These are the best costume films to watch in 2022

If you have a BridgertonShaped like a void in your life after watching the show’s beautiful second season, our list of the best upcoming drama movies to watch this year is perfect for you.

By Dakota Johnson Persuasion – tailor-made for hopeless romantics, by Florence Pugh’s Wonderful for thrill seekers, the choices are endless for historical drama fans. This is set to be an exciting year for period drama films, with numerous highly anticipated films and series coming out on both celluloid and streaming platforms such as Netflix.

Here are nine costume dramas to watch in 2022


costume dramas coming out in 2022- persuasion
Image credit: Persuasion / IMDb

Release date: 15th of July

With Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding and Suki Waterhouse, Persuasion tells the story of a second chance and the rekindling of the long-lost love between the protagonists, Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth. Based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen, the film follows the life of Anne, one of the three daughters of the wealthy and influential English aristocrat Sir Walter (Corin Redgrave).

Part of Anne’s wish remains unfulfilled, ever since she was persuaded by her family not to marry her true love, Frederick, eight years ago due to her poor social standing. However, the flame between them never went out.

Years later, when Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars with financial gains and the socially respected rank of naval officer, old sparks reignite between the two.

Directed by Carrie Cracknell, the Netflix movie is a must-see if you like the romance trope of “he who ran away”. Watch the period film for its wonderfully outlandish costumes and Cracknell’s playful take on this Jane Austen classic.


costume dramas - Emily
Image Credit: Michael Wharley Popara Films Ltd 2019 – © Michael Wharley Popara Films Ltd 2019

Release date: Towards the end of the year

This film brings to life the story of one of the most famous and pioneering writers of the millennium, Emily Brontë, a gem, who the world lost at just 30 years old. Starring Emma Mackey as Emily, the story follows the intense years leading up to the creation of her influential novel Wuthering Heights.

It offers a peek into her exhilarating, uplifting and rebellious journey to femininity. Set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire moors, this coming-of-age film is Frances O’Connor’s promising directorial debut.

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Image credit: Babylon / © Birkan YÜKSEL

Release date: 25th December

Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, Babylon is an American costume drama due out at Christmas this year. The star-studded cast includes Brad Pitt as John Gilbert and Margot Robbie as Clara Bow, along with Tobey Maguire as executive producer. Maguire also has a cameo in the film, as silent film icon Charlie Chaplin.

Although Paramount hasn’t officially released a storyline yet, speculation has it that the film explores the glitzy and glamorous world of Hollywood and the industry’s transition from silent movies to movies with a synchronized soundtrack (talkie). The cast also includes Olivia Wilde and Jean Smart.

The wonder

The wonder
Image credit: The Wonder / IMDb

Release date: Towards the end of the year

An adaptation of the bestselling novel by Irish-Canadian playwright Emma Donoghue, The wonder is a psychological thriller that examines the life of a “miraculous” girl who seems to survive without food for months together. Starring Florence Pugh as Lib Wright in the lead role, the Netflix film is set in the mysterious valleys of 19th-century Ireland and is directed by Sebastián Lelio.

Pugh plays the role of an English nurse, whose presence is urgently required in Ireland to observe and analyze the deeply religious 11-year-old miraculous girl, Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy). She has been billed as a wonder and turned into a tourist attraction for her food-less monk survival skills. O’Donnell soon becomes a sensational phenomenon as townspeople flock to have a look at her.

Wright is also joined by a reporter, who is skeptical of this seemingly miraculous survival story and wonders if something more sinister is at stake.

Lady Chatterley’s lover

Release date: Towards the end of the year

Actress Emma Corrin, who played the role of Princess Diana in the fourth season of The crown, will play the free-spirited noblewoman, Lady Constance Chatterley in this drama. Based on the DH Lawrence novel of the same name, the film is directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and follows the story of Lady Chatterley, who is pursuing a torrid affair with a gamekeeper (Jack O’Connell) after falling in love with her husband. In this process, she discovers more desire and intimacy than she ever thought was possible.

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The woman king

The woman king
Image credit: The Woman King / IMDb

Release date: September 16

An American historical epic, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and co-written by Dana Stevens (also screenplay), The woman king is a costume drama inspired by the real events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey. It was one of the most powerful African states in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The extraordinary story follows the ferocious military general, Nanisca (Viola Davis) and his recruit Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) as they drive away enemies and fight those who have eroded their sense of honor. The cast also includes Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, Sheila Atim, Adrienne Warren, Jayme Lawson and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin.

The crown: season 5

The crown season 5
Image Credit: Des Willie / Des Willie / Netflix – © Netflix 2020, Inc

Release date: November 2022

The fifth and penultimate season of the popular series will be released in November on Netflix, chronicling the political upheavals and personal intrigues of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, spanning the 1940s to modern times. Imelda Staunton plays Elizabeth, alongside Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in key roles. The series follows the important events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

Offering dramatic accounts of the Queen’s beginning, personal life and love affairs, the Netflix Original series debuted in 2016 and garnered worldwide recognition. The fourth season retraces the years after 1979, when Prince Charles meets Diana (Emma Corrin) for the first time. This season portrays the tumultuous progression of their relationship, from courtship to marriage and the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The imminent fifth season it should cover the events that occurred in the late 1990s during the most famous monarchy in the world, where the previous season ended.

Mr. Malcolm’s list

Mr. Malcolm's list
Image credit: Mr Malcolm’s List / IMDb

Release date: July 1

The landmark film, due out in July, is directed by Emma Holly Jones, which marks her film debut, and written by Suzanne Allain. The story is adapted from Allain’s novel of the same name. In the film, a young woman named Selina Dalton (Frieda Pinto) falls in love with a mysterious and wealthy suitor, Mr Malcolm (Ṣọpẹivali Dìrísù), in 19th-century England. The film also stars Zawe Ashton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park and Theo James.

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Focusing on the classic “enemies to lovers” point of view, the romantic costume drama follows the life of Mr. Malcolm, who is on a quest to find a suitable bride for himself. He wants to find a woman who meets his long and demanding list of requirements and conditions.

Pinto plays the role of a country girl who at first despises Mr. Malcolm and plots revenge against him, along with her friend Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), because she rejects Julia for not meeting his criteria. In a (not so) surprising turn of events, she ends up courting him instead.

Downton Abbey: a new era

Downtown Abbey: a new era
Image credit: Downton Abbey: A New Era / © 2021 FOCUS FEATURES LLC

Release date: April 29

While this was released in April, the exciting Simon Curtis sequel, Downton Abbey: a new era it is a must for lovers of historical dramas. The film revolves around the Crawley family as they embark on a great journey to the south of France to unearth the mystery of the villa just inherited by the widowed countess. Against the backdrop of the sacred halls of Highclere Castle, Dame Maggie Smith is back as Widowed Countess Violet Crawley, with Michelle Dockery returning as Lady Mary Talbot.

Tuppence Middleton is back as Lucy Smith, with Hugh Bonneville reprising the role of Robert Crawley and Imelda Staunton as Maud Bagshaw.

The supporting cast includes Hugh Dancy as Jack Barber, Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Laura Haddock as Myrna Dalgleish, Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, and Penelope Wilton as Isobel Merton, among others.

It was released in theaters in the UK on April 29, 2022, by Universal Pictures and in the United States in May by Focus Features.

(Main and featured image credit: Liam Daniel / Netflix / – © 2022 Netflix, Inc.)

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