As we come to the close of 2019, we have a smattering of movies to see us through the run-up to Christmas and some to look forward to post-Christmas Day gorging. We’ve got some long-awaited blockbusters (Jumanji: The Next Level, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) mixed in with some less mainstream (or at least less advertised) potential gems (Honey Boy, Ordinary Love). There feels like less of a scrabble for top billing, with practically nothing (or nothing at all, according to this list) releasing on Boxing Day, which is unusual. Think of it as the calm before the storm of the run-up to awards season, which will start pretty soon after the year ends. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!
Everybody ought to know who Karen Gillan is by now – the red-headed she of Doctor Who, the Jumanji reboot (the sequel of which is also out this month) and the MCU. But does everybody know of her secret talents as a writer and director? If the critical consensus is thus far correct, her Kenneth Brannagh-style roles in front of and behind the camera of her new(ish) film are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise male-dominated industry. Gillan takes us back to her Scottish roots in this indie about a woman struggling with life after her best friend’s suicide. Definitely one to catch if you can.
I don’t think much really needs to be said about this. It’s unlikely to knock Avengers: Endgame off the top spot as the highest grossing film of all time, but you could bet all your Galactic Credits it’ll reach the top ten at least. Let’s see how the saga finally comes to an end (again…).
Little Women (27th)
Greta Gerwig is another extremely talented woman paving the way for other female filmmakers, and Little Women could not be a more fitting choice for her latest project. Nor could her absolutely stellar cast, reuniting Gerwig with Saorise Ronan and Timothée Chalamet after the critically acclaimed Lady Bird. Based on the (very famous) book by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is a story about exactly that, little (or young) women, four sisters, to be exact, trying to find their way in the world in mid-1800s America. The buzz surrounding this film is already very loud, so it’s not going to be one you can ignore for long.
Non-English Language Choice:
So Long, My Son (6th)
Telling a personal story with the backdrop of China in the 1980s through to present day, this Chinese-made film showcases themes that people around the world could relate to within their own lives and countries. Sure to be an emotional thinker of a movie, it’s been reviewing well and is surely worthy of our time and money, if only to educate ourselves on the way others have lived and still live while recognising the struggles they endure.
Other December releases: