This Week’s Movie Menu (20 – 26 November 2023)

As our American cousins get ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week (and then, one day after the peaceful festivities, absolute carnage on Black Friday), us Brits are invaded with a whole new palate of exciting film releases, including an epic biopic of France’s most notorious ruler, a brand-new Disney animation, the return of a fast-food duo, a pair of Christmas classics, and more…

Movie of the Week

 

Napoleon (2023, dir. Ridley Scott)

CAST: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Ben Miles, Ludivine Sagnier, Matthew Needham, Youssef Kerkour, Phil Cornwell, Édouard Philipponnat, Ian McNeice, Rupert Everett, Paul Rhys, Catherine Walker, Gavin Spokes, John Hollingworth, Mark Bonnar, Anna Mawn, Davide Tucci, Sam Crane, Scott Handy, Philip Marsden

CREW: Ridley Scott (director, producer), David Scarpa (writer), Mark Huffam and Kevin J. Walsh (producers), Martin Phipps (composer), Dariusz Wolski (cinematographer), Sam Restivo and Claire Simpson (editors)

PLOT: The story of Napoleon Bonaparte (Phoenix), who quickly grew to power as military commander of the French army, and then Emperor of France, which eventually came undone by his volatile tactics and his complex relationship with his wife, Empress Joséphine (Kirby)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Ridley Scott is back to making big, bombastic historical epics with his wide-reaching new take on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix, reuniting with his Gladiator director after 23 years, slips into the famed Frenchman’s shoes, acting opposite Vanessa Kirby as his equally power-hungry wife Joséphine
  • The scale on this film is massive, with the director incorporating a mixture of extravagant sets and practical battle sequences that are among the most impressive he’s yet made
  • Not even the theatrical cut is enough for the filmmaker, for he plans to also release a four-and-a-half-hour director’s cut on Apple TV+ in the near future as well
  • It is the kind of ambitious and technically marvellous filmmaker-led blockbuster that is in alarmingly short supply nowadays

Napoleon is showing in cinemas from Wednesday 22nd November 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Wish (2023, dirs. Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn)

CAST: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Evan Peters, Harvey Guillén, Ramy Youssef, Niko Vargas, Della Saba, Jon Rudnitsky

CREW: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn (directors), Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore (writers), Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes (producers), Dave Metzger (composer), TBA (editor)

PLOT: In the Kingdom of Rosas, ruled by the popular King Magnifico (Pine), 17-year-old Asha (DeBose) senses a darkness about the ruler that nobody else seems to recognise. In an act of desperation, she makes a wish to the stars above, and is surprised to come across an actual star that has the power to grant wishes…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Disney caps off its 100th anniversary celebrations with a story that celebrates everything the company stands for
  • The creative team behind Frozen, including director Chris Buck, writer Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho, lend their magical expertise to a brand-new tale for children of all ages to enjoy
  • Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose joins Chris Pine and Disney regular Alan Tudyk for a musical adventure that features all-new songs co-written by popstar Julia Michaels
  • The animation is a neat blend of traditional CG animation and the watercolour look from some of Disney’s historic animated features
  • After a string of critical and commercial disappointments, Disney is hoping to come back out on top with this all-encompassing movie that best sums up Disney as a whole

Wish is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

 

The Eternal Daughter (2022, dir. Joanna Hogg)

CAST: Tilda Swinton, Joseph Mydell, Carly-Sophia Davies

CREW: Joanna Hogg (director, writer, producer), Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe and Emma Norton (producers), Ed Rutherford (cinematographer), Helle le Fevre (editor)

PLOT: Julie (Swinton), a middle-aged filmmaker, travels to a remote hotel with her elderly mother Rosalind (also Swinton), where she finds herself confronting a number of long-buried secrets…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Tilda Swinton takes on dual roles as she reunites with The Souvenir filmmaker Joanna Hogg for a psychological drama with severe Gothic overtones
  • The film was shot in secret during the COVID-19 lockdown, at a remote location in Wales
  • Hogg delivers a spooky atmosphere as she dives into haunting themes of familial bonds and the (possibly literal) ghosts of our pasts
  • Martin Scorsese is credited as an executive producer on the film, having previously collaborated with Hogg in a similar capacity on The Souvenir Parts 1 and 2
  • It is a striking-looking and thought-stirring film that could only come from a passionate filmmaker like Joanna Hogg

The Eternal Daughter is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

 

Girl (2022, dir. Adura Onashile)

CAST: Déborah Lukumuena, Le’Shantey Bonsu, Danny Sapani, Liana Turner, Ayesha Antoine, Caroline Deyga, Jenni Keenan-Green, Owen Whitelaw, Mark Cox, Lael Tamakloe

CREW: Adura Onashile (director, writer), Ciara Barry and Rosie Crerar (producers), Ré Olunuga (composer), Tasha Back (cinematographer), Stella Heath Keir (editor)

PLOT: Young mother Grace (Lukumuena) has built a peaceful but isolated life for herself and her daughter Ama (Bonsu) in a hostile community in Glasgow, but when Ama’s curiosity for the world outside their own grows by the day, Grace is forced to reckon with her dark past…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A unique look at mother-daughter relationships, filmmaker Adura Onashile’s feature debut is a quietly powerful drama with plenty on its mind
  • Led by two solid performances by Déborah Lukumuena and Le’Shantey Bonsu as mother Grace and daughter Ama respectively, we see their wildly different perspectives on society as a whole
  • Through perilous flashbacks to Grace’s grim past, it is made clear how the effects of such horrifying experiences can lead to radical action when given the opportunity to lead new lives
  • Meanwhile, young Ama seems to thrive in her new surroundings, which in and of itself exposes the stark generational divide with regards to trauma
  • It is a smart, thought-provoking and vibrant new voice by a filmmaker with plenty of promise in their future

Girl is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

 

Lost in the Night (2023, dir. Amat Escalante)

CAST: Juan Daniel García Treviño, Ester Expósito, Bárbara Mori, Fernando Bonilla, Jero Medina, Vicky Araico, Mayra Hermosillo

CREW: Amat Escalante (director, writer, producer), Martín Escalante (writer), Fernanda de la Peza (producer, editor), Nicolás Celis (producer), Adrian Durazo (cinematographer)

PLOT: Emiliano (Treviño) is a young man who lives in a small mining town in Mexico, where he searches for those responsible for the disappearance of his activist mother. Despite receiving no help from the authorities, he soon finds a clue that leads him to the wealthy Aldama family, whom he takes a job under in order to discover the depths of their involvement in his mother’s disappearance…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This chilling Mexican thriller has shades of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite in its explorations of class and complicity
  • Award-winning filmmaker Amat Escalante directs and writes a dark and unforgiving journey into the grim soul of Mexican society
  • It gained strong buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where director Escalante was awarded the Best Director prize ten years earlier for his controversial drama Heli
  • The corruption and inequality of Mexico’s law enforcement is a central component to the unravelling of this mystery
  • You’ll be thrilled and angered in equal measure as the details of this case become more and more apparent

Lost in the Night is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

 

Another Body (2023, dirs. Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn)

CAST: Ava Breuer, Faith Quinn, Julia Weinberg

CREW: Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn (directors, writers, producers), Isabel Freeman (writer, editor), Elizabeth Woodward (producer), Holland Andrews (composer), Nausheen Dadabhoy (cinematographer), Rabab Haj Yahya (editor)

PLOT: A college student discovers that her likeness has been digitally added to a pornographic video that begins circulating online, and sets out on a search for justice as she and other young women who have fallen victim to the scheme attempt to discover who is behind it…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This shocking documentary exposes the horrifying consequences of deepfake pornography, particularly on the women whose faces were plastered on models without anyone’s consent
  • Filmmakers Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn maintain the identity of its central figure by using the same deepfake technology on them during on-screen appearances and re-enactments
  • As the depth of this conspiracy grows by the minute, you’ll find yourself flabbergasted that not only are people actively stealing the identities of others for nefarious purposes, but that from a legal standpoint there is nothing the law can do to stop them
  • Most of the interviews take place over Zoom, which adds an eerie homemade quality to it that accentuates the normalcy of this horrifying situation
  • As newer technology such as AI continues to dominate the news, this is a rousing call to arms for further surveillance over digital methods that can cause grievous mental and physical harm to those who are wronged by it

Another Body is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Leo (2023, dirs. Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel and David Wachtenheim)

CAST: Adam Sandler, Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Sunny Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Rob Schneider, Jackie Sandler, Stephanie Hsu, Jo Koy, Heidi Gardner, Nick Swardson, Kevin James, Nicholas Turturro, Robert Smigel

CREW: Robert Smigel (director, writer), Robert Marianetti and David Wachtenheim (directors), Adam Sandler (writer, producer), Paul Sado (writer), Mireille Soria (producer), Geoff Zanelli (composer), Joseph Titone and Patrick Voetberg (editors)

PLOT: Leo (Sandler) is a jaded 74-year-old lizard who has been living in the same Florida classroom for decades, with only his turtle friend Squirtle (Burr) for company. He senses an opportunity to make the most of his life by exploring the wide world outside when he is picked to go home with students as a take-home assignment, but his plan is soon derailed when the students find out that the lizard can talk…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Adam Sandler dives into the role of a lifetime: a seven-decade old, animated lizard with plenty of wisdom to depart onto children both in the film and watching at home
  • Sandler also co-writes and produces through his Happy Madison production company, but given the surprisingly strong output of its stuff recently, there’s every chance this could add to that much more wholesome pile rather than the wholly juvenile mentality of their less-regarded works
  • Several Happy Madison regulars lend their voices here, including Rob Schneider, Kevin James, Nick Swardson, and even members of Sandler’s own family who recently shone in You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
  • With plenty of funny original songs, Leo is also a musical adventure that the whole family will be tapping their feet along to
  • The film adds to Netflix’s impressive animation line-up for the year, which has also included Nimona and the upcoming Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Leo is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Tuesday 21st November 2023

 

Good Burger 2 (2023, dir. Phil Traill)

CAST: Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Josh Server, Lori Beth Denberg, Alex R. Hibbert, Kamaia Fairburn, Fabrizio Guido, Elizabeth Hinkler, Emily Hinkler, Anabel Graetz, Jillian Bell, Lil Rel Howery, Carmen Electra

CREW: Phil Traill (director), Kevin Kopelow, Heath Seifert and James III (writers), Kel Mitchell, Zack Olin, Shauna Phelan and Kenan Thompson (producers), Oak Felder (composer), Jay Hunter (cinematographer), Christian Hoffman (editor)

PLOT: Inventor Dexter Reed (Thompson) finds himself down on his luck, forcing him to return to his old job at fast food restaurant Good Burger, which is now run by his old friend Ed (Mitchell) with a new staff in the kitchen. When the restaurant’s future is put at risk, Dexter and Ed must set out to save the day…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Former Nickelodeon stars Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell reunite for a long-awaited follow-up to their cult classic 90s comedy
  • Originally spun-off from a sketch on the popular show All That, the original has so much zany spirit that this new film now seeks to live up to
  • New members of the cast include Jillian Bell, Lil Rel Howery and Carmen Electra in what are certain to be a bunch of hilariously silly roles
  • Fans of the original film will be delighted by this nostalgic trip down memory lane, while newer viewers will giggle senselessly at the unapologetic silliness of its comedy
  • You can absolutely expect to hear that classic line at some point in the film, so say it with us: “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”

Good Burger 2 is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ from Wednesday 22nd November 2023

 

Desperation Road (2023, dir. Nadine Crocker)

CAST: Garrett Hedlund, Willa Fitzgerald, Ryan Hurst, Mel Gibson, Woody McClain, Pyper Braun, Bonita Elery, Katy Bodenhamer, Paulina Gálvez, Shiloh Fernandez, Kat Foster, Ella Thomas

CREW: Nadine Crocker (director, producer), Michael Farris Smith (writer, producer), Cassian Elwes and Walter Josten (producers), Haim Mazer (composer), Sy Turnbull (cinematographer), Jing Han (editor)

PLOT: In a small Mississippi town, ex-con Russell Gaines (Hedlund) attempts to rebuild his life with the help of his father Mitchell (Gibson). However, when he encounters single mother Maben (Fitzgerald) who is running from some brutal enemies, she and Russell are forced to go on the run together…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This southern-fried thriller explores the dark and merciless lengths to which people can go for vengeance
  • Michael Farris Smith adapts his own 2017 novel under the direction of actor-filmmaker Nadine Crocker
  • Garret Hedlund and Willa Fitzgerald, the latter most recently seen in Netflix’s The Fall of the House of Usher, lead a cast that also includes the controversial former action star Mel Gibson
  • The layers of this gritty story slowly unravel as surprising character motivations are revealed in shockingly violent fashion
  • It’s a taut and sternly focused thriller which always leaves you hooked until the very end

Desperation Road is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 20th November 2023

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985, dir. Jeannot Szwarc)

CAST: David Huddleston, Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Jeffrey Kramer, Christian L Fitzpatrick, Carrie Kei Helm, John Barrard, Anthony O’Donnell, Aimee Delamain, Dorothea Phillips, John Hallam, Judith Morse, Jerry Harte, Ian Wise

CREW: Jeannot Szwarc (director), David Newman (writer), Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler (producers), Henry Mancini (composer), Arthur Ibbetson (cinematographer), Peter Hollywood (editor)

PLOT: In the Middle Ages, kind-hearted woodcutter Claus (Huddleston) comes across a magical toy workshop populated by elves and flying reindeer, and soon becomes their beloved leader Father Christmas. Years later, however, rebellious but naïve elf Patch (Moore) runs away to the city of New York to work for greedy toy manufacturer B.Z. (Lithgow), which threatens the spirit of Christmas…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • One of the most cherished Christmas movies of all time returns to cinemas with a brand-new 4K restoration
  • Witness the timeless delight of Dudley Moore’s hapless elf Patch and, of course, David Huddleston’s iconic take on the jolly man in red himself
  • The film tells a magical origin tale for Father Christmas that has managed to delight children young and old for decades
  • There’s also plenty of evil villains to boo and hiss at, particularly a gloriously over-the-top John Lithgow as the main antagonist
  • Filled with plenty of festive cheer and iconic performances, this is a Christmas classic you won’t want to miss on the big screen

Santa Claus: The Movie is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

 

Love Actually (2003, dir. Richard Curtis)

CAST: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Lúcia Moniz, Thomas Sangster, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Rodrigo Santoro, Kris Marshall, Abdul Salis, Gregor Fisher, Heike Makatsch, Michael Fitzgerald, Olivia Olson, Billy Bob Thornton, Claudia Schiffer, Nina Sosanya, Ivana Miličević, January Jones, Elisha Cuthbert, Shannon Elizabeth, Denise Richards, Lulu Popplewell, Marcus Brigstocke, Julia Davis, Ruby Turner, Adam Godley, Élisabeth Margoni, Edward Hardwicke, Caroline John, Meg Wynn Owen, Colin Coull, Sienna Guillory

CREW: Richard Curtis (director, writer), Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Duncan Kenworthy (producers), Craig Armstrong (composer), Michael Coulter (cinematographer), Nick Moore (editor)

PLOT: During the month before Christmas, several different couples contend with their love for one another, including heartbroken writer Jamie (Firth) and his Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia (Moniz), overworked housewife Karen (Thompson) and her neglectful husband Harry (Rickman), aging rock star Billy Mack (Nighy) and his long-suffering manager Joe (Gregor Fisher), and the newly-elected Prime Minister David (Grant) and his unfiltered staff member Natalie (McCutcheon)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The much-beloved ensemble Christmas rom-com celebrates its 20th anniversary with a glorious return to cinemas
  • Richard Curtis made the film his directorial debut after penning hit films like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The massive cast features plenty of British favourites including, but not limited to, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy (who won a BAFTA for his hilarious supporting turn in this film)
  • Over the years, it has become a popular movie to play around the festive season, with its bright optimistic tone and blissful Christmas themes becoming a tradition in some households
  • Whether you love or hate it, there’s no denying that it puts any and all viewers in the best of moods whilst watching it

Love Actually is showing in cinemas from Friday 24th November 2023

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:

Lisa Frankenstein (2024, dir. Zelda Williams)

A misunderstood teen resurrects a handsome corpse…

Spaceman (2024, dir. Johan Renck)

A lonely astronaut makes an unexpected connection on a solo mission…

American Star (2024, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An aging hitman travels to Fuerteventura for a final mission…

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Paul Atreides leads the Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis on a defiant mission…

Wicked Little Letters (2024, dir. Thea Sharrock)

In 1920s Littlehampton, a series of vulgar letters rock the community…

Perfect Days (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

A Tokyo toiler cleaner leads a carefully structured life…

Memory (2023, dir. Michel Franco)

A woman has a surprise encounter with an old high school classmate…

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (2024, dir. Lorna Tucker)

Filmmaker Lorna Tucker explores the UK’s ongoing homeless crisis…

Bob Marley: One Love (2024, dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Reggae musician Bob Marley rises to prominence throughout the world…

Madame Web (2024, dir. S.J. Clarkson)

A clairvoyant paramedic protects a trio of young women from a mysterious assailant…

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