Not excited about the blockbuster summer? Not interesting in big movies filled with CGI? What are you going to be watching in cinemas this summer?

When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There

Do not fear as there are a whole host of great looking movies that will be fantastic alternative viewing to the big popcorn movies that will be coming our way over the next few months.

We take a look at some of these films that we are looking forward to the most and you cannot afford to miss.

- When Marnie Was There - released 10th June

When it comes to animation movies, Studio Ghibli are up there as one of the best animation studios in the business. If you are looking to get away from the CGI animated films this summer, When Marnie Was There could well be the film that you are looking for.

When Marnie Was There is the first feature film from Studio Ghibli since the critical and commercial success of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and it is great to see them back with another film project.

The movie sees Hiromasa Yonebayashi in the director's chair for his first feature film since the fantastic Arrietty back in 2010. I can't wait to see what he delivers this time around.

When Marnie Was There is based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson and sees Kiernan Shipka, Hailee Steinfeld, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine O'Hara and John C. Reilly all lend their voices to the project.

When Marnie Was There is a touching tale of love, loneliness, and friendship. The movie follows an emotionally distant adolescent girl, who upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion, and infatuated with a girl who lives there; a girl who may or may not be real.

Studio Ghibli have released some wonderfully charming movies over the years and have a knack of crafting interesting and strong female characters... it looks like we are going to be treated that once again with When Marnie Was There.

- Elvis & Nixon - released 24th June

For me, Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey are two of the most exciting actors around and they will come face to face this summer when they star in Elvis & Nixon.

Shannon and Spacey are set to take on the role of Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon in this new comedy/drama from filmmaker Liza Johnson.

This is the fourth feature film of Johnson career and her first since Hateship Loveship back in 2013. The movie is based on the real-life meeting between the two men in 1970 and the story has been adapted for the big screen by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes.

Elvis & Nixon boasts one of the best cast lists of the summer as Shannon and Spacey star alongside Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters and Ashley Benson.

On the morning of December 21st 1970 the world's biggest star, Elvis Presley (Shannon) arrived on the White House lawn to request a meeting with the most powerful man in the world, President Richard Nixon (Spacey).

Elvis & Nixon tells the astounding true story of this meeting between two men at the height of their powers.

If you are not a huge fan of the blockbuster summer that is on the horizon, Elvis & Nixon could well be the film for you and will be a great alternative to all of the CGI-driven films that will be coming our way.

- The Neon Demon - released 8th July

If you are looking for an original and slightly off the wall filmmaker this summer, Nicolas Winding Refn is definitely your man as he returns to the director's chair with The Neon Demon.

Refn has brought us terrific movies such as Bronson and Drive in recent years and The Neon Demon is set to be his first feature since Only Gods Forgive two years ago. He has also penned the film's screenplay.

The movie - which is competing for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival at the moment - sees the filmmaker team up with Elle Fanning - one of the most exciting young actresses - for the very first time.

Fanning is set to take on the central role of aspiring model Jesse and is joined on the cast list by Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, Keanu reeves, Abbey Lee, and Bella Heathcote. It really is a great cast of established talent and up and coming stars.

When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means necessary to get what she has.

You never know what you are going to get when you sit down to watch a Refn directing film... and that is what makes him so exciting as a filmmaker. I cannot wait to see what he delivers with this latest film project.

- Julieta - released 26th August

Another film that is competing for the Palme d'Or at Cannes comes in the form of Julieta, which is the latest offering from director and writer Pedro Almodóvar.

Julieta is based on three short stories from the book Runaway by Alice Munro and has been adapted into a screenplay by Almodóvar himself.

The movie has already been winning over critics and will make its international debut at Cannes, which got underway in the south of France earlier this week.

Almodóvar has brought us acclaimed movies such as Volver and Broken Embraces in recent years but Julieta is his first feature since I'm So Excited! in 2013.

Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte player the older and younger version of Julieta and are joined on the cast list by Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Michelle Jenner, and Darío Grandinetti.

Julieta is a teacher of fifty five. She writes a long letter to her daughter, Antía, trying to explain all the things she has kept secret from her over the last 30 years. When she has finished her confession, she doesn't know where to post the letter. Her daughter abandoned her when she was eighteen and Julieta hasn't heard from her in the past twelve years. She has searched everywhere, but now realizes that Antía has become a total stranger to her.

Julieta is about destiny, guilt complex and the unfathomable mystery that leads some people to abandon those they love, erasing them as if they meant nothing. It is also about the pain that this brutal desertion provokes in the victim.

- Adult Life Skills - released 24th June

We have already been treated to some great British movies so far in 2016 and Adult Life Skills is another to watch out for this summer. It really is promising to be a treat of a film.

Adult Life Skills marks the feature film directorial debut for Rachel Tunnard. She has short film Emotional Fusebox under her belt already but will now make the leap into features for the first time.

As well as being in the director's chair, Tunnard also shows off her writing skills as she has penned the film's screenplay.

The movie sees the filmmaker team up with actress Jodie Whittaker, as she takes on the central role of Anna. She is joined on the cast list by Lorraine Ashbourne, Brett Goldstein, Rachael Deering, Eileen Davies, and Alice Lowe.

Anna is stuck: she's approaching 30 and having and early-mid-life crisis - one that's seen her regressing to a teenager, living like a hermit in her mum's garden shed and wondering why the suffragettes ever bothered. She spends her days making videos using her thumbs as actors - thumbs that bicker about things like whether Yogi Bear is a moral or existential nihilist. But Anna doesn't show these videos to anyone and no one knows what they are for.

A week before her birthday her Mum serves her an ultimatum - she needs to move out of the shed, get a haircut that doesn't put her gender in question and stop dressing like a homeless teenager. Naturally, Anna tells her Mum to BACK THE F-OFF. However, when her school friend comes to visit, Anna's self-imposed isolation becomes impossible to maintain. Soon she is entangled with a troubled eight-year-old boy obsessed with Westerns, and the local real estate agent whose awkwardness continually undermines his attempts to seduce her.

Adult Life Skills has already picked up the Nora Ephron prize for best female director at last year's Tribeca Film Festival and I can't wait to see what Tunnard delivers. She really does look set to be one of the female filmmakers to watch out for.

Other great alternative summer movies to watch out for include Sing Street (20th May), The Daughter (20th May), Holding The Man (3rd June), Where To Invade Next (10th June), and Colonia (1st July).

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