This Week’s Movie Menu (4 – 10 December 2023)

As we start hanging up our Christmas decorations and buying our last-minute stocking fillers, it’s important not to neglect the sparkling new releases on offer this week, especially when they include the joyous origins of a famous chocolatier, absurd comedic adventures, apocalyptic dramas, and even the festivities of a certain young Caped Crusader…

Movie of the Week

 

Wonka (2023, dir. Paul King)

CAST: Timothée Chalamet, Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Matthew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Natasha Rothwell, Rich Fulcher, Rakhee Thakrar, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Simon Farnaby, Colin O’Brien, Ellie White, Murray McArthur, Tracy Ifeachor, Isy Suttie

CREW: Paul King (director, writer), Simon Farnaby (writer), Alexandra Derbyshire, David Heyman and Luke Kelly (producers), Joby Talbot (composer), Chung-hoon Chung (cinematographer), Mark Everson (editor)

PLOT: Willy Wonka (Chalamet), an eccentric young inventor and chocolate-maker, sets out to become the world’s leading chocolatier, with the help of young orphan Noodle (Lane) and a smooth-talking Oompa-Loompa (Grant)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Roald Dahl’s universally beloved character gets a lively origin story that’s as eccentric and warm-hearted as the original story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Timothée Chalamet embodies the spirit of Dahl’s eccentric character, with tons of support from the likes of Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, and even Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa!
  • Paddington director Paul King brings his articulate style to the toe-tapping world of Willy Wonka, with Simon Farnaby (who also wrote Paddington 2 with King) providing some plentiful laughs and heartfelt moments
  • There are laughs, tears, and even a few musical numbers scattered all throughout to help make this a cinematic event for all the family to enjoy this Christmas
  • Anyone who’s ever loved the whimsical world of Roald Dahl will be in chocolate-coated heaven as they step into a world of pure imagination

Wonka is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain (2023, dir. Paul Briganti)

CAST: Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, Ben Marshall, Bowen Yang, Meg Stalter, X Mayo, Nichole Sakura, Cedric Yarbrough, Sunita Mani, Conan O’Brien, John Goodman

CREW: Paul Briganti (director), Martin Herlihy, John Higgins and Ben Marshall (writers), Judd Apatow and Jimmy Miller (producers), Amie Doherty (composer), Isiah Donté Lee (cinematographer), Daniel Gabbe (editor)

PLOT: Martin (Herlihy), John (Higgins) and Ben (Marshall) are childhood friends who now work deadbeat jobs together at a hardware store run by Ben’s father (O’Brien). They decide to make their lives better by setting out to find some mythical treasure said to be buried in the nearby Foggy Mountain, but soon run into all sorts of unexpected barriers across the way…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy, best known for their viral shorts on Saturday Night Live, star in their very first movie that’s about as absurd as their previous videos
  • Members Martin Herlihy, John Higgins and Ben Marshall co-write the script together, in addition to starring as fictional versions of themselves that go on an epic Goonies-style adventure
  • There are some memorable supporting roles for some of the trio’s fellow SNL alumni, including current cast member Bowen Yang as an eccentric cult leader, and former writer Conan O’Brien as their grumpy boss (and Ben’s on-screen dad)
  • Although it is receiving a theatrical release in the UK and other territories, it is heading straight to Universal’s streaming service Peacock over in the US – so savour the cinema experience while you can!
  • It’s as bizarre and certainly as hilarious as anything you’d expect from the Please Don’t Destroy troupe by this point

Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

 

The Inseparables (2023, dir. Jérémie Degruson)

CAST: Dakota West, Jordan Baird, Monica Young, Danny Fehsenfeld, Olivier Paris, Donte Paris, Art Brown

CREW: Jérémie Degruson (director, writer), Matthieu Zeller (writer, producer), Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (writers), Matthieu Gondinet (producer), Puggy (composer), TBA (editor)

PLOT: Don (West), a puppet with an endless imagination, and DJ Doggy Dog (Baird), an abandoned stuffed animal toy, unexpectedly cross paths in Central Park and unite for a meaningful adventure through New York City…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The unlikely duo of a puppet and a toy dog forms the beating heart of this delightful new animated adventure
  • The film was a collaborative production between various animation studios across Belgium, France and Spain, with an English dub bringing it closer to international audiences
  • Said dub was written by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script for Toy Story, while the original screenplay was drafted by Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker, the creative team behind the PAW Patrol movies
  • The Toy Story connection certainly explains the toy-centric focus here, but there is enough of its own identity for it to be regarded as a separate, but no less entertaining, entity
  • With laughs and tender messages for viewers both young and old, this is a nice family film to go and see before the Christmas holidays kick in

The Inseparables is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Anselm (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

CAST: Anselm Kiefer, Daniel Kiefer, Anton Wenders, Ingeborg Bachmann, Joseph Beuys, Paul Celan, Martin Heidegger

CREW: Wim Wenders (director), Karsten Brünig (producer), Leonard Küßner (composer), Franz Lustig (cinematographer), Maxine Goedicke (editor)

PLOT: The life and work of renowned German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Legendary arthouse director Wim Wenders takes audiences on a journey through the illustrious achievements of artist Anselm Kiefer
  • It is the end result of the two years that Wenders spent tracing the artist’s life from his native Germany to his current residence in France, ensuring that everything about his life and work is encapsulated here
  • The film was shot in 6K resolution 3D, which adds further depth and detail to his artwork as they’re displayed on the screen for audiences to absorb
  • Not since Pina, Wenders’ other 3D documentary about a complex artist, has there been such a deeply artistic portrait of the creative mind in non-fiction cinema
  • It’s a captivating experience for any art lovers out there, while more general audiences can appreciate the technology that has brought it into existence

Anselm is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

 

The Peasants (2023, dirs. Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman)

CAST: Kamila Urzędowska, Robert Gulaczyk, Mirosław Baka, Sonia Mietielica, Ewa Kasprzyk, Cyprian Grabowski, Cezary Łukaszewicz, Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Sonia Bohosiewicz, Dorota Stalińska, Andrzej Konopka, Marcin Rusin, Maciej Musiał

CREW: Hugh Welchman (director, writer, producer), Dorota Kobiela (director, writer, editor), Sean M. Bobbitt (producer), Lukasz Rostowski (composer), Szymon Kuriata, Radek Ladczuk and Kamil Polak (cinematographers), Patrycja Piróg and Miki Wecel (editors)

PLOT: At the turn of the twentieth century, in the small Polish village of Lipce, young peasant Jagna (Urzędowska) causes an uproar when she marries the older, richer widower Maciej (Baka), despite being in love with his son Antek (Gulaczyk)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The classic Nobel Prize-winning novel by Władysław Reymont is adapted into an extraordinary piece of animation
  • Filmmakers Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman use the same painted animation technique that helped them win acclaim, and even an Oscar nomination, for their previous film Loving Vincent
  • With imagery inspired by the works of Young Poland artists such as Józef Chełmoński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Leon Wyczółkowski, it is simply stunning in its artistry and its execution
  • It updates the original story as a tender and often brutal examination of life in peasant communities at the tail-end of the nineteenth century, told through the eyes of a young female protagonist
  • Visually dazzling while also being narratively stimulating, this is a cinematic experience that makes you glad for the medium as a whole

The Peasants is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Tarrac (2023, dir. Declan Recks)

CAST: Kelly Gough, Lorcan Cranitch, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Kate Finegan, Rachel Feeney, Cillian O’Gairbhi, Liam Heffernan, Muireann Ní Raghallaigh

CREW: Declan Recks (director), Eugene O’Brien (writer), Clíona Ní Bhuachalla (producer), Kormac (composer), Patrick Jordan (cinematographer), Gareth Young (editor)

PLOT: Aoife (Gough) returns to her family home on the Kerry coastline after her father Brendan (Cranitch) suffers a heart attack. She soon reacquaints herself with a group of local rowboat racers, and together they set out to defy the odds by entering a high-stakes Naomhóg rowing competition…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This emotional and charming Irish sports comedy-drama proudly wears its heart on its sleeve
  • Director Declan Recks and writer Eugene O’Brien also tell their film entirely in the local Irish language
  • Its focus on the native sport of Naomhóg rowing gives it a unique identity for international audiences
  • Winning performances from Kelly Gough, Lorcan Cranitch and others help to neatly steer the drama in the right direction
  • You’ll feel out of breath as you’re overwhelmed by its good nature as well as its familiar but reliable sports movie tropes

Tarrac is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Earth Mama (2023, dir. Savanah Leaf)

CAST: Tia Nomore, Erika Alexander, Doechii, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Keta Price, Olivia Luccardi, Dominic Fike, Bokeem Woodbine

CREW: Savanah Leaf (director, writer, producer), Sam Bisbee, Shirley O’Connor, Medb Riordan and Cody Ryder (producers), Kelsey Lu (composer), Jody Lee Lipes (cinematographer), Ceorge Cragg (editor)

PLOT: Gia (Nomore) is a pregnant single mother whose two other children are in foster care. As she struggles to reclaim her family, she slowly learns to accept and embrace the Bay Area community where she was raised and will always consider home…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The Sundance hit makes its UK theatrical debut via We Are Parable, the UK-based organisation dedicated to giving audiences the opportunity to experience Black-led cinema
  • It is the feature directorial debut of Savanah Leaf, who based the film on a short film she made with Bones and All star Taylor Russell
  • Tia Nomore delivers a tender lead performance as a pregnant mother fighting against the foster system
  • The film contains numerous recognisable trademarks of main production company A24, from its luscious and naturalistic cinematography to the poetic storytelling that hits a number of emotional nerves
  • A beautiful ode to both motherhood and Black identity, this is a drama that you’ll want to hold onto for dear life

Earth Mama is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Trenque Lauquen (Parts 1 & 2) (2023, dir. Laura Citarella)

CAST: Laura Paredes, Ezequiel Pierri, Rafael Spregelburd, Elisa Carricajo, Verónica Llinás, Juliana Muras, Cecilia Rainero

CREW: Laura Citarella (director, writer, producer), Laura Paredes (writer), Ingrid Pokropek, Ezequiel Pierri and Stefan Butzmuehlen (producers), Gabriel Chwojnik (composer), Ines Duacastella, Agustín Mendilaharzu and Yarara Rodriguez (cinematographers), Miguel De Zuviría and Alejo Moguillansky (editors)

PLOT: After Laura (Paredes) suddenly vanishes, two of her colleagues – Rafael (Spregelburd) and Ezequiel (Pierri) – drive around the Trenque Lauquen region outside Buenos Aires in search of any clues or leads that could explain where she’s gone to, and why. However, they soon realise that the truth is much more complicated and stranger than they could have expected…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Laura Citarella’s latest is an epic mystery with a tinge of absurdist storytelling
  • It truly is an epic, so much so that the 200+ minute runtime has been split into two separate movies, Kill Bill-style
  • As if that wasn’t enough, the film is also intended to be a sequel to Citarella’s 2011 feature Ostende, which also featured lead actor Laura Paredes as a formidable new on-screen sleuth
  • The film won plenty of acclaim at film festivals across the world, from Venice to New York
  • With the current discussion about acceptable movie lengths once again dominating the film world, this is a special new example to add to the list of lengthy endeavours

Trenque Lauquen (Parts 1 & 2) are showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

 

Joram (2023, dir. Devashish Makhija)

CAST: Manoj Bajpayee, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Smita Tambe, Megha Mathur, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajshri Deshpande, Apurva Dongarwal, Bharati Perwani, Dhaniram Prajapati

CREW: Devashish Makhija (director, writer, producer), Ashima Avasthi, Anupama Bose and Shariq Patel (producers), Mangesh Dhakde, Vinamra Pancharia and Pratul Vishera (composers), Piyush Puty (cinematographer), Abhro Banerjee (editor)

PLOT: Dasru (Bajpayee), a migrant labourer in Mumbai, is forced to go on the run with his infant daughter Joram after the arrival of politician Phulo Karma (Smita Tambe) sets into motion a devastating series of events. Dasru and Joram are pursued across the country by jaded Mumbai cop Ratnakar (Ayyub), who reluctantly follows their trail in order to serve justice…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The latest action-packed thriller from India is a nail-biting ride that recalls the previous suspense of The Fugitive
  • Actors Manoj Bajpayee and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub play two very different lead characters, both on opposite sides of the law
  • The action is brought to stunning life by filmmaker Devashish Makhija, whom Indian audiences may know for other stylish outings like Ajji and Bhonsle
  • It has managed to impress audiences at various international film festivals, including ones in Rotterdam, Chicago, and even as far as Busan in South Korea
  • More grounded and much more tense than some of Bollywood’s other blockbuster offerings, this one is no less thrilling and certainly still as deserving of a theatrical experience

Joram is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 2023

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Leave the World Behind (2023, dir. Sam Esmail)

CAST: Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans, Kevin Bacon

CREW: Sam Esmail (director, writer, producer), Marisa Yeres Gill, Lisa Gillan, Chad Hamilton and Julia Roberts (producers), Mac Quayle (composer), Tod Campbell (cinematographer), Lisa Lassek (editor)

PLOT: Amanda (Roberts) and Clay (Hawke) head to an idyllic Long Island getaway house with their children Rose (Mackenzie) and Archie (Evans). One night, two strangers – George (Ali) and Ruth (Myha’la) – arrive at the house, claiming to be the couple that owns the house, as well as the fact that a major nationwide blackout has begun to plunge the world into crisis…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Tensions run high in this star-studded apocalyptic psychological thriller from Netflix
  • Sam Esmail, the creator of hit TV series Robot, adapts the well-received 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam
  • Oscar-winners Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali front the film with tremendous support from Ethan Hawke, Myha’la and Kevin Bacon
  • There are some eerie scenes that reflect the suddenness of the end of civilisation as we know it, as well as some unnerving commentary on societal roadblocks such as unconscious bias and stereotyping
  • With its unpredictable structure, just about anything could happen that will always demand the attention of the viewer

Leave the World Behind is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Your Christmas or Mine 2 (2023, dir. Jim O’Hanlon)

CAST: Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk, Daniel Mays, Angela Griffin, David Bradley, Natalie Gumede, Alex Jennings, Jane Krakowski

CREW: Jim O’Hanlon (director), Tom Parry (writer), Kate Heggie and Richard Webb (producers), Paul Saunderson (composer), Stephan Pehrsson (cinematographer), Mark Thornton (editor)

PLOT: James (Butterfield) and Hayley (Kirk) are in for another Christmas fiasco when she and her family are invited by James’ father Lord Humphry (Jennings) on a luxury skiing holiday in the French Alps, where he plans to introduce his new American girlfriend (Krakowski). However, a booking mix-up lands James, Hayley and their respective families at different places…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Amazon’s unexpected festive hit from last year gets a hilarious follow-up that takes the central premise to new levels
  • Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk reunite for more Christmas mix-ups, as do fellow supporting players like Daniel Mays and Peter Jennings
  • New to the cast this time is 30 Rock breakout Jane Krakowski, who has a delightful time as the new foil to these families’ escapades
  • We switch between two very different ski resorts of varying quality, where these characters must amusingly adapt to
  • Once again, your heart will warm with all of its festive cheer and good-natured comedy

Your Christmas or Mine 2 is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Merry Little Batman (2023, dir. Mike Roth)

CAST: Yonas Kibreab, Luke Wilson, James Cromwell, David Hornsby, Dolph Adomian, Michael Fielding, Brian George, Therese McLaughlin, Cynthia McWilliams, Natalie Palamides, Reid Scott, Chris Sullivan

CREW: Mike Roth (director), Morgan Evans, Jase Ricci and Etan Cohen (writers), Rebecca Palatnik (producer), Patrick Stump (composer), Andy Young (editor)

PLOT: As Christmas approaches in Gotham City, young Damian Wayne (Kibread) wishes to be a superhero like his father, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Wilson). When Bruce is called away on Christmas Eve, Damian is left home alone when he stumbles upon a villainous plot by some of Gotham’s most notorious super-villains to steal Christmas, and so the young would-be hero sets out to save the day…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Get ready to see a very different take on the Dark Knight in this fun and colourful family superhero adventure
  • The focus is on Bruce Wayne’s young son Damian, who seeks to become a hero just like his very own Bat-Dad, who’s voiced here by Luke Wilson
  • It is filled with bright animation that resembles something out of a children’s storybook, adding to the wholesome tone
  • There’s a strong line-up of Gotham’s most notorious villains, including the Joker, the Penguin, and even Mr. Freeze
  • Expect this film to lead into a new animated series following young Damian and his adventures with Batman

Merry Little Batman is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 8 December 2023

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever (2023, dir. Luke Cormican)

CAST: Wesley Kimmel, Spencer Howell, Erica Cerra, Hunter Dillon, Chris Diamantopoulos

CREW: Luke Cormican (director), Jeff Kinney (writer, producer), John Paesano (composer), TBA (editor)

PLOT: With two weeks to go until Christmas, young Greg Heffley (Kimmel) is determined to do enough good deeds to get a prized video game console, but his efforts are put into jeopardy when he winds up being snowed in with his family…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The third in Disney/20th Century Studios’ animated reboot of the popular Jeff Kinney book series is another family-friendly riot
  • Based on Kinney’s popular sixth book in the franchise, this film really doubles down on the Christmas theme (to where Christmas has even been inserted into the title!)
  • Most of the voice cast returns, except for Brady Noon who is replaced by Wesley Kimmel as the long-suffering young protagonist Greg
  • The animation continues to stay faithful to the original designs that most young audiences are familiar with from the books
  • With laughs and awkwardness galore, this is certainly going to be a new favourite for fans of this rebooted film series

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever is streaming exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 8 December 2023

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

The Red Shoes (1948, dirs. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)

CAST: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Léonide Massine, Robert Helpmann, Albert Bassermann, Esmond Knight, Ludmilla Tchérina, Austin Trevor, Jean Short, Gordon Littman, Eric Berry, Irene Browne, Jerry Verno, Yvonne Andre

CREW: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (directors, writers, producers), Brian Easdale (composer), Jack Cardiff (cinematographer), Reginald Mills (editor)

PLOT: Vicky (Shearer) is an aspiring ballet dancer who is given the opportunity to perform under respected but demanding impresario Boris Lermontov (Walbrook), who casts her in the lead role of a new ballet based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Red Shoes. However, when she falls in love with composer Julian Craster (Goring), she is forced to decide which is more important: her love, or her career…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s classic ballet drama is back in cinemas for its 75th anniversary
  • It is a magical reimagining of the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, combined with stunning ballet performances as executed by established ballerina Moira Shearer, who made her acting debut in this film
  • Since its release, the film has become known as being one of the greatest films ever made, with it even being cited as one of the favourite films of legendary filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg
  • The plot mixes a compelling romance with a much more complex desire for greatness, which gives viewers a greater palette of emotions to feel throughout
  • If ever there was an opportunity to experience a true cinematic classic on the biggest screen possible, it’s with this anticipated re-release

The Red Shoes is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 December 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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