This Week’s Movie Menu (25 – 31 December 2023)

Merry Christmas to one and all! It’s been a monumental year (with a whole new one yet to come), but it’s going out with a bang as the final movie menu of 2023 includes some real go-getters including a fast-paced biopic, the glorious return of an animation legend, a hilarious sports comedy, and much more…

Movie of the Week

 

Ferrari (2023, dir. Michael Mann)

CAST: Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O’Connell, Patrick Dempsey, Michele Savoia, Erik Haugen, Ben Collins, Andrea Dolente, Giuseppe Bonifati, Daniela Piperno, Tommaso Basili

CREW: Michael Mann (director, producer), Troy Kennedy Martin (writer), Monika Bacardi, John Friedberg, Thomas Hayslip, Andrea Iervolino, John Lesher, Laura Rister, Thorsten Schumacher, Lars Sylvest, P.J. van Sandwijk and Gareth West (producers), Daniel Pemberton (composer), Erik Messerschmidt (cinematographer), Pietro Scalia (editor)

PLOT: In 1957, Enzo Ferrari (Driver) faces the impending bankruptcy of his company, and the deterioration of his marriage to Laura Ferrari (Cruz) after the death of their young son. His only hope is to enter his racing team into the upcoming Mille Miglia, and have the racers do everything they can to win…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Michael Mann returns to filmmaking after a near ten-year absence for this thrilling account of a significant moment in the life of motoring icon Enzo Ferrari
  • Adam Driver plays the titular mogul, while a stacked supporting cast including Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley and Patrick Dempsey fill some other significant roles
  • Given its racing theme, you can expect plenty of roadside action as sports cars zoom and race past each other from all angles
  • A mixture of breathtaking editing and tightly constructed cinematography puts the viewer right in the driving seat
  • It’s a welcome return to form for the acclaimed director, whose previous feature Blackhat was an unfortunate misfire

Ferrari is showing in cinemas from Tuesday 26 December 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

The Boy and the Heron (2023, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

CAST (ENGLISH VERSION): Luca Padovan, Robert Pattinson, Karen Fukuhara, Gemma Chan, Mark Hamill, Florence Pugh, Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Willem Dafoe, Mamoudou Athie, Tony Revolori, Dan Stevens

CAST (JAPANESE VERSION): Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Aimyon, Yoshino Kimura, Shōhei Hino, Ko Shibasaki, Takuya Kimura, Jun Kunimura, Kaoru Kobayashi, Keiko Takeshita, Jun Fubuki, Sawako Agawa, Karen Takizawa, Shinobu Otake

CREW: Hayao Miyazaki (director, writer), Toshio Suzuki (producer), Joe Hisaishi (composer), Atsushi Okui (cinematographer), Takeshi Seyama (editor)

PLOT: After his mother is killed in a hospital fire, young Mahito (Padovan/Santoki) travels to the countryside to live with his father Shoichi (Bale/Kimura) and his new wife Natsuko (Chan/Kimura). There, an encounter with a mysterious heron (Pattinson/Suda) leads Mahito to a strange world occupied by the living and the dead…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Hayao Miyazaki makes his glorious return for a hugely imaginative new animated fantasy
  • The Oscar-winning filmmaker transports viewers to a strange new reality where anything is possible, and where everything is beautifully animated
  • An all-star voice cast makes up the English dub, including Mark Hamill, Florence Pugh, Willem Dafoe, and even Batmen Robert Pattinson and Christian Bale
  • At its centre is an emotional tale about grief and acceptance, much of which is inspired by Miyazaki’s own childhood experiences
  • It is destined to be an event for Studio Ghibli fans of all ages, and with the promise of more Miyazaki films to come, it can only be the start of a new era for the company

The Boy and the Heron is showing in cinemas from Tuesday 26 December 2023

 

Next Goal Wins (2023, dir. Taika Waititi)

CAST: Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Will Arnett, Elisabeth Moss, Uli Latukefu, Chris Alosio, Lehi Makisi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Ioane Goodhue, Rhys Darby, Angus Sampson, Luke Hemsworth, Kaitlyn Dever, Hio Pelesasa, David Tu’itupou, Levy Tuiala, Loretta Ables Sayre, Frankie Adams, Taika Waititi

CREW: Taika Waititi (director, writer, producer), Iain Morris (writer), Garrett Basch, Mike Brett, Jonathan Cavendish and Steven Jamison (producers), Michael Giacchino (composer), Lachlan Milne (cinematographer), Tom Eagles, Yana Gorskaya, Nicholas Monsour and Nat Sanders (editors)

PLOT: After losing his job, Dutch-American football coach Thomas Rongen (Fassbender) is hired to coach the famously terrible American Samoa team, in the hopes that he can turn their bad luck around in time for the World Cup Qualifiers…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Maverick auteur Taika Waititi turns his attention to the real-life exploits of the world’s worst football team
  • It is loosely based on the 2014 documentary of the same name, with Waititi co-penning the script with Iain Morris, who famously co-created The Inbetweeners
  • Michael Fassbender plays hot-headed coach Thomas Rongen, with strong support from Oscar Kightley, Elizabeth Moss and Will Arnett (who was a last-minute replacement for Armie Hammer after his role was cut following personal controversies)
  • It also focuses on the notable achievements of American Samoa team player Jaiyah Saelua, who made history as the first transgender player to compete in the World Cup
  • With its heart in the right place, as well as plenty of Waititi’s signature tongue-in-cheek humour, this is a winning crowd-pleaser for everyone to enjoy

Next Goal Wins is showing in cinemas from Tuesday 26 December 2023

 

Anyone but You (2023, dir. Will Gluck)

CAST: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Joe Davidson

CREW: Will Gluck (director, writer, producer), Ilana Wolpert (writer), Jeff Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth (producers), Danny Ruhlmann (cinematographer), Tia Nolan (editor)

PLOT: Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell) cannot stand each other after their first and only date ends in disaster. However, when they unexpectedly fly out together for a destination wedding in Australia, they decide to pretend to be a couple in order to eventually woo their actual crushes, but find that the con might just have some personal side-effects…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A match made in heaven turns out to be from hell in this hilarious new adult romantic-comedy
  • Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell bring sizzling chemistry and plenty of eye candy to the two lead parts
  • It is also a return to mature content for director and co-writer Will Gluck, who previously left an impression with raunchy comedies like Friends with Benefits and Easy A
  • The sun-drenched locations throughout Australia add some extra heat to the already burning attraction between the leads
  • Anyone looking for something hot and spicy to counteract the winter weather will want to cozy on up to this film!

Anyone but You is showing in cinemas from Tuesday 26 December 2023

 

Cats in the Museum (2023, dir. Vasiliy Rovenskiy)

CAST: Jordan Worsley, Stephen Peter Krisel, Maria Smakhtina, Michael Kleeman, Nikki Aaron

CREW: Vasiliy Rovenskiy (director, writer, producer), Elvira Bushtets and Fedor Derevyanskiy (writers), Roman Borisevich and Maksim Rogalskiy (producers), Anton Gryzlov (composer), Fedor Mezentsev (cinematographer), Maksim Mironenko (editor)

PLOT: After being rescued from a flood by adventurous mouse Maurice (Krisel), a young cat named Vincent (Worsley) and his new friend wind up at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. There, they discover an elite feline squad dedicated to protecting the museum’s historic artwork from mice like Maurice, but when a priceless painting is stolen, it’s up to Vincent and Maurice to save the day…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Straight out of Russia comes this charming and adventurous animated tale for the whole family
  • Its main setting is the State Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, which is home to some of the world’s most exclusive art
  • Director and co-writer Vasiliy Rovenskiy previously gained attention (for the wrong reasons) with his now-infamous film Pinocchio: A True Story, aka the one where Pauly Shore voices the main character
  • There is a fair amount of imagination to the ways in which the museum serves as a backdrop for all sorts of crazy things to happen
  • For families looking to escape the post-Christmas blues, this isn’t a terrible place to start!

Cats in the Museum is showing in cinemas from Monday 26 December 2023

 

Raging Grace (2023, dir. Paris Zarcilla)

CAST: Max Eigenmann, Jaeden Paige Boadilla, Leanne Best, David Hayman, Caleb Johnston-Miller, Jodie Davey, Eugenia Low, Sophie Morris-Sheppard, Oliver Wellington

CREW: Paris Zarcilla (director, writer), Chi Thai (producer), Jon Clarke (composer), Joel Honeywell (cinematographer), Christopher C.F. Chow (editor)

PLOT: Joy (Eigenmann) is an undocumented Filipina migrant who takes a cleaning job in London to support her and her daughter Grace (Boadilla). She is soon called to look after a mansion, as well as its bedridden owner Mr. Garrett (Hayman), but the seemingly perfect gig comes with its own heavy suspicions…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The working-class migrant experience is given a spooky makeover in this horrifying psychological thriller
  • It is the first British-Filipino film to be produced in the UK, under the watchful eye of debut writer-director Paris Zarcilla
  • Filipino actors Max Eigenmann and Jaeden Paige Boadilla make a compelling mother-daughter team as they encounter some seriously messed-up truths
  • The film won the top film prize at this year’s SXSW (South by Southwest), as well as a bunch of other accolades from other film festivals around the world
  • Blending gothic horror with provocative social commentary, this is a memorable experience that won’t soon be forgotten

Raging Grace is showing in cinemas from Friday 29 December 2023

 

Jules (2023, dir. Marc Turtletaub)

CAST: Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, Harriet Sansom Harris, Zoë Winters, Jade Quon, Andy Daly, Teddy Cañez, Narea Kang, Edward James Hyland, Blair Baker, Joshua Moore, Christopher Kelly, Aubie Merrylees, Anna George, Eric T. Miller, Cody Kostro, Donald Paul, Jeff Kim, Lee Sellars

CREW: Marc Turtletaub (director, producer), Gavin Steckler (writer), Michael B. Clark, Andy Daly, Debbie Liebling and Alex Turtletaub (producers), Volker Bertelmann (composer), Christopher Norr (cinematographer), Ayelet Gil Efrat (editor)

PLOT: Milton (Kingsley), an elderly widower, is surprised to find a spaceship crash-land in his garden, with a humanoid alien (Quon) inside of it. He soon befriends the alien, named Jules, but finds it more and more difficult to keep his secret new friend a secret…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This charming sci-fi comedy takes the familiar E.T. concept and applies it to a meaningful tale about human connection
  • Ben Kingsley plays his most lovable character in ages, a widower who befriends the titular little grey man from outer space
  • It is directed by Marc Turtletaub, the producer behind several critical hits like Little Miss Sunshine and Safety Not Guaranteed
  • There are some unexpected moments of pure sci-fi extravagance within the more subdued tone that make it an even funnier viewing experience
  • With plenty of heart and good-naturedness, Jules is a universal treat for audiences everywhere

Jules is showing in cinemas from Friday 29 December 2023

 

Tchaikovsky’s Wife (2022, dir. Kirill Serebrennikov)

CAST: Alyona Mikhaylova, Odin Biron, Yuliya Aug, Miron Fyodorov, Alexander Gorchilin, Filipp Avdeyev, Varvara Shmykova, Vladimir Mishukov, Andrey Burkovsky, Maksim Emelyanov, Ekaterina Ermishina, Viktor Khorinyak

CREW: Kirill Serebrennikov (director, writer, producer), Pavel Burya, Murad Osmann and Ilya Stewart (producers), Daniil Orlov (composer), Vladislav Opelyants (cinematographer), Yuriy Karikh (editor)

PLOT: In the 19th century Russian Empire, Antonina Miliukova (Mikhaylova) is the aristocratic wife of renowned composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Biron), whose identity as a homosexual slowly causes her to go mad…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This dense Russian historical epic focuses on the tumultuous relationship between the famed composer Tchaikovsky and his long-suffering wife Antonina
  • It comes from Russian auteur Kirill Serebrennikov, a controversial figure within his homeland for his liberal and pro-LGBTQ+ views
  • While American actor Odin Biron portrays Tchaikovsky himself, it is Alyona Mikhaylova’s turn as his psychologically unstable wife who commands the screen
  • The film prompted some backlash when it was selected to screen in competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (though the filmmaker has openly condemned the conflict)
  • With its sharp focus on the doomed romance of a revered composer, parallels will undoubtedly be drawn to Bradley Cooper’s awards contender Maestro, but this has enough artistic merit to stand on its own

Tchaikovsky’s Wife is showing in cinemas from Friday 29 December 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Miranda’s Victim (2023, dir. Michelle Danner)

CAST: Abigail Breslin, Luke Wilson, Ryan Phillippe, Sebastian Quinn, Emily VanCamp, Andy García, Mireille Enos, Enrique Murciano, Josh Bowman, Brent Sexton, Taryn Manning, Kyle MacLachlan, Donald Sutherland

CREW: Michelle Danner (director, producer), J. Craig Stiles (writer), Valerie Debler, Brian Drillinger, Alexandra Guarnieri and George Kolber (producers), Holly Amber Church (composer), Pierluigi Malavasi (cinematographer), Teferi Seifu (editor)

PLOT: In 1963, eighteen-year-old Patricia Weir (Breslin) is kidnapped and brutally raped by Ernesto Miranda (Quinn), who is promptly arrested and jailed for his crimes. However, when Miranda manages to successfully appeal to the Supreme Court against his conviction, where he claims to have not been given his rights, the decision ends up introducing a law that changes the American legal system, but also destroys Patricia’s life in the process…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The chilling real-life case that brought about a significant change to US law is dramatized in this captivating political drama
  • An impressive ensemble cast, comprised of Oscar nominees like Abigail Breslin and Andy García as well as screen legends such as Donald Sutherland and Kyle MacLachlan, do well to capture the pressure of the times
  • Its primary focus is on the negative impact that the controversial Supreme Court decision had on Ernesto Miranda’s victim, whose life was utterly broken because of the technical loopholes that gave her attacker a win
  • Early reviews have praised the delicacy in which the case itself is presented, as well as the formidable performances by the starry ensemble
  • It’s an important film that shows exactly how broken the American legal system was (and, to a point, still is) throughout the 20th century

Miranda’s Victim is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Friday 29 December 2023

That’s about it for this week, and for 2023 as a whole – be sure to come back in the New Year for a whole new week 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:

Something in the Water (2024, dir. Hayley Easton Street)

A group of friends become trapped in shark-infested waters…

The Exorcism (2024, dir. Joshua John Miller)

A troubled actor encounters something demonic on the set of his new film…

The Bikeriders (2024, dir. Jeff Nichols) – Second Helping

A 60s biker gang evolves into an increasingly dangerous group…

Arcadian (2024, dir. Benjamin Brewer)

A father cares for his two sons in a post-apocalyptic world…

Freud’s Last Session (2024, dir. Matthew Brown)

In 1939, Sigmund Freud meets with C.S. Lewis…

Inside Out 2 (2024, dir. Kelsey Mann)

A new horde of emotions cause turmoil for young teen Riley…

The Watched (2024, dir. Ishana Night Shyamalan)

A group of people are trapped in a mysterious forest where they are observed by strange creatures…

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (2024, dir. Rhys Frake-Waterfield)

A murderous Winnie-the-Pooh sets his sights on a small town…

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (2024, dirs. Arbi and Fallah)

Miami detectives Mike and Marcus find themselves on the run…

The Dead Don’t Hurt (2024, dir. Viggo Mortensen)

In Civil War-era America, a European couple find themselves separated…

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