5 Films you can't miss this December
In what might be his most humorous film to date, Michael Haneke follows a family in Calais, dealing with a series of misfortunate and bizarre events, with the European refugee crisis playing out in the background. While we might be playing fast and loose with the word “humorous” here—Happy End is permeated with the director’s signature pungent gloominess—the film does a great job of reminding us that laughter and pain go hand in hand more often than we think.
Featuring a superb cast, including Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Toby Jones, it’s a loosely structured, free-flowing meditation on love and death, punctuated with perceptive commentary on the migration crisis and social media. It’s sad, hilarious, uplifting, crushing—and everything in between.
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Dan Stevens is Charles Dickens in this vibrant, fairy-tale-like story of how one of the best-loved novellas of all time, The Christmas Carol, came to be. It’s got everything you’d expect from a Dickens biopic: witty dialogue, larger-than-life characters, and Christopher Plummer as Scrooge. Yet it’s Stevens who steals the show with his feverish energy and boyish charm.
No amount of cynicism will arm you against shedding a tear at this film. Wonder is a sweet and moving story of Auggie (superbly played by Jacob Tremblay)—a boy with facial differences who enters the dog-eat-dog world of school for the first time. Though heavy-handed at times, it’s a film with a timeless message at its heart: when faced with a choice between kindness and being right, always go with kindness. Plus, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson make a great film couple.
The Disaster Artist
Tommy Wiseau had one dream: to become a movie star. But nobody in Hollywood would cast him in a film. So he made his own—and it went down in history as the worst film ever made. The Room gained a cult following worldwide and James Franco’s awkwardly hilarious and uproariously entertaining The Disaster Artist tells the story of how it was made.
It portrays Wiseau with kindness and purity and remains lovingly loyal to the spirit of The Room: the actors mimic their original counterparts with unflinching (if painful-to-watch) authenticity. Yet no one surpasses James Franco as Wiseau himself: unrecognisable with his long black hair, facial prosthetics and Eastern European accent, he really gets his method acting on.
Out on December 6
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
In the latest instalment of the epic space opera, Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her journey with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s an emotionally loaded and visually stunning epic that boasts a star-packed cast as well as the final performance of the late Carrie Fisher. Questions will be answered, lightsabers will be wielded, epic battles will be fought.
Out on December 14