Christmas 2019: Five films to catch over the festive period
It’s that time of year again. As the dark nights roll in, the nation turns to hibernation mode in a retreat from the cold, relentlessly raiding the fridge and chocolate boxes as the presents under the tree begin to pile up.
However, if you can bring yourself to rise up from the sofa and brace the elements to reach your local cinema, there are plenty of surprises and pleasures to be witnessed as the year draws to an end. Here are five new releases to see over the festive period if you wish to avoid the usual Christmas re-runs that we have watched so many times before.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
This is it; the end of an era. The ninth episode of the franchise has arrived and this time JJ Abrams has returned to the helm to steer it home. Concluding 42 years of galactic adventures, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a must-see this Christmas, particularly if you are a fan of the series.
The most recent trilogy of films has been met with raised eyebrows due to the scriptwriting, chopping and changing of director and surprising backlash from certain fans in a contrast with the opinions of critics. One thing is for sure, however: the film is a blast and high-quality entertainment for the family. It’s Star Wars – you can’t say no. The next film might not be out for another… six months?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released nationwide on 19th December 2019.
Spies in Disguise
One for all the family and a complete hoot, Spies in Disguise is a must-see come Boxing Day and the fallout from Christmas Day. Starring Will Smith (Lance Sterling) and Tom Holland (Walter Beckett) as a crime-fighting duo who find their worlds turn upsides down after one of Walter’s a news gadget goes wrong (or right, he might argue!).
Packed full of laughs, the movie is wildly entertaining for both young and old audiences, with multiple hijinks, quirky characters and the famous Blue Sky studio behind providing a big-budget investment. As family members pull themselves out of their Christmas food comas and feel a small resurgence after their sugar rush crash, Spies in Disguise is the perfect way to occupy minds of all ages.
Spies in Disguise is released nationwide on 26th December 2019.
Greta Gerwig brings Louisa May Alcott’s story of the March sisters to life on the big screen in an adaptation that is nothing less than perfect and a joy from start to finish. With wonderful performances from its leading cast including the likes of Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and Eliza Scanlen, Little Women is a movie that demands to be seen this Christmas not only for its period setting and romantic themes, but in fact for far more. Commanding attention, the movie has a ground-breaking and inspirational message that rings true today, and the film will no doubt be present throughout the awards trail come the New Year, meaning now is the perfect time to see one of the best films of 2019.
Gerwig’s career is on a fantastic upward trajectory, with Little Women following her award winning Lady Bird in 2017, which starred a few familiar faces. Nothing short of incredible, her latest feature possesses insatiable wit, emotion, destruction and heroism at its core. An indelibly charming picture to behold this festive season.
Little Women is released nationwide on 26th December 2019.
One of the most highly anticipated and queued for films at this years London Film Festival, Jojo Rabbit is hitting UK screens on News Year’s Day and provides interesting alternative viewing this Christmas if you are brave enough to trade in the sugar-soaked, snow-laden romantic flicks for something a little more outrageously comedic.
Brought to life by the visionary director Taika Waititi, the film features a number of well-known faces including the likes of Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Alfie Allen; and tells the tale of a little boy who finds his mother is hiding a little Jewish girl in their attic, and thus confides in his imaginary friend – a childish version of Adolf Hitler. Now, yes, that might sound rather absurd, but it is this absurdity that makes Jojo Rabbit so unique and gut-bustingly funny. Some of the comedy is indeed quite dark, but if it’s your cup of tea, it is one hell of a way to laugh in the new year.
Jojo Rabbit is released nationwide on 3rd January 2020.
There was a frightening sense of complacency surrounding Cats following the release of its eye-opening first trailer some five months ago in the beautiful, sunny summer. As a successful West End Theatrical hit, the idea of a cinematic adaptation wasn’t too far-fetched, but what was witnessed was horrifying, embarrassingly hilarious and darn right ugly. What can be witnessed this Christmas is very much the same thing. Critics have labelled the film haunting, queasy and a disaster, slamming the film to the extent that Universal Studios have now announced the feature will be reedited with improved visual effects. In summary, an unexpected nightmare for all involved and paying audiences.
But… with a reception falling so devastatingly low, who wouldn’t want to see Tom Hooper’s film? Do you really want to be the one to miss out on such a spectacle? It may be painful and you may want to scratch your eyes out and curl up in the shower for a few hours after, but sometimes when films are honestly as disastrous as Cats, they really have to be seen.
Cats is released nationwide on 20th December 2019.