This Week’s Movie Menu (1 – 7 January 2024)

Happy New Year! Hopefully you’re just as excited about the movies coming out in 2024 as I am!

And now, onto our first Movie Menu of 2024, which kicks off the year with some pretty high-profile selections, including a pair of awards-worthy biopics, terrifying survival thrillers, a modern classic heist flick, and more…

 

Movie of the Week

 

Priscilla (2023, dir. Sofia Coppola)

CAST: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Ari Cohen, Dagmara Domińczyk, Tim Post, Lynne Griffin, Dan Beirne, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Dan Abramovici, R Austin Ball, Olivia Barrett, Emily Mitchell, Stephanie Moore, Luke Humphrey, Evan Annisette

CREW: Sofia Coppola (director, writer, producer), Youree Henley and Lorenzo Mieli (producers), Phoenix (composer), Philippe Le Sourd (cinematographer), Sarah Flack (editor)

PLOT: In 1959, fourteen-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu (Spaeny) is introduced to world-famous singer Elvis Presley (Elordi) whilst he is serving at a US Army base in West Germany. Soon after, she is thrust into the spotlight as his lover and eventually his wife, but as the cracks in their relationship begin to show, Priscilla begins to chart her own destiny…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Oscar-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola lends her unique vision to the life of Elvis Presley’s long-suffering partner
  • Cailee Spaeny, in a performance that earned her the Best Actress trophy at last year’s Venice Film Festival, plays Priscilla at various stages in her life, alongside Euphoria heartthrob Jacob Elordi as Elvis himself
  • It is based on the real Priscilla Presley’s tell-all memoir Elvis and Me, which like the film tells a more personal account of being involved with the global megastar
  • Since Presley’s estate refused to allow Coppola the use of his songs, the filmmaker inserts a number of anachronistic soundtrack choices in their place, much of it provided by French rock band Phoenix (who have collaborated with Coppola on numerous other projects)
  • It is a sobering and at times uncomfortable alternative to Baz Luhrmann’s all-encompassing biopic, with a much-needed feminine perspective

Priscilla is showing in cinemas from Monday 1 January 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

One Life (2023, dir. James Hawes)

CAST: Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Lena Olin, Romola Garai, Alex Sharp, Jonathan Pryce, Helena Bonham Carter, Samantha Spiro, Ziggy Heath

CREW: James Hawes (director), Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake (writers), Iain Canning, Guy Heeley, Joanna Laurie and Emile Sherman (producers), Volker Bertelmann (composer), Zac Nicholson (cinematographer), Lucia Zucchetti (editor)

PLOT: In the late 1930s, young British stockbroker Nicholas Winton (Flynn) visits German-occupied Czechoslovakia to assist in a daring plan to evacuate countless Jewish children from the grasp of the Nazis. Years later, an elderly Winton (Hopkins) is haunted by the uncertainty of what became of the children, until he is invited one day to an emotional taping of television programme That’s Life!

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The extraordinary efforts of humanitarian Nicholas Winton are the focus of this deeply moving new biopic
  • Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn play Winton at different, but no less profound, moments in his life
  • You will witness his passionate contributions to what became known as the Kindertransport, which saved the lives of hundreds (if not more) of young Jewish children in pre-war Europe
  • There is also an extremely emotional recreation of the iconic moment when, whilst in the audience for an episode of That’s Life!, Winton was unexpectedly reunited with some familiar faces
  • It’s impossible to not shed a tear at the profound drama that is on display at all times here

One Life is showing in cinemas from Friday 4 January 2024

 

Night Swim (2024, dir. Bryce McGuire)

CAST: Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle, Gavin Warren, Nancy Lenehan, Jodi Long, Rahnuma Panthaky, Eddie Martinez, Elijah J. Roberts

CREW: Bryce McGuire (director, writer), Jason Blum and James Wan (producers), Mark Korven (composer), Charlie Sarroff (cinematographer), Jeff McEvoy (editor)

PLOT: Ray Waller (Russell), a major league baseball player forced into retirement due to a degenerative disease, moves into a new home with his wife Eve (Condon) and their children Izzie (Hoeferle) and Elliot (Warren). The house comes with a seemingly relaxing swimming pool, but the family soon discovers that something horrifying lurks in the water, as a result of the home’s dark history…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The new horror from producers Jason Blum and James Wan will give you a whole new reason to be afraid of the water
  • It is a feature-length adaptation of the acclaimed 2014 short film, with its co-creator Bryce McGuire directing and writing as well
  • Wyatt Russell and Oscar-nominee Kerry Condon lead the cast with a pair of unnerved – and at times terrifying – performances
  • Some haunting underwater shots help to emphasise the unseen terror lurking in (and possibly even out of) the haunted swimming pool
  • Though it is clearly positioned to replicate last year’s early success of Blum and Wan’s M3GAN, it has enough chills and shock value to stand (or swim) on its own

Night Swim is showing in cinemas from Friday 5 January 2024

 

Scala!!! (2024, dirs. Ali Catterall and Jane Giles)

CAST: Barry Adamson, John Akomfrah, Rick Baker, Ralph Brown, Paul Burston, Adam Buxton, Caroline Catz, Bal Croce, Helen de Witt, Jane Giles, Lina Gopaul, Mary Harron, Douglas Hart, Graham Humphreys, Stefan Jaworzyn, Matt Johnson, Alan Jones, Davey Jones, Princess Julia, Isaac Julien, Ali Kayley, Nick Kent, Beeban Kidron, David Lawson, Stewart Lee, Mike Leedham, David McGillivray, Mark Moore, Thurston Moore, Kim Newman, James O’Brien, Jayne Pilling, Lisa Power, Paul Pautner, Vic Roberts, JoAnne Sellar, Peter Strickland, J.G. Thirlwell, Cathi Unsworth, Mark Valen, John Waters, Chris Watson, Ben Wheatley, Jah Wobble, Stephen Woolley

CREW: Ali Catterall and Jane Giles (directors, writers), Andrew Starke (producer, editor), Alan Marke and Jim Reid (producers), Barry Adamson (composer), Sarah Appleton (cinematographer), Edward Mills (editor)

PLOT: The story of London’s infamous Scala Cinema, which screened numerous provocative films during the Thatcher regime, and in doing so united and inspired creatives from all over the world…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The Scala Cinema, a legend within London’s cultural circles, is celebrated in this riotous and insightful new documentary
  • It is directed by duo Ali Catterall and Jane Giles, the latter of whom was once a programmer for the legendary cinema
  • The film features footage from nearly 50 interviews conducted with various filmmakers, including John Waters and Ben Wheatley, to general film buffs like Kim Newman, all of whom have some fascinating stories to tell about their experiences at the venue
  • Revered musician Barry Adamson provides the funky soundtrack to scenes where the full debauchery of the Scala’s culture is in full swing
  • This is your chance to dive into a piece of London cinema history, as well as experience the full insanity of the Scala and its regular visitors

Scala!!! is showing in cinemas from Friday 5 January 2024

 

Blank (2022, dir. Natalie Kennedy)

CAST: Rachel Shelley, Heida Reed, Wayne Brady, Annie Cusselle, Rebecca-Clare Evans, Bhasker Patel

CREW: Natalie Kennedy (director), Stephen Herman (writer), Rebecca-Clare Evans (producer), Arhynn Descy (composer), James Oldham (cinematographer), Tamsin Jeffrey and Andrew McKee (editors)

PLOT: When she is put under pressure to finish her latest book, author Claire Rivers (Shelley) heads to a remote home that is fully operated by artificial intelligence, where she manages to get some work done with the assistance of her robot assistant Rita (Reed) and helpful hologram Henry (Brady). However, an unforeseen technical glitch traps Claire inside the house with an increasingly unstable Rita…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The dangers of AI are once again brought to the forefront of our minds by this unsettling psychological sci-fi thriller
  • Here, it is used to deconstruct the mind of a troubled protagonist whose own upsetting history becomes a source of tension throughout the movie
  • A creepy supporting turn by Heida Reed as unhinged android Rita makes the atmosphere all the more unsettling
  • It is certainly evoking the likes of Ex Machina, but has enough style and provocative substance to be its own movie
  • The twists and turns that it makes will leave you haunted as well as thoroughly entertained

Blank is showing in cinemas from Friday 5 January 2024

 

The Goldfinger (2023, dir. Felix Chong)

CAST: Tony Leung, Andy Lau, Charlene Choi, Simon Yam, Alex Fong, Catherine Chau, Philip Keung, Chin Ka-lok, Carlos Chan, Will Or

CREW: Felix Chong (director, writer), Ronald Wong and Albert Yeung (producers), Anthony Pun (cinematographer), William Chang and Curran Pang (editors)

PLOT: In 1980s Hong Kong, a stock market crash causes the unexpected collapse of a multi-billion-dollar company, prompting an investigation led by an elite anti-corruption investigator (Lau), who uncovers a deadly criminal conspiracy involving the company’s founder and chairman Ching Yat-yin (Leung)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Tony Leung and Andy Lau, stars of the acclaimed Infernal Affairs trilogy (which would later be remake as Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning gangster flick The Departed), reunite after 20 years for a different kind of criminal saga
  • Felix Chong, the screenwriter of the Infernal Affairs trilogy, both writes and directs this tale of corporate corruption and greed in 1980s Hong Kong
  • It is loosely inspired by the real-life corruption and fraud scandal that consumed the Carrian Group conglomerate, with Leung’s character serving as a fictional stand-in for Carrian founder George Tan
  • With a production cost of $350 million in Hong Kong currency (which comes to roughly £35 million, or $44 million in US dollars), it is the most expensive film yet made in the country’s history
  • It has thrills, suspense, and just about every other excitable emotion you could expect out of a major corporate thriller like this

The Goldfinger is showing in cinemas from Friday 5 January 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Society of the Snow (2023, dir. J.A. Bayona)

CAST: Enzo Vogrincic Roldán, Matías Recalt, Agustín Pardella, Felipe González Otaño, Luciano Chatton, Valentino Alonso, Francisco Romero, Agustín Berruti, Andy Pruss, Simón Hempe, Juan Caruso, Esteban Bigliardi, Rocco Posca, Esteban Kukuriczka, Rafael Federman, Agustín Della Corte, Tomas Wolf, Diego Vegezzi, Fernando Contigiani García, Benjamín Segura, Santiago Vaca Narvaja, Paula Baldini, Federico Aznarez, Alfonsina Carrocio, Silvia Giselle Pereyra, Virginia Kaufmann, Felipe Ramusio, Blas Polidori, Emanuel Parga, Iair Said, Louta, Carlos “Carlitos” Páez

CREW: J.A. Bayona (director, writer), Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques and Bernat Vilaplana (writers), Belén Atienza and Sandra Hermida (producers), Michael Giacchino (composer), Pedro Luque (cinematographer), Andrés Gil and Jaume Martí (editors)

PLOT: In 1972, a chartered flight carrying 45 passengers from Uruguay to Chile suddenly crashes in the Andes mountains, leaving the survivors stranded in the harshly cold climate where they are soon forced to extreme measures in order to keep living…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The incredible story of the 1972 Andes plane crash, and its handful of survivors, is retold in a thrilling and unapologetically bleak new Spanish survival drama
  • Director and co-writer J.A. Bayona, previously of The Orphanage and fellow disaster movie The Impossible (and, to a far lesser extent, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), brings powerful humanity to the real-life characters, played by a cast of largely unknown actors
  • Spain has chosen it to represent them for this year’s International Feature Film Oscar, putting it in a prime position during the current awards season
  • The crash was previously dramatized in director Frank Marshall’s Alive, which starred Ethan Hawke and John Malkovich, though this one attempts to be closer to real events than the Hollywood version
  • Filled with emotion and the unbreakable human spirit, this is a survival movie that does everything right

Society of the Snow is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Thursday 4 January 2024

 

Good Grief (2024, dir. Dan Levy)

CAST: Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel, Luke Evans, Celia Imrie, Arnaud Valois, David Bradley, Jamael Westman, Cyrielle Debreuil, Yoli Fuller, Kaitlyn Dever

CREW: Dan Levy (director, writer, producer), Kate Fenske, Debra Hayward and Megan Zehmer (producers), Rob Simonsen (composer), Ole Bratt Birkeland (cinematographer), Jonathan Corn (editor)

PLOT: Marc (Levy) is left devastated by the unexpected death of his husband Oliver (Evans) on the night of their annual Christmas party. When some hard truths come to light in the wake of the tragedy, Marc and his friends Sophie (Negga) and Thomas (Patel) head to Paris for a weekend of self-discovery…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Dan Levy, the co-creator and breakout star of Schitt’s Creek, makes his feature directorial debut with this tender look at friendships and the grieving process
  • Levy also leads a strong ensemble cast that also includes Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, Yesterday’s Himesh Patel, and Luke Evans who plays Levy’s ill-fated on-screen husband
  • The film’s themes are inspired by some recent personal losses in Levy’s life, as well as the collective trauma of the recent COVID-19 pandemic
  • The cities of London and Paris serve as backdrops to the heartfelt drama, with their chic nature adding to its charm and grace
  • It’s a bittersweet and emotional start to a new year for Netflix, which looks to have one of its most invigorating movie line-ups yet in 2024!

Good Grief is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 5 January 2024

 

Freelance (2023, dir. Pierre Morel)

CAST: John Cena, Alison Brie, Juan Pablo Raba, Christian Slater, Alice Eve, Marton Csokas, Sebastián Eslava

CREW: Pierre Morel (director), Jacob Lentz (writer, producer), Chris Milburn, Steve Richards, Renée Tab and Christopher Tuffin (producers), Elliot Leung and Geoff Zanelli (composers), Thierry Arbogast (cinematographer), Chris Tonick (editor)

PLOT: Mason Pettits (Cena) is a former special forces operative who’s been demoted to a desk job after a mission goes wrong. He reluctantly takes a freelance job as a security guard for Claire Wellington (Brie), a washed-up journalist who is headed to the country of Paldonia to interview its charismatic dictator Juan Venegas (Raba). However, when a military coup unfolds just before the interview is due to take place, Mason and Claire are forced to retreat to the jungle with Venegas, and survive the oncoming assault…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • You’re in for an action-packed treat that combines visceral fight choreography with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour
  • Pierre Morel, best known for directing the first Taken movie, directs from a script by Jacob Lentz, the TV chat-show writer who here makes his feature debut
  • John Cena heads the charming cast, which also includes Alison Brie, Christian Slater, Alice Eve and Narcos star Juan Pablo Raba
  • The former WWE star brings his usual amount of screen charisma to an action hero role that almost feels tailor-made for someone like him
  • Filled with plenty of laughs and enthralling action, it’s a gig you’ll definitely want to accept!

Freelance is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Monday 1 January 2024

 

Arthur’s Whisky (2024, dir. Stephen Cookson)

CAST: Patricia Hodge, Diane Keaton, Lulu, David Harewood, Boy George, Hayley Mills, Bill Paterson, Adil Ray, Lawrence Chaney, Genevieve Gaunt, Esme Lonsdale, Hannah Howland

CREW: Stephen Cookson (director, producer), Alexis Zegerman (writer), Pippa Cross, Peter Keegan and Nigel Thomas (producers), David Newman (composer), David Mackie (cinematographer), William Webb (editor)

PLOT: After her husband dies, Joan (Hodge) discovers that he had invented a miraculous anti-aging elixir that makes the drinker look young again. Joan and her fellow middle-aged friends Linda (Keaton) and Susan (Lulu) decide to drink the elixir to reclaim their youth, only to find that the town they seek to paint red is now very different to how they remember it…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This lively, feel-good comedy is a coming-of-age story with an unexpected twist
  • Actor Patricia Hodge joins fellow screen legends Diane Keaton and Lulu for a hilarious fantasy that captures the imagination
  • Look out for some supporting roles by music icon Boy George and Lawrence Chaney, the second-ever winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
  • There is plenty of fun to be had with the de-aging aspect of the plot, as our three leads experience how to function in a world that they cannot get behind
  • You’ll have a blast watching it, perhaps with your own brand of whisky on the side (no guarantee of anti-aging, sadly…)

Arthur’s Whisky is streaming exclusively on Sky Cinema from Monday 1 January 2024

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Thelma (2024, dir. Josh Margolin)

An elderly grandmother sets out to retrieve her stolen money…

Twisters (2024, dir. Lee Isaac Chung)

A group of storm chasers encounter some deadly tornadoes…

Chuck Chuck Baby (2024, dir. Janis Pugh)

A put-upon woman gets a new lease on life when her crush returns…

In a Violent Nature (2024, dir. Chris Nash)

A masked killer goes on a murderous rampage…

Longlegs (2024, dir. Osgood Perkins)

An FBI agent pursues an evasive serial killer…

Despicable Me 4 (2024, dir. Chris Renaud)

Gru and his family are forced to go on the run…

Hundreds of Beavers (2024, dir. Mike Cheslik)

A frontiersman wages war against a clan of beavers…

Fly Me to the Moon (2024, dir. Greg Berlanti)

In the 1960s, a marketing specialist is brought in to boost NASA’s image…

The Imaginary (2024, dir. Yoshiyuki Momose)

An imaginary friend comes across an existential threat…

Unicorns (2024, dirs. Sally El Hosaini and James Krishna Floyd)

A hardened mechanic falls in love with a drag queen…

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