While the summer has a bad reputation for being a wasteland of mindless action flicks, over-the-top blockbusters and ridiculous reality TV programming, it also promises to offer up some seriously exceptional entertainment. We’re excited to get swept away by the season’s best stories on the silver screen and in our living rooms. Check out our selection of upcoming movies and TV shows with heart, sharp wit and beautiful artistry.
Blue Jasmine, Release Date: July 26
Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett stars in a movie about a pampered and polished New York housewife who loses it all. Having to leave her crooked husband and elite social standing behind, Blanchett’s icy cold character descends into a dark and twisted midlife crisis as she is forced to move in with her sister who lives in a devastatingly ordinary and “homey” abode. Directed by film favourite Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine offers a can’t-take-your-eyes-away car crash kind of narrative with both tumultuous and tender moments for viewers to enjoy.
Fruitvale Station, Release Date: July 26
The tragic true story of a young unarmed African-American father shot dead by a San Francisco Bay Area police officer is brought to life in this deep and distressing indie. Bringing contentious race, class and crime issues to the forefront, Fruitvale Station is set to become one of the most talked about movies of the year. Ryan Coogler’s harrowing film was winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
The Spectacular Now, Release Date: August 2
This film adaptation of a popular Tim Tharp novel tells a charming story about a popular boy who falls for a sweet and sensitive girl who reads science fiction and doesn’t get much male attention. The Spectacular Now promises to avoid coming-of-age clichés and tellingly depicts the complexities and richness of young love and life as a modern-day teenager. Having received the Special Jury Award for Acting at Sundance, the film will be sure to make Hollywood darlings out of its relatable leads Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Release Date: August 16
Casey Affleck and the hauntingly beautiful Rooney Mara star as lovers who are running from the law and the mistakes they’ve made. Likely to become a serious award-season contender, this tissue-worthy tale about big love and devastating loss is said to be an emotional powerhouse. Filmed on the golden hills of the American south, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is one tragic romance we can’t wait to get caught up in.
The Killing, Premieres June 2
One of AMC’s most acclaimed shows has made a comeback with a new murder mystery on its hands. One year after the close of the Rosie Larsen case, lead Sarah Linden is propelled back into the homicide detective world for The Killing’s third season. This time around, ex-partner Stephen Holder’s search for a runaway girl leads him to discover a grisly string of murders that may be connected to a killing Linden had investigated previously. Filmed in Vancouver, Canada, during the gloomy dark hours of the night, we’re already addicted to the most recent season of the chilling series.
The Bridge, Premieres July 10
Diane Kruger, who graced FLARE’s cover in April, stars alongside Demián Bichir in the FX crime thriller The Bridge. Inspired by a Scandinavian series of the same name, the new drama looks at the different sides of life connected by the US-Mexico border. Exploring the tensions that take place at the world’s busiest border crossing, Kruger’s character from El Paso PD must work with her Mexican counterpart from Chihuahua State Police to catch a serial killer.
Orange Is the New Black, Premieres July 11
Based on a much-loved memoir, the Netflix original series follows a privileged Brooklynite whose decade-old lesbian relationship with a drug-runner results in her arrest and a year-long prison sentence. The show’s lead is forced to leave behind her supportive fiancé and life in New York to live in jail alongside a cast of strong-willed and sassy female inmates in orange jumpsuits. A show about finding yourself behind bars, Orange is the New Black looks deeply funny and strangely endearing.
Breaking Bad, Premieres August 11
Viewers are already gearing up for the final season of this Emmy-winning series. We can’t wait to see how things turn out for protagonist Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, whose fatal cancer diagnosis prompted him to transition from a chemistry-teaching family man to a ruthless drug kingpin over the first four seasons. The finale of Breaking Bad will surely be both thrilling and emotional as we say goodbye to our favourite meth-dealing duo.