As Christmas approaches (yes, already) we’re starting to see some festive films make their way into cinemas (The Grinch, The Nutcracker, Nativity Rocks!). Surprisingly we’ve also got a few horrors and thrillers, films that may have been better coming out last month in time for Halloween (Overlord, Suspiria, Hell Fest, Anna and the Apocalypse). On top of this we’ve also got some films whose marketing has been quite in-your-face over the past month or two and are expected to gather some serious audiences (Ralph Breaks the Internet, Creed II, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald). But just to throw caution to the wind, I’ve picked out three films that will potentially be worth your time in the coming month that may not get the real attention from the mainstream that they likely deserve.
This directorial debut from American actor Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, Swiss Army Man) has been doing the rounds on the festival circuit and created quite a buzz, Carey Mulligan’s performance in particular. The story focuses on a young boy’s experience as he witnesses his parents’ marriage falling a part. Normally a film like this is seen through the eyes of the adults going through it, so it’ll be interesting to see the dynamic between the characters playing out through more innocent eyes. From what I’ve read, this film has been a passion project and a real labour of love for Dano, who himself has picked some unique choices for his acting roles in his career, so for that reason alone I think it’s worth your attention.
From acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, this Japanese language film screams ‘heartwarming’ from the trailer alone. It tells the story of a small family who shoplift just to make ends meet. The father trains his children to be just as adept as he is. They end up taking in a child whom they find, and as the authorities look for this child, their way of life becomes threatened. Shoplifters is all about the family and how they can look after themselves and each other, even others in need. It could be just the film we need at the moment, with all the negativity in the world. It’s nice to be reminded of something (or some people) we can rely on in a troubled world. I also had to include two versions of the promotional poster above, as they are both wonderful in their own way.
Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) (16th)
This one might be a bit of a risk, but the trailer is quite a laugh in itself, particularly Tom Wilkinson as personal assassin-for-hire Leslie. Aneurin Barnard plays William, a young man who has attempted to kill himself numerous times but continues to fail. Instead, he hires Leslie to take him out, with Leslie promising William that he will indeed be dead in a week, or he will get his money back. That is, until William finds something worth living for within that week. It’s a darkly comedic if a little controversial concept, but perhaps it could leave you with a more positive outlook by the end.
Other November Releases:
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us
Anna and the Apocalypse
The Possession of Hannah Grace
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Three Identical Strangers
The Wild Pear Tree