Movie highlights this December

It’s the holiday season! With so many films to choose from to relax and unwind over, Sarah Khazaal outlines some of the must-see films premiering throughout December.

Closed Circuit (December 5)

Director John Crowley, in conjunction with writer Steven Knight, brings Australia’s very own Eric Bana back to Aussie screens in an international thriller of suspense – Closed Circuit. A talented cast illuminates the story of a high-profile terrorism case that sees two ex-lovers collaborate on a defence team, forcing them to question their loyalties and, in the process, threaten their own lives.

Although this film officially premiers on December 5, Cinema Nova is hosting an advance screening on November 29 that features an intimate Q&A with Bana himself following the film.

The film stars Eric Bana (Romulus, My Father), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady), Ciaran Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook) and Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist).

Night Train to Lisbon (December 5)

Our holiday downtime may have some of us becoming a little existential but fortunately, Billie August has directed a film that asks, and maybe even answers, some of these questions for us through protagonist Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons), a Latin teacher from Berne.

After uncovering a book of poetry written by Portuguese doctor, Amadeu de Prado, Raimund takes a train to Lisbon, in hopes of finding the man who wrote the book that ask all the questions that he himself is burdened with. That being the purpose of human deeds and the unrealised potential of each and every life.

Night Train to Lisbon also co-stars Tom Courtney (Quartet), Melanie Laurent (Beginners), Charlotte Rampling (Swimming Pool), Bruno Ganz (Downfall) and Christopher Lee (Hugo) and is based on Pascal Mercier’s best-selling novel.

Kill Your Darlings (December 5)

A much anticipated film that documents the lives of famed writers Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University in 1944, Kill Your Darlings is a previously untold story of murder and intrigue that unravels the young writers who would give birth to the Beat Generation that still resonates in modern day literature.

Harry Potter fans eager to see Daniel Radcliffe’s outside of the world of wizardry will no doubt be pleased to see Radcliffe has built an interesting acting career outside of Hogwarts.

Also starring alongside Radcliffe in the film are Jack Huston (Outlander), Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene).

Firestorm (December 12)


The above trailer is NSFW.

Hardcore Hong Kong  police action is back on the big screen with the cop thriller Firestorm. A hard line senior inspector with the police, Lui, finds himself crossing moral boundaries when he attempts to end the crime reign of Nam and his crew as they take innocent lives.

He quickly realises that the conventional tactics of the police are no match for the crime lords, and resorts to extreme methods of his own form of justice. When Tou volunteers himself as a snitch for Lui as a means of having another chance at a life with his girlfriend Bing, he discovers himself in a nightmare of a situation that he did not sign up for.

Firestorm stars Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs), Lam Ka Tung (Ip Man), Yao Chen (Colour Me Love) and Hu Jun (Red Cliff) and will screen at selected Hoyts Cinemas.

How to Fight in Six Inch Heels (December 12)

A young eccentric junior fashion designer from New York  discovers that her fiancé Kiet – who is working overseas in Vietnam at the time – is potentially cheating on her with a supermodel.

Riddled with jealousy, and suffocated by wedding plans as the date grows nearer, she schemes to give herself a complete makeover so that she can infiltrate the high end fashion world of supermodels and catch him in the act.

And after befriending three supermodels, the film’s young heroine learns not to live life in such a neurotic way.

This Vietnamese comedy stars Kathy Uyen, Don Nguyen, Truc Diem, Phuong Mai and will screen at selected Hoyts Cinemas.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (December 19)

Ron Burgundy is back in what is expected to be one of the most anticipated films releasing this summer. Director Adam McKay is transporting audiences back to 1979, to a time where our favourite news anchors are just waiting to take us on a comedic journey, much like they did the first time around.

Let’s  hope this one lives up to expectations as Ron calls upon his Channel Four news team to help him regain popularity and return to Channel Four after circumstances find him on a lousy 24-hour cable news network, away from the primetime that the anchorman is accustomed to.

The sequel sees the returning stars of Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and David Koechner.

Drinking Buddies (December 26)

Luke (Jack Johnston) and Kate (Olivia Wilde) find themselves as co-workers at a microbrewery with a flirtatious friendship. Although, both of them are in relationships, Luke with Jill (Anna Kendrick) and Kate with Chris (Ron Livingston), an overnight beach trip they all take becomes a tipping point.

Combined with writer/director Joe Swanberg’s trademark improv-heavy dialogue and cinematographer Ben Richardson’s (Beasts of the Southern Wild) signature views, this rom-com strays from the norm, providing its cast with work that’s against-type and refreshingly different.

Drinking Buddies stars Jake Johnston (New Girl), Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and Ron Livingston (The Conjuring) and will be screening exclusively at Cinema Nova.

Short Term 12 (December 26)

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, Short Term 12 graces our screens in December and sees Brie Larson deliver a strong, heart-wrenching performance as Grace, a 20-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.

Grace and her long-term boyfriend and co-worker Mason meet Jayden, a troubled and gifted teenage girl. Grace and Jayden immediately spark an intense connection and Grace finds that within their relationship, and considerations of her own past, she finds her own redemption through Jayden.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson (21 Jump Street), John Gallagher Jr (Pieces of April) and Kaitlyn Dever (J. Edgar) and will be screening exclusively at Cinema Nova.

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