Soon-to-be released in 2020

Les Misérables (Jan. 10 limited release) — Not based on the Victor Hugo novel, this takes place in the slum where he grew up—the 93rd district of Paris. A young police officer, new to the area, joins two hardened, streetwise cops (reminded me of the characters on the TV show The Shield) on those mean streets where a drug lord nicknamed “The Mayor” rules.

The Traitor (Jan. 31 release) – Would you like a shorter Mafia tale than The Irishman? Here it is. The Traitor is based on the real-life story of Tommaso Buscetta, the so-called “boss of the two worlds,” who became the first Mafia informant in 1980s Sicily.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Feb. 14 release) – Nominated for the Palme d’Or (Cannes Film Festival top prize), Golden Globe and Independent Film Spirit awards, this takes place in 18th century France, where a young painter, Marianne, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowing. Therefore, Marianne must observe her model by day to paint her portrait at night. Day by day, the two women become closer as they share Héloïse’s last moments of freedom before the impending wedding.

My Boyfriend’s Meds (Feb. 21 release) – The brief description, “A woman’s island getaway with her boyfriend is thrown for a loop when he forgets to take his prescription medications along,” doesn’t begin to do justice to the nutty trailer that I saw. It’s in Spanish and English with cameo appearances by Jason Alexander, Brooke Shields and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office).

The Whistlers (Feb. 20 release) – A.O. Scott of The New York Times said of this film, “If the Coen brothers were Romanian, they may have made this.” That’s all I needed to hear.

It Must Be Heaven (Feb. 8 limited release) – Official submission of Palestine in the Best International Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards this year. Again, just watching the trailer interested me enough to put it on the list.

The Climb (March 20 release) – Real-life best friends turn the story of their relationship, at times strained but frequently uproarious, into a film about the boundaries (or lack thereof) in all close friendships.

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