There’s the small matter of a tale about a young hobbit and a dragon out this month, but I’m sure you’re all aware of that. December also brings three films that all look set to become minor cult classics.
Kill List was one of the surprise hits of 2011; Kevin Wheatley’s film quickly gained cult status, but I can happily say that his new film Sightseers is even better. We follow Chris and Tina as they go on their first holiday together; a caravan tour of some of Northern England’s many delights. On the surface, they seem to be a dull couple but Chris has a dark secret which leaves a killing spree in their wake. As director Kevin Wheatley describes it, this is a film about “sex, small dogs, caravans and murder.”
Walken, Waits, Harrelson, Rockwell, Farrell, Kurylenko, Cornish – not a band assemble cast for In Bruges director Martin McDonagh’s new film. We follow Marty, a struggling screenwriter, who inadvertently becomes entangled in the LA criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved dog. It’s apparently the Shih Tzu
“Blood splatters, heads explode, and McDonagh takes sassy, self-mocking shots at the very notion of being literary in Hollywood. It’s crazy-killer fun.” – Rolling Stone
“…a devilishly smart film that not only sends up the hipster crime genre, but also makes a powerful statement about violence — in a brilliantly satirical way.” – USA Today
Safety Not Guaranteed
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. The producers of Little Miss Sunshine are back with a cult odyssey packed with laughs and oddball characters.
“…proof that money and fame have nothing on ingenuity and wit, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ is worth a million meaningless blockbusters.” – New York Daily News
“As sweet as it is eccentric — and it is wildly eccentric — this is a warm movie in cynical disguise… it is wholly committed to all of its odd characters…” – LA Times
Life of Pi
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. Whilst cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor … a Bengal tiger. I must admit, I wasn’t entirely sure how this would work, but Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s award-winning novel has been garnering rave reviews.
“…a miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery…. also a moving spiritual achievement…. one of the best films of the year.” – Roger Ebert
“Ang Lee piles visual miracle atop emotional epiphany… Magical realism was rarely so magical and never before so real.” – Time
Maria and Henry, who are on their dream holiday in Thailand with their three sons, find themselves caught in the middle of one of the biggest natural disasters of our time. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play the leads in this film based on the real life story of a family who survived the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
“…one of the most emotionally realistic disaster movies in recent memory…. it manages to blend the horrific with the real world as seen through the eyes of children…” – Hollywood Reporter
“…emotionally powerful… balances an epic tale with a more intimate and devastating story, highlighting in the process human qualities that are nothing short of uplifting.” – Cinema 24/7
Also check out:
The Hunt – In this Danish drama, one small lie by one of Lucas’ pupils leads to his life being turned upside down.
Roadmap to Apartheid – Showing as part of the Showroom’s Cinema Palestino season, this award-winning documentary investigates the apartheid analogy, commonly used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Great Expectations – New adaptation of Dickens’ classic from Mike Newell starring Ralph Fiennes and Helen Bonham-Carter
Turning + Q&A with Charles Atlas & Sigur Rós: Valtari Film Experiment
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson takes you back to the beginning.
Love Crime – Ruthless executive Christine brings on Isabelle as her assistant, but when the protégé’s ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass on as her own, the battle lines are drawn. Sagnier and Scott Thomas star.
It’s a Wonderful Life – If there’s a more beautiful line in any film than “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings”, I’ve not heard it.
Best of 2012: A chance to catch-up with some of the year’s best films: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Shame, Monsieur Lazhar, Searching for Sugarman, The Raid