Christmas Comes Early For Movie-Lovers

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A Letter From KC

Strolling through Melbourne last weekend it was apparent that Christmas had come early. The same could be said for cinema-lovers as the weeks counting down to December 25th have seen a sudden influx of must-see movies that are sure to delight, provoke and, in many cases, feature strongly in the imminent award season. While Boxing Day and the new year will deliver some of the finest films of recent years (more on them in a later dispatch), I urge you to ensure that the following films aren't overlooked in the midst of the silly season.

Opening only days ago, Academy Award winner Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) returns with the equally audacious SALTBURN (now showing). Starring Barry Keoghan, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant and Australia's own Jacob Elordi, Fennell's film finds an outsider (Keoghan) welcomed into the palatial home of an outrageously wealthy English family. Gloriously photographed, peppered with arch wit and filled with frisson, prepare to be seduced by SALTBURN.

"[We've] seen a sudden influx of must-see movies that are sure to delight, provoke and, in many cases, feature strongly in the imminent award season."

At the opposite end of 'nice places to visit' spectrum is Melbourne filmmaker Kitty Green's THE ROYAL HOTEL (Nov 23). Reteaming with the star of her 2019 corporate drama The Assistant, Julia Garner, Green channels Australian classic Wake In Fright with a based-in-fact thriller of two women who accept an opportunity to work behind the bar of an remote outback pub. Faced with unruly locals (and a career-best Hugo Weaving), matters quickly spiral out of control.

Two of the biggest recent hits out of Japan also descend upon Nova this summer. Studio Ghibli's iconic filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki reemerges from retirement with the critically acclaimed animated masterpiece THE BOY AND THE HERON (Dec 7). Described as the director's most personal film to-date and recalling 2001's Spirited Away, a young boy discovers a magical realm where the living and the dead coexist. GODZILLA MINUS ONE (Nov 30) takes the legend back to the beginning, with the kaiju arriving on the shores of the war-torn nation as it attempts to rebuild in the aftermath of World War II. Lacking any military firepower to fight back, director Takashi Yamazaki depicts how a still-shell shocked Japan contends with a seemingly unstoppable threat.

"[Ridley] Scott's drama portrays Bonaparte's campaigns with the director's signature epic style."

Sir Ridley Scott's NAPOLEON (Nov 23) sees the filmmaker reunite with Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix for a highly cinematic depiction of the most famous conqueror of the last 2,000 years; French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Co-starring Vanessa Kirby as Joséphine, Scott's drama portrays Bonaparte's campaigns with the director's signature epic style while also capturing the palace intrigue that led to his spectacular rise and fall.

Bradley Cooper returns to the director's chair for the first time since A Star Is Born with MAESTRO (Dec 7). Confirming his skill as a filmmaker, this moving drama sees Cooper star opposite an Oscar-worthy Carey Mulligan as renown composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Certain to figure strongly throughout the award-season, MAESTRO is a masterpiece of performance, direction and production and demands to be seen on the cinema screen.

Director Ken Loach reteams with his I, Daniel Blake screenwriter Paul Laverty for drama THE OLD OAK (Nov 30); a cry-from-the-heart for tolerance where refugees find themselves relocated in an English township still reeling from job losses caused by mine closures. Closer to home, BEYOND UTOPIA (Dec 14) is a riveting documentary that captures the remarkable determination of North Koreans seeking to escape from under the rule of Kim Jong Un, and the South Koreans who work tirelessly to help them. Depicting the extraordinary journey that takes a family through several countries in the pursuit of freedom, BEYOND UTOPIA is exclusive to Cinema Nova.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, BOTTOMS (Nov 30) and DICKS: THE MUSICAL (Dec 7) are certain to deliver the laughs. Equally OTT and unapologetically raunchy, these comedies put a queer spin on the high school romance and the song-and-dance musical, respectively. BOTTOMS sees two friends concoct a plan to seduce the most popular girls in school by starting a Fight Club, while DICKS: THE MUSICAL sees Nathan Lane and Megan Mullaly star as the unwitting exes reunited by their adult twin children in an absurdist spin on The Parent Trap. Wrong in all the right ways, Borat director Larry Charles’ musical also features cameos by SNL’s Bowen Yang (as God) and Megan Thee Stallion.  

"Equally OTT and unapologetically raunchy, these comedies put a queer spin on the high school romacne and the song-and-dance musical, respectively."

Finally, just in time for the school holidays, we invite you to sample the scrumdiddlyumptious family-fantasy WONKA (Dec 14). Starring Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, Jim Carter and Rowan Atkinson, and directed by Paddington and Paddington 2’s Paul King, WONKA reveals the story of how Willy Wonka became the world’s most magical chocolatier. Full of stunning visuals and original songs, you won’t want to go into the cinema with an empty stomach! Contact us for group booking discounts!

With more movies than we have room to include them, we’ll also have advance screenings of our anticipated Boxing Day releases as well as our annual Christmas Favourites (including the 20th anniversary of LOVE ACTUALLY!). Melbourne loves its movies, so we are delighted to bring you what promises to be a stunning cinematic start to summer at Nova!

We’ll see you at the movies!
KC - CEO, Cinema Nova