From movies to music, food to fashion, our critics reveal their picks for the year ahead.
1 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, January 12
Martin McDonagh’s blackly comic drama stars Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson.
2 Coco, January 12
Pixar tale in which young musician Miguel enters the Land of the Dead to seek inspiration. Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina co-direct.
3 The Post, January 19
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in Steven Spielberg’s tale of corruption and hard-hitting journalism.
4 Downsizing, January 19
Matt Damon shrinks himself to four inches tall to make the planet a better place. Alexander Payne directs.
5 The Commuter, January 19
Thriller with Liam Neeson as a mild-mannered businessman who gets snarled up in criminal conspiracy. Vera Farmiga co-stars.
6 Early Man, January 26
Prehistoric capers from animator Nick Park, as caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) goes head-to-head with Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston).
7 Phantom Thread, February 2
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as a renowned dressmaker whose life is thrown into turmoil by a new muse. Paul Thomas Anderson directs.
8 The Mercy, February 9
Yachtsman Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) sails around the world alone. Rachel Weisz co-stars.
9 Fifty Shades Freed, February 9
The third installment of the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.
10 Lady Bird, February 16
Oscar-tipped Saoirse Ronan abandons California and for the East Coast cool crowd in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut.
11 The Shape of Water, February 16
Guillermo del Toro crafts another strikingly dark fairytale, set in a top-secret government laboratory. Sally Hawkins stars.
12 I, Tonya, February 23
Margot Robbie stars as the controversial figure-skating champion Tonya Harding. Craig Gillespie directs.
13 Red Sparrow, March 2
Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian spy targeting a CIA agent. Ciarán Hinds co-stars.
14 You Were Never Really Here, March 9
Lynne Ramsey directs Joaquin Phoenix as an enforcer tracking down a missing girl. Ekaterina Samsonov co-stars.
15 Tomb Raider, March 16
Alicia Vikander stars in a reboot of the computer game franchise. Dominic West co-stars.
16 Peter Rabbit, March 16
Animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s tale, with Daisy Ridley and Domhnall Gleeson providing the voice talent.
17 A Wrinkle in Time, March 23
Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon star in Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the classic young adult sci-fi novel.
18 Ready Player One, March 30
Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) breaks out of his humdrum life by escaping into the virtual world of OASIS. Steven Spielberg directs.
19 Isle of Dogs, March 30
Wes Anderson directs an animated epic about a boy searching for his lost dog, with voice talents Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Goldblum and Edward Norton.
20 April Blockers, April 6
Parents team up to prevent their daughters having sex on Prom Night. Leslie Mann and John Cena star.
21 Action Point, April 6
Johnny Knoxville stars as a daredevil who builds his own theme park. Chris Pontius co-stars.
22 The Children Act, April 13
High Court judge Emma Thompson is forced to make a life-changing ruling. Richard Eyre directs Ian McEwan’s script.
23 Rampage, April 20
Dwayne Johnson goes to war against an army of genetically mutated apes and gorillas rampaging across America.
24 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, April 20
Lily James stars as an author writing a novel about the Nazi occupation of Guernsey during WWII. Mike Newell directs.
25 Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, April 27
The Avengers join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to confront the evil Thanos. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt star.
26. Kendrick Lamar, 3Arena, February 7
Grammy-nominated rapper begins the European leg of his hugely anticipated Damn tour.
27. The Script, 3Arena, Dublin February 8,9, 10
The biggest Irish band not named U2 bring their chart-topping Freedom Child LP home.
28. Franz Ferdinand, Galway Leisureland, February 10, Olympia, Dublin, February 11
Missing In Action Britrockers are back with a fifth album, Always Ascending (February 9) and two Irish dates
29. Paul Weller, Olympia, Dublin, February 12, 13, 14
Modfather returns for another mini-residency in the capital.
30. Mary Black, Cork Opera House, February 16
The balladeer reunites with long-time backing band for her latest series of dates.
31. Morrissey, 3Arena, Dublin, February 20
Controversial ex-Smiths singer, promoting new (self released) LP, Low in High School.
32. Elbow, 3Arena, Dublin February 24
The Coldplay you are allowed to enjoy, led by avuncular everyman Guy Garvey.
33. Imagine Dragons, 3Arena, Dublin February 26
This American dance-rock outfit have risen without a trace – but are beloved by their fanbase.
34. The Gloaming, NCH, March 5 – 12
Trad music delivered with a Radiohead-style pout.
35. Country2Country, 3Arena, Dublin March 9 – 11
The Nashville festival takes a more “alternative” route, with Kacey Musgraves and Faith Hill with Tim McGraw headlining.
36. Niall Horan, INEC Killarney, March 10,
3Arena, Dublin, March 12, March 29 One Direction star forges ahead with a solo career that has already seen him top the US charts.
37. Joan Baez, BGE Theatre, Dublin March 21, 21
Sixties siren and muse to Dylan.
38. Sigrid, Academy, Dublin March 23
Nordic star Sigrid has had a huge viral hit with empowerment anthem Don’t Kill My Vibe.
39. Nathan Carter, 3Arena, March 23
The adopted Irishman brings his country rock to Dublin’s largest indoor venue.
40. Anne–Marie, Olympia, Dublin March 25
The Essex singer had a barnstorming 2017, with a string of top ten hits.
41. Flight of the Conchords, 3Arena, Dublin March 25, April 2
Comedy rock from Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement.
42. Sam Smith, 3Arena, Dublin March 30, 31,
The “male Adele” – as we’re sure he loves being called – hits the road with woe-is-me second album, The Thrill Of It All.
43. Macklemore, 3Arena, Dublin April 3, 4
Treacly rhyming from rapper who, with Irish Celebration, has cornered the market in gloopy green-hued hip hop.
44. Arcade Fire, 3Arena, Dublin April 6
Everything Now, their anti-capitalist new album, is a condescending dud – but a glittering catalogue is still a big draw.
45. It Takes A Village, Trabolgan, Co Cork, April 13 to 15
Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers are joined by krautrockers Fujiya and Miyagi and local alt pop outfit Altered Hours for the first music festival at Trabolgan.
46. Harry Styles, 3Arena, Dublin, April 16
The Other 1D sweetheart seeks to prove that anything Niall Horan can do, he can surpass.
47. The Streets, Olympia Dublin, April 16, 17
Having refused, for years, to talk about The Streets, Mike Skinner now takes his early 2000s rap project out of retirement.
48. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, 3Arena, Dublin May 10
Liam has apparently won the battle of the siblings with his new album topping the charts. But Noel refuses to give up and his latest post-Oasis foray is a stomping tribute to Slade and Status Quo.
49. Game Of Thrones Live, 3Arena, Dublin, May 24
Westeros comes alive as composer Ramin Djawadi conducts a full orchestra performing the fantasy romp’s lavish score.
50. Taylor Swift, Croke Park, June 15, 16
TayTay takes over Croker for two nights. But can she fill the vast Dublin northside bowl twice over?
51. Cork Food Policy Council Sustainable Food Awards, January 9, recognising those who excel in implementing healthy, sustainable food practices, with the awards ceremony taking place in Cork City Hall. www.corkfoodpolicycouncil.com
52. Coffee | Culture, starts January 12, series of stimulating creative pre-work morning talks in Dublin’s best speciality cafés, covering anything from architecture to food writing to performance art (www.atftalks.com/coffee-culture)
53. The Cask Ales & Extraordinary Brew Festival, Jan 25-27, a perfect way to round off a month of abstinence with the Beoir Cask Competition at the Franciscan Well Brewery, in Cork. www.franciscanwellbrewery.com
54. Food & Bev Live 2018, Feb 6-7, 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.foodandbev.ie
55. Tipperary Food Tour, from February, launch of guide to Tipperary producers and beginning of in-school resource programme for selected schools. www.tipperaryfoodproducers.com
56. Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards, March 7, with top Irish food producer prizewinners to be honoured at Patrick Guilbaud’s Michelin-starred restaurant. www.irishfoodwritersguild.ie
57. Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, March 8-10, Dublin Convention Centre. Includes Dublin Craft Beer Cup with over 100 global entries, great grub and live entertainment, http://eu.alltechbrewsandfood.com
58. LegenDerry Food Festival, March 17/18, Up to 25,000 visitors expected for one of the first food festivals of the year, with a lineup of top chefs strutting their stuff along the banks of the Strabane
59. Rob Krawczyk Restaurant Opening, March 2018, Top chef Rob Krawczyk returns to his native West Cork to open a new restaurant in Ballydehob, another fine fillip to the local dining scene.
60. Stone Valley Roasters, March 2018, Cork county’s extraordinary portfolio of fine coffee bean roasters set to be joined by yet another promising local Leeside outfit, Stone Valley Roasters.
61. Friendly Faces.
Cork Airport is officially one of the friendliest places in the world, according to Happy Or Not, a Finnish company which analysed data collected from airports between November 2016 and November 2017.
It reveals the airports with the highest customer satisfaction globally, measured by the percentage of people hitting the dark green or light green buttons, and Cork almost topped the poll with 88.45% customer satisfaction.
62. Bubble Up:
As Limerick city’s only five-star hotel, The Savoy is truly living up to its name with its new Fizz & Bubbles package. Stay the night in one of the hotel’s Junior Suites and soak in a bubble bath service in your marble bathroom using complementary Molton Brown bubbles, accompanied by a chilled bottle of Lanson champagne. The package includes dinner for two, B&B, with complementary valet parking and late check out available until 2pm, from €145pp. www.savoylimerick.com
63. Stars In Their Eyes
2017 was a record year for Irish tourism. According to Tourism Ireland, 10.65 million visitors came to Ireland last year, and with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi coinciding with a €500,000 promotional campaign to back up its ‘Irishness’, those figures are set to stay high for the coming year.
64. Mr Robot
The future is screen-shaped at Dublin Airport, where its new e-Gates has opened to customers. Five e-Gates are open in Terminals one and two, providing automated security and passport checks using complicated facial recognition software.
65. Room Sale
Farnham Estate is launching a Big Room Sale until March 29 , offering up to 20% off its best available rates. Set among lush meadows and woods, with an 18- hole golf course and fabulous spa, this is a serious new year treat to grab. www.farnhamestate.com
66. Southern Brides Wedding Show, Cork City Hall, Jan 13-14, www.southernbrides.ie
Going up the aisle in 2018? Best save the date for The Southern Brides Wedding Show. Say ‘I do’ to inspired wedding ideas with the pick of hundreds of local exhibitors under one roof and regular bridal fashion shows by Assets Model Agency.
67. Showcase Ireland, RDS Main Hall, Dublin, Jan 21-24, www.showcaseireland.com
Explore the best of Ireland’s creativity from over 450 exhibitors including leading Irish designers, manufacturers and emerging homegrown artisans.
Enjoy workshops and presentations from industry experts and take inspiration from category curators presenting an edited selection of the best national design and craft talent. Trade only.
68. Junk Kouture Recycled Fashion Competition, Jan 22, www.junkkouture.com
Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture is a national contest for second-level students which challenges teenagers to create striking designs and wearable art from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin. Louis Walsh and Pippa O’Connor head the judging panel this year. Entry deadline: January 22.
69. West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, Belfast, March 22-25, www.belfastfashionweek.com
West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK is back to Belfast for its 25th season. Expect an exciting roster of spring/summer 18 runway shows, style events and parties taking place at Saint Anne’s Cathedral and across the city.
70. The Blossom Tree Ball, The K Club, Co Kildare, Feb 10, www.pippa.ie
Model mum-preneur Pippa O’Connor and husband Brian Ormand host The Blossom Tree Ball in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Tickets to this fashionable black tie event include drink reception on arrival, three-course meal, charity auction and live entertainment.
71. The Young Offenders RTÉ2, tbc
Peter Foott had a mega hit in Ireland in 2015, and fair play to the BBC for recognising that the film’s universal themes had potential far beyond Cork, where it was made. Loveable rogues Conor and Jock return for six episodes and will be joined by a few new characters.
72. Ireland’s Got Talent TV3, February
Hopefully the recent period in which we didn’t have a major TV talent show has allowed some new acts to blossom. Format veteran Louis Walsh will be be joined on the panel by Denise Van Outen, Jason Byrne and Michelle Visage.
73. Mosaic Tbc, January
Presumably, a broadcaster on this side of the Atlantic will pick up Steven Soderbergh’s attempt to push the barriers of TV shows in the digital age. This murder mystery comes with an app that allows you to pick particular characters to see key events from their perspective. You’ll be provided with materials about the crime not referenced in the show.
74. The Assassination of Gianni Versace Channel 4, January
This second series in the American Crime Story strand is hoping to build on the success of The People v. O. J. Simpson with its dramatisation of the killing of the Italian fashion designer in 1997 in Miami. Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz star.
75. Ireland’s Deep Atlantic RTÉ, tbc
Blue Planet II entertained and worried us with its tales from the rapidy-changing oceans, and this three-part series shows that you don’t have to go to the tropics to encounter spectacular sea-life.
76. Can’t Cope Won’t Cope RTÉ2, spring
The first series of this comedy drama was such a zeitgeisty hit, particularly among young women, that it’s no surprise the show is returning for a second run.
77. Dave Allen A Life at Peace RTÉ, tbc
People who weren’t around in the 1970s probably don’t realise what a big deal Irish comedian Dave Allen really was. This 60-minute biopic will hopefully serve as a reminder.
78. House of Cards Netflix, tbc
There will be a Kevin Spacey-shaped hole in the sixth and final series. Two episodes already filmed with the widely-accused actor have been binned, and the focus will be on Robin Wright’s character.
79. Roseanne tbc
Fans of the comedy classic have been excited and worried by the prospect of a return for Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and co. It was brilliant for a while, but by the time it reached it end of its nine-year run in 1997, the show had looked passed its sell-by date. We’re curious but fear the worst.
80. Westworld Sky Atlantic, spring
With no series in 2017, we finally return to the strange and harsh world of the fantasy frontier for a second season. Recent fires in California did upset the filming schedule.
ARTS & ENTS
81. La Bohème, Cork Opera House, February 4.
The first of this year’s opera concert series at the venue. John O’Brienis at the helm for both this and Cavalleria Rusticana (March 31).
82. IMMA Collection: Freud Project, February 15.
The second exhibition of the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s five-year engagement with the works of the great Lucian Freud. Irish artist Daphne Wright curates this phase of the exhibition, with a particular focus on his studio practice.
83. Audi Dublin International Film Festival, Feb 22 – Mar 4
This event has the budget and pulling power to attract some major stars. While the full programme hasn’t been announced yet, we do know it will feature The Breadwinner, the film made by Midleton animator Nora Twomey, in collaboration with Angelina Jolie.
84. Russell Brand, March
The English celebrity, right, changed his original dates for Cork, Limerick and Galway, but promised he’d be “20% funnier”. No pressure then. He returns in May.
85. Gare St Lazare, February.
The Cork-born Beckett specialists have two biggies coming up: How It Is: Part One, with founder Conor Lovett and Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones/The Tunnel), at the Everyman in Cork in February; and Here All Night, a touring production inspired by the music in Beckett’s work.
86. Brian O’Doherty
The artist formerly known as Patrick Ireland turns 90 this year and, as well as an exhibition at IMMA, he is also planning to travel to Cobh to see his restored murals at Sirius Arts Centre.
87. Matilda The Musical, BGE Theatre, Dublin, Apr 4-28
The Royal Shakespeare Company stepped away from the bard for this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book, and have been rewarded with a successful six-year run in the West End.
88. Cork International Choral Festival, April 18-22.
The opening gala features one of Aloys Fleischmann’s works, with baritone Owen Gilhooly; and proceedings continue over the next five days with hundreds of international and local talents showing off the wonders of the human voice.
89. Towers and Tales, Lismore, May 5
There is no better setting for a children’s books event than Lismore Castle, Co Waterford. Last year’s event had Michael Morpurgo and Lauren Child, and organisers are hoping to tempt similar heavyweights this year.
90. International Literature Festival, Dublin, May 19-27
Box-office names at last year’s event included Naomi Klein, Richard Ford and Jo Nesbo.
91. The Year that Changed Everything, Cathy Kelly, Orion, €14.70, 22/02/2018.
Three very different women celebrate milestone birthdays in the warm, entertaining and delightful new read from one of Ireland’s most popular and beloved authors.
92. Almost Love, Louise O’Neill, Quercus, €17.99, 08/03/2018.
Almost Love is the first adult novel from author Louise O’Neill, who has won critical acclaim for her previous, distinctly feminist young adult novels Asking For It and Only Ever Yours.
O’Neill’s first adult novel, Almost Love follows a young woman named Sarah who falls so hard for a man twenty years her senior, that she winds up sacrificing work, friendships and relationships to be with him.
93. From a Low and Quiet Sea, Donal Ryan, Doubleday, €12.99, 29/03/2018.
Tipperary-based Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, were published to major acclaim. In this latest offering which stretches from war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by life are searching for some version of home.
94. Macbeth, Jo Nesbo, Hogarth, €14.99, 05/04/2018.
Joe Nesbo is an international number one bestseller selling over 36 million copies around the globe. This latest novel is set in a dark, rainy northern town, where the ambitions of a corrupt policeman come up against loyal colleagues, a drug-depraved underworld and the pull of childhood friendships.
95. Skin Deep, Liz Nugent, Penguin Ireland, €12.99, 26/04/2018.
Cordelia Russell has been living on the Côte d’Azur for ten years, posing as an English heiress. Now her money’s gone and her luck is running out. Desperate to escape her grotty flat and grim reality, Cordelia spends a decadent night at the city’s famed Negresco hotel. But surrounded by the young, beautiful and privileged she feels her age and her poverty. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. It hasn’t taken long for the corpse in her bedroom to commence decomposing ...
96. Educated, Tara Westover, Hutchinson, €14.50, 22/02/2018.
Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. Born to survivalists, she hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate or attended school, and had no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her native Idaho to Harvard and to Cambridge.
97. Pass Your Driving Test! A Practical Guide to Learning to Drive in Ireland, Kathleen Comerford, O’Brien Press, €9.99, 12/03/2018.
For many, the driving test feels like the last obstacle to independence and adventure. This is an essential handbook for anyone learning to drive. A driving instructor of almost 20 years’ experience, Comerford is also a qualified practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and author of 101 Tips to Pass Your Driving test.
98. Make the Home You Love: The Complete Guide to Home Design and Renovation in Ireland, Fiona McPhillips with Colm Doyle, Lisa McVeigh and John Flood, €24.99, O’Brien Press, 26/03/2018.
This practical step-by-step guide to the transformation of the home, takes the reader from the design stage to planning, building, decorating and snagging. Filled with professional advice and personal stories this is an accessible and inspirational guide to home renovation that will have you bursting with ideas.
99. Karl Henry’s Healthy Living Handbook, Karl Henry, Penguin Ireland, €14.99, 29/03/2018.
Over nearly twenty years as a personal trainer, Karl Henry has held more than 25,000 sessions with clients from all walks of life including the worlds of fashion, music, politics and business. His role as a motivating advisor on RTÉ’s Operation Transformation, has made him a household name. So would you like to be trimmer, fitter and healthier, but don’t know where to start? Here’s how, according to Henry, who promotes simplicity, balance and the development of habits and practical routines that are realistic and sustainable.
100. The Unmapped Mind; A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live, Christian Donlan, Viking, €17, 05/04/2018.
Shortly after his daughter was born, award-winning journalist Christian Donlan began to experience the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis, an incurable and degenerative neurological disease. As his young daughter starts to investigate the world around her, he found himself exploring a new landscape – the shifting and bewildering territory of the brain. The Unmapped Mind is a profoundly personal, uplifting and enriching memoir that will change the way you see your body, your mind, and the world around you.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved