After the busiest May for cinema admissions for 50 years, June has a lot to live up to but once again there’s a rich and varied film slate to suit all tastes. The first weekend of the month sees the release of the latest X-Men film in Dark Phoenix, but we’re more interested in Emma Thompson getting her teeth into a meaty comedy role in Late Night. Thompson plays a late-night US talk show host who suspects she may soon lose her long-running show, so hires a new writer, played by Mindy Kaling, to turn around her fortunes. It recently played at Sundance London to rave reviews and we can find out what the fuss is about on 7 June.
The following weekend sees the release of a documentary about arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Diego Maradona. Following his Oscar-winning Amy, Asif Kapadia has constructed this film from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage of one of the 20th century’s most compelling sportsman, including his time at Napoli in the 80s and his legendary performance at the 1986 Mexico world cup. For fans of football and cocaine usage amongst elite sportsman, this is unmissable.
For the family audience it doesn’t get bigger than Toy Story 4, which is handy because it’s in cinemas on 21 June. Toy Story so far is the greatest trilogy in cinema history. The Three Colours and Godfather trilogy wish they had the consistency of Toy Story. So you could ask why are Pixar potentially jeopardising its legacy and expanding it to four films? The answer is hopefully because they have yet another classic on their hands. In this new story, a new toy called Forky joins Woody and the gang but goes missing while they’re on a road trip and the gang have to look for him before Bonnie finds out. All our favourite characters are back and they’re joined by future favourites voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves. It’s should be the biggest animation of 2019 and one of the biggest of all-time. Prepare to ugly cry in cinemas all over again.
Finally, Yesterday has a British pedigree of the highest order. Danny Boyle directs a script by Richard Curtis. It doesn’t get much bigger than that in the UK film industry. Eastenders’ Himesh Patel plays a struggling musician who realises he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed. It’s high concept, it’s funny and it features the music of the biggest band of all-time. The always charming Lily James co-stars, along with Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran. Surely it’s box office gold? It’s already premiered to four star reviews from The Guardian, The Telegraph and Empire magazine and we can find out for ourselves on 28 June.
Every two years, cinema has to contend with a major football tournament but as this is an odd-numbered year, it has a clear run. Expect these four films to make hay while the sun shines.