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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Lindsey: A flashback and look ahead for this year in film

Joshua Britt

With the Academy Awards on the horizon, I have a reflection on the past year in film and a look ahead for what I believe will be noteworthy releases this year.

2023 pushed the boundaries for filmmaking. You cannot talk about this year without talking about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” These two films brought excitement back into taking a trip to the movie theater. Anything that makes people excited to see films again is a win for me.

Here are some of my favorite films of last year that I believe deserve more attention.

Kelly Fremon Craig’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” is an adaption of the coming-of-age novel of the same name by Judy Blume. It is an honest depiction of growing up and finding your footing in this world.

Sophia Coppola’s “Pricilla” is the perfect companion to Baz Luzerman’s 2022 film “Elvis.” “Pricilla” is based on Pricilla Presley’s novel “Elvis and Me.” The novel tells the story of Elvis and Pricilla’s romance and marriage. Jacob Elordi plays Elvis beside Cailee Spaeny’s Priscilla. The movie takes a step away from Elvis’ perspective, allowing the story to bloom in different and exciting directions.

In Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” the film is set in the 70s and was filmed using techniques from that era of filmmaking. Since Payne uses this unique style, it allows the viewer to focus on what it was like to be alive during the ’70s. This choice of filmmaking style gives viewers an added connection to the characters.

Netflix’s “May December” directed by Todd Haynes tells the story of a relationship that causes a small town to erupt in distaste for a much older schoolteacher played by Juliane Moore who takes advantage of a young boy played by Charles Melton. A film star played by Natalie Portman follows the couple as she studies and prepares for an upcoming role as Moore’s character in a movie about their lives. Haynes beautifully examines how trauma can affect someone’s life. Melton handles himself perfectly in the role, and he is believable in his role as a man that did not age emotionally as a result of abuse and trauma.

Celine Song’s debut film “Past Lives” is a film about childhood friends that grow apart after Greta Lee’s character moves to New York away from her native South Korea. The film is about childhood love and if it is able to survive throughout time. This directorial debut shows that life does not always happen the way we believe it should. Sometimes it is important to let things go.

Following these noteworthy films of 2023, the movies of 2024 should make for an interesting year. Some releases for this year were moved due to the SAG-AFTRA writers’ strike of 2023.

Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two” hits theaters March 1. The first Dune was a mega hit back in 2021, so this should not be any different. Dune is a sprawling epic that deserves all the hype it can get.

“Monkey Man” is Dev Patel’s first feature, and it is said to be an action-adventure film akin to the John Wick series. The excitement surrounding the film that the trailer generated has made me very excited to see what Patel’s future holds.

Alex Garland’s “Civil War” follows a group of journalists as they try to survive through a lawless United States of America. I loved Garland’s 2018 film “Annihilation,” and I am excited to see what insane, otherworldly visuals he can give to a United States that has fallen into a second Civil War.

Kevin Costner is hitting us with a double feature this year with “Horizon: An American Saga” with chapters one and two. This will be Costner’s first directed feature since 2003’s “Open Range.” This is an interesting release since these two films will be released in two parts during the same year.

Robert Egger’s “Nosferatu” is the second remake of the 1922 German film of the same name. Eggers is a master of horror filmmaking, and I am sure that this film will be a wonderful film to end the year.

When it comes to movies, 2024 looks to be an imposing experience. This past year has made me fall in love with directors that I would have never heard of five years ago. I am excited to see what new experiences I can have with these films and more during 2024.

About the Contributor
Reed Lindsey
Reed Lindsey, Staff Writer
Reed Lindsey is a junior English major. Reed is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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