can take their lives. Alongside the director, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman and John August have adapted the book into the screenplay.
Øvredal is a proven filmmaking talent. He has directed the dark fantasy film ‘Trollhunter’ (2010), which scored an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the supernatural horror film ‘The Autopsy of Jane Doe’ (2016) which scored 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ hasn’t been marketed extensively, but given Øvredal’s talent, the film demands our attention.
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1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (August 16, 2019)
The film is based on Maria Semple’s novel of the same name, which was published in 2012. With the powerhouse talents of Linklater and Blanchett, one can expect nothing but brilliance. It is produced by motion picture company Annapurna Pictures, who’ve produced Academy Award favourites ‘The Master’ (2012), ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (2012), ‘Her’ (2013), ‘American Hustle’ (2013), ‘Phantom Thread’ (2017) and ‘Vice’ (2018), to name a few. While the film was originally supposed to release on May 11, 2018, the production was postponed a couple of times and now has been scheduled to finally release on August 16, 2019.
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