In the blink of an eye, Christmas is nigh – and my oh my, has the year sped by. But there’s still plenty of time for big family films to sink your teeth into. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse promises a fun, intricately-animated action movie set in a different universe to the live-action Spider-Man franchise. The Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines (based on the Philip Reeve book of the same name) also boasts some incredible special effects mixed in with steampunk dystopia. However, there is of course plenty more to look out for this month.
Sorry to Bother You – 7th December
Predominantly known for his music, Boots Riley proves that he is a fascinating, much-needed talent in the film world, with his directorial debut, Sorry to Bother You.
In an alternative version of Oakland, California, Cash (Lakeith Stanfield) realises that he will have to adopt a “white voice” (David Cross) in his job as a telemarketer, in order to climb the ranks at the sinister company he works at. Soon, however, things go horribly wrong as he is dragged further down into the business’ dark underworld.
When I first saw the trailer for this film eight months ago, I was both excited and nervous for the same reason: the absurdity. While Stanfield has cornered the somewhat niche market of absurd characters – with his stand-out performances in Atlanta and Get Out – Riley seems to lean into the ludicrousness of his premise in order to fully explore his ideas of capitalism and false identity. If you can’t wait for the new season of Black Mirror to drop, why not give this a try?
The Old Man & the Gun – 7th December
Having announced his retirement, Robert Redford concludes an extraordinary body of work with the biopic The Old Man & the Gun.
Based on a true story, Redford plays criminal Forrest Tucker, who manages to escape San Quentin State Prison before going on a crime spree – and all of this while evading a detective (Casey Affleck) hot on his trails.
Director David Lowery once again throws a curve-ball into his eclectic filmography – and once again, does so successfully. Given his past work, one could predict that this won’t be a conventional cat-and-mouse story – but it will certainly be a good choice for a Sunday afternoon.
An Elephant Sitting Still – 14th December
Perhaps one of the least well-known films on this list is the Chinese film An Elephant Sitting Still, directed by Hu Bo, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.
Set over the course of one day, the lives of various individuals – a young schoolboy, a runaway girl, a haunted brother and an unwanted father – intersect due to their shared interest in an elephant that apparently sits still, ignoring the world, in northern China. They each board a train in the hopes of finding this elephant – and hopefully, something more.
Judging by the trailer, this film appears to be similar to movies like Her and Tyrannosaur, in that it has a muted tone that emphasises character over story. This may not be the easiest watch, but it might be the most intriguing.
Mary Poppins Returns – 21st December
Following the 1965 classic, Mary Poppins returns in, um, Mary Poppins Returns – and it’s important to note that this is indeed a sequel, and not a remake.
25 years after the events of Mary Poppins, the Banks children (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) have grown-up to have families of their own. But after a tragedy befalls them, a certain nanny they’ve met before comes to lend a helping hand…
It would be an understatement to say that Rob Marshall and the rest of his cast and crew have a lot to live up to in this highly-anticipated sequel. However, it can’t be doubted that a lot of love has gone into the production – even including a hand-drawn animated sequence.
By all accounts, though, Emily Blunt (who takes over the iconic role from Julie Andrews) is downright divine, leading a truly superb cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Dick Van Dyke, ANGELA LANSBURY (yes, Angela Lansbury!) and so many more (sadly, there will be no Diagnosis: Murder and Murder, She Wrote crossover). At this point, telling you to go watch it would be redundant.
Check out our earlier Trailer Watch for Mary Poppins Returns here.
Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher.
Image use license here.