From film to fashion, books to TV, our writers pick the cultural highlights of the season.
By Declan Burke
1 The Gentlemen, out now
Matthew McConaughey stars as a London-based drug lord who triggers chaos. Guy Ritchie directs.
2 Jojo Rabbit, out now
WWII satire in which a young German boy discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. Scarlett Johansson stars.
3 1917, January 10
WWI drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott. Sam Mendes directs.
4 Bad Boys for Life, January 17
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence resurrect their Bad Boys. Vanessa Hudgens costars.
5 Bombshell, January 17
Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron join forces to confront Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) at Fox News.
6 Just Mercy, January 24
Michael B. Jordan stars as the civil rights defender Bryan Stevenson. Brie Larson co-stars.
7 The Lighthouse, January 31
Robert Pattinson and Willem Defoe star as New England lighthouse-keepers in the 1890s. Robert Eggers directs.
8 Richard Jewell, January 31
Clint Eastwood directs Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde in a thriller set during the 1996 Olympics.
9 Birds of Prey, February 7
Superhero spinoff, in which Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) splits from The Joker to wreak her own brand of mayhem.
10 Dolittle, February 7
Robert Downey Jnr plays the doctor who can talk to the animals. Tom Holland and Emma Thompson co-star.
11 Sonic the Hedgehog, February 14
A live-action adventure about the animated hedgehog, who is aided and abetted by Jim Carrey.
12 Emma, February 14
Anna Taylor-Joy stars as Emma Woodhouse in Autumn de Wilde’s adaptation of the Austen classic. Bill Nighy costars.
13 The Rhythm Section, February 21
Thriller starring Blake Lively who seeks revenge for a plane crash that killed her family.
14 The Call of the Wild, February 21
A live-action remake of Jack London’s timeless tale of wilderness survival, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Gillan.
15 The Invisible Man, February 28
Elisabeth Moss stars in a horror- thriller adapted from H.G. Well’s classic novel. Leigh Whannell directs.
16 Onward, March 6
Chris Pratt and Tom Holland star as elf brothers on a quest in the latest Pixar animation.
17 The Way Back, March 13
Redemption drama starring Ben Affleck as an alcoholic basketball coach. Gavin O’Connor directs.
18 Godzilla vs Kong, March 13
A clash of the titans, as Godzilla and King Kong battle to be crowned King of the Monsters. Alexander Skarsgård stars.
19 A Quiet Place: Part II, March 20
Sequel to the surprise thriller smash, starring Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt.
20 Trolls World Tour, March 20
Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell co-star in this sequel to 2016’s animated hit.
21 Mulan, March 27
The latest live-action remake from Disney stars Yifei Liu asMulan, the young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a warrior.
22 No Time to Die, April 3
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond, who is lured out of retirement to help his American friend Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright).
23 Fatherhood, April 10
Paul Weitz directs a warmhearted comedy about a single dad raising a daughter.
24 The New Mutants, April 10
The latest instalment from the X-Men universe, starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor- Joy.
25 Antlers, April 17
Supernatural horror, starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. Scott Cooper directs.
By Ed Power
26 Dublin Bowie Festival, January, until January 12
An Olympia Theatre concert by Holy Holy, featuring Bowie producer Tony Visconti, Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey and Heaven 17 singer Glen Gregory, forms the centre-piece of this five-day celebration of pop’s greatest chameleon.
27 Pet Shop Boys, Hotspot, January 24
Time for your annual irony intake as the pop duo return.
28: Jonas Brothers, 3Arena, Dublin, January 31
Teen heartthrobs saddle up on the comeback trail.
29 Louis Tomlinson, Walls, January 31
The One Direction-er whose name isn’t Harry (or Niall) puts out his first solo LP.
30 Sturgill Simpson, Vicar Street, February 1
Acclaimed alt.country troubadour.
31 Green Day, Father of All Mother****ers, February 7
Wizened San Fransisco punks take aim at Donald Trump on new album.
32 Supergrass, Olympia, Dublin, February 14,15
Britpop cheeky chappies will be older and wiser as they reform.
33 Right Here, Right Now, Cork Opera House, February 22
Mick Flannery headlines the festival in its second year, with Tennessee’s Valerie June also confirmed.
34 The Murder Capital, Vicar Street, February 27
Cork-Dublin indie band play largest ever show.
35 Sleater-Kinney, Vicar Street, March 1
Indie pop survivors tour their fantastic, St Vincent-produced latest LP.
36 Lyra, Cyprus Avenue, Cork, March 1
Cork superstar in the making warms up for festival season with hometown gig.
37 James Arthur, 3Arena, March 2
X Factor badboy sweeps into town.
38 Clannad, Cork Opera House, March 2
The Celtic rock superstars and Robin Hood proselytisers bring their farewell tour South.
39 The 1975, 3Arena, March 3
Gobby Matty Healy reminds us why he’s the most interesting / irritating pop star of his era.
40 The Script, 3Arena, March 5, 6, 7
Pop-rockers with choruses even bigger than their quiffs.
41 Jon Hopkins, BGE Theatre, Dublin, March 6
Dancefloor professor stages largest ever Irish headline gig.
42 It Takes A Village, Trabolgan, Cork, March 8 – 10
The beloved residential fest returns for a third year, line-up to be announced.
43 Lewis Capaldi, 3Arena, March 8,9
The new Ed Sheeran takes over 3Arena.
44 Halsey, 3Arena, March 10
Pop-oddball plays her biggest Irish show, with support from the fantastic Pale Waves.
45 Country To Country, March 13 – 15 3Arena
Old Crow Medicine Show, Darius Rucker and Cadillac Three headline the annual yee-haw fest.
46 The Who, 3Arena, March 18
Elder statesmen Daltrey andTownsend tour their well-regarded new LP, Who.
47 Elbow, 3Arena, March 28
Guy Garvey and gang bring their big shoulder to cry on back to Ireland.
48 Santana, 3Arena, March 29
Seventies guitar virtuoso hits the comeback trail.
49: David Gray, 3Arena, April 2 – 4
Ahead of a summer date in Cork, the nineties troubadour marks the anniversary of his break-out White Ladder LP.
50 Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, 3Arena, April 10
Easy listening with rocket boots on from former Beautiful South duo.
By Des O'Driscoll
51 The Sound of Music BGE Theatre, Dublin, now
A nice way to start a year with a production of the classic musical, complete with such songs as ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘Do-Re-Mi’.
52 Reeling in the Showband Years Cork Opera House, Jan 25-26
Ronan Collins returns with the ever-popular show, also featuring the likes of Red Hurley, Linda Martin and the Swarbrigg brothers.
53 Deirdre and the Sons of Usna Everyman, Cork, January 28
A concert performance gives audiences the first chance to hear John O’Brien’s new opera. Across town, the Opera House also has a new programme of opera concerts, beginning with Pagliacci on Feb 16.
54 Mario Rosenstock Cork Opera House, Feb 25-29
The ace impressionist tours regularly, but the ongoing popularity of his Gift Grub show is underlined by the fact he’s playing five nights at the Cork venue, as well as numerous other centres on the tour. A 20-year anniversary is a fine excuse to roll out the greatest hits.
55 Zurich Portrait Prize Crawford Gallery, Cork, from Jan 31
For the first time, the prestigious event currently housed at the National Gallery is also venturing south to Cork. The full shortlist of paintings and photographs will be on display, including Enda Bowe’s winning picture, ‘Cybil McCaddy with Daughter Lulu’.
56 Dublin International Film Festival Feb 26 - March 8
As well as an impressive array of dramas and documentaries, the capital’s film festival will draw several heavyweights to provide red carpet moments.
57 Conversations with Roddy Doyle NCH Dublin, March 25; Cork Opera House, May 28
The author is always an engaging presence, and in these live events is interviewed about his life and work, as well as reading from some of his novels.
58 Irish Horse National Gallery, Dublin, from April 25
An exhibition of paintings, photographs and sculptures looks at the horse’s place in Irish life through the centuries Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy are among the subjects, while artists include Jack B Yeats and William Orpen.
59 Cork International Choral Festival April 29-May 3
Eleven choirs will take part in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition, and the southern city will chime to the sound of other events.
60 Fastnet Film Festival Schull, May 20-24
The ultimate proof that size doesn’t matter as a West Cork village without a cinema manages to put together one of the most interesting festivals in the country, with several big names attending the festival.
By Annmarie O’Connor
61 Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, February 29-June 21, V&A
Heading to London? Even if you’re not it’s worth booking flights for this latest fashion exhibition at the V&A.
This exploration of the Japanese kimono unveils 350 years of the garment, inside and out. www.vam.ac.uk
62 Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Exp.o RDS Main Hall, Dublin Jan 19-22
Explore the best of Ireland’s creativity from hundreds of exhibitors including leading Irish designers and makers reflecting the themes of sustainability, heritage and craftsmanship curated by stylist, Paula Hughes. Trade only.
63 Junk Kouture Recycled Fashion Competition 2020, nationwide until Jan 20
Now in its 10 th year, Junk Kouture challenges currently enrolled post-primary students to design, create and model high-end fashion from everyday junk. Louis Walsh and Michelle Visage head the 2020 judging panel.
64 The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2020: The Galmont Hotel & Spa, March 26
Come witness the fashion designers of the future at The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2020. Celebrating 11 years, this prestigious platform gives visibility, support and a voice to emerging designers and fashion students in Ireland. Tickets from €20 plus booking fee.
65 HOT TREND ALERT
Fashion gets electric with a power surge of neon, acid and highlighter-inspired hues. From head-to-toe iterations asseen at Helmut Lang and Valentino to cacophonous combinations favoured by Marni, 2020 looks set to be a bright year.
By Joe McNamee
66 The Cask Ales & Extraordinary Brew Festival, Jan 30-Feb 1.
A perfect way to round off a month of abstinence, includes the Beoir Cask Competition at the Franciscan Well Brewery, in Cork. www.franciscanwellbrewery.com
67 Food & Bev Live 2018, Feb 4-5.
The Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA) hosts Ireland’s biggest hospitality event (formerly Catex), bringing more than 200 exhibitors and 11,000 visitors together over three days. www.catexexhibition.com
68 Kinsale Restaurant Week, Feb 24 to March 1
With Veuve Cliquot as main sponsor, Kinsale Good Food Circle kick off their season with each member restaurant offering two courses for just €22 — a pretty rock solid excusefor booking the week off and heading to Kinsale! www.kinsalerestaurants.com
69 March Cork Food Policy Council Sustainable Food Awards
Recognising those who excel in implementing healthy, sustainable food practices, with the awards ceremony taking place in Cork City Hall. www.corkfoodpolicycouncil.com
70 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards, March 4
With top Irish food producer prizewinners to be honoured at a special lunch in Dublin. www.irishfoodwritersguild.ie
71 Chef’s Manifesto & Grow HQ
A quarterly series of events, involving CM, the global chefs’ network advocating for a better food future, in collaboration with GROW HQ as the Irish hub, a match made in heaven, and covering issues such as marine sustainability, eating the whole farm, nutrient density and other topics. (www.sdg2advocacyhub.org/ chefmanifesto & www.growhq.org)
72 Agro-Forestry Conference, Kinsale College. January 25
We need trees, we need greater food security, so the lack of fruit and nut trees in one of the globe’s most suitable growing climates needs to be addressed.
Check out www.fruitandnut.ie to startyour own orchard and the conference (hosted by Kinsale College and Transition Town Kinsale) features national and international speakers.
73 Restaurant Chestnut exclusive cookery classes. March 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
Maximum of four students per class in the lovely, intimate Michelin-starred Ballydehob restaurant as sublimely gifted Rob Krawczyk teaches dinner party cooking: canapes, starters, mains, dessert and other skills and techniques.
74 Mushroom magic
Designed to improve cognitive functioning, performance and endurance and to boost the immune system, mushroom supplements have already huge backing in the US and elsewhere in the world.
They are used in Japan in mainstream medicine as a supplemet when having chemotherapy and are set to take Ireland by storm in 2020 via Ireland’s pioneering Ballyhoura Mushrooms who have just launched a range using their own mushrooms. www.ballyhouramushrooms.ie.
75 Sustainable seafood
Seacuterie is the nose-to-tail preservation (pickling, fermenting, smoking, ageing) and use of seafood in an attempt to use the ocean’s bounty in a a manner infinitely more sustainable than is currently practiced.
By Ciara McDonnell
76 American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, January 23, Tinder Press
Already touted as one of the most heart-wrenching books of 2020, it paints an unforgettably human face of the story of the Mexico/US Border under the current regime.
77 Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen, February 20, John Murray
Lauded as a mix of Derry Girls and Eleanor Oliphant, this is a beautiful exploration of how tragedy can encourage expansive growth.
78 How To Break Up With Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo, Headline, out now
Join journalist Lauren Bravo as she tries to marry her love of clothes with a search for a slower, saner way of dressing.
79 The Hungry Road, Martia Conlon-McKenna, Transworld Ireland, out now
A story of courage, hardship and survival against the odds - this is the definitive account of the Great Irish Famine by one of our most loved writers.
80 The Boatman & Other Stories, Billy O’Callaghan, Jonathan Cape, out now
In these twelve quietly dazzling, carefully crafted stories, Billy O’Callaghan explores the resilience of the human heart in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love.
81 Three Hours, Rosamund Lupton, Viking, out now
From the bestselling author of Sister comes an electrifying, pulse-racing new novel that takes us deep into the heart of what it means to be human
82 Pine, Francine Toon, Doubleday Ireland, January 23
A woman goes missing in a tight knit community and what unfurls is an eerie and spellbinding thriller.
83 Feel Better in 5, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, Penguin Life, out now
Feel Better in 5 offers a daily 5- minute plan that is easy to maintain, easy-to-follow and requires only the smallest amount of willpower.
84 Grown Ups, Marian Keyes, Michael Joseph, January 30
It’s our favourite, Marian, backwith another book that promises to make us laugh and cry in equal measures. Must read.
85 Miss Austen, Gill Hornby, January 23
A wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel that delves into why Cassandra burned a treasure trove of letters written by her sister, Jane Austen – an act of destruction that has troubled academics for centuries.
By Ciara McDonnell
86 Cork Airport
Cork Airport continues to up its game with a range of extended routes for 2020. Ryanair are flying from Cork to the Croatian city of Zadar, as well as the Polish city of Katowice.
87 Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport has launched a new digital shopping wall offering passengers an opportunity to shop at the gate. The digital shopping wall offers a range of products from The Loop.
Items on the wall are linked to a QR code that can be scanned into a smartphone which brings passengers to the specific item, then offers a further option to browse The Loop’s website.
Any of the purchased at the digital wall or from The Loop’s website will be available at the Shop & Collect desk in the Arrivals Hall on the passenger’s return.
88 Gold List
Adare Manor and The Westbury in Dublin have a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s 2020 hotel Gold List.
Created by the magazine’s editors in New York and London, the list is as the Gold Standard of luxury, featuring hotels in fifty countries.
89 San Francisco
If you’re going to San Francisco life is infinitely easier now, thanks to a new direct route from United Airlines.
The carrier is to operate a new, year-round, daily nonstop service between Dublin Airport and its hub at San Francisco from June.
90 The Mayson
Dublin Docklands have got a whole lot cooler since the opening of The Mayson.
The hotel is a redevelopment of two protected structures: a townhouse built in 1860 and an industrial warehouse dating from 1870.
The 94-room hotel has a rooftop bar.
By Des O’Driscoll
91 Star Trek: Picard Amazon Prime Video
Patrick Stewart, 79, returns to the role for which he’ll always be remembered, despite having a lifetime of serious theatre work on his CV.
A second season has already been confirmed.
92 Angela Scanlon RTÉ One
The Co Meath presenter has been popping up in all sorts of slots on UK television, but will return home for a chatshow in the prestigious Saturday night slot split through the year between Scanlon, Ray D’Arcy and Tommy Tiernan.
93 Hunters Amazon Prime
Al Pacino provides some serious star-power for this New York series set in New York in the 1970s.
It follows a group of people who are trying to track high-ranking Nazis who have been living quietly in the city and are conspiring to create a Fourth Reich.
94 Noughts + Crosses BBC One
Malorie Blackman’s young adult novels flipped racial history by having Africans achieving dominance over white Europeans through technological advances that brought wealth and power.
UK rapper Stormzy makes his acting debut in the series.
95 Lovecraft Country Sky Atlantic
The presence of dream-duo Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Lost) as executive producers has raised expectations for this HBO-created series. It combines the horror fiction of HP Lovecraft with the experiences of a black sci-fi fan travelling through racist America in the 1950s.
96 Belgravia ITV/Virgin Ireland
Julian Fellowes attempts to repeat the success of Downton Abbey with this new six-part series set among the upper classes of London in the 19th century.
97 Normal People BBC/RTÉ
Sally Rooney has been the emerging star of Irish literature, and the 28-year-old has been hands-on with the 12-part adaptation of her second novel.
The tale revolves around two teenage friends at school together in Sligo and Trinity.
98 The Boys Amazon Prime
A welcome second season of a show that created quite a wordof- mouth stir among those who saw the inaugural run in 2019.
It follows some of the world’s leading superheroes, exposing them as corporate stooges, using their powers to win huge security contracts for the firm that employs them.
99 Quinn Country RTÉ
Sean Quinn went from being Ireland’s richest man to being a bankruptee with a prison record.
While many people around the country resent the motor insurance levy they had to pay because of his firm’s disastrous business decisions, Quinn is still seen as a hero by many in his Co Fermanagh heartland.
This three part documentary looks at his rise and fall, and what’s been happening since.
100 Disney +
The March launch in Ireland of the entertainment giant’s streaming service, along with a beefed-up offering from Amazon Prime, will mean even more competition for Netflix.
As well as a huge back-catalogue of films under its own brand, Disney also has access to Pixar’s classic animations; and Star Wars, including eight-part spinoff series The Mandalorian.