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Saturday, Dec 15th

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‘Tis the season for holiday flicks

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There’s a slight lull this week at the movies. The only film opening is The Possession of Hannah Grace, and it’s not getting a press screening. For the next month, the studios will mix big studio titles with awards contenders. So, it’s a perfect time to go over what will be coming your way soon.

Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is something of an acquired taste, with most of his work garnering extreme responses from viewers. The dark period drama The Favourite involves a servant vying for power by trying to usurp and take the position of Queen Anne’s closest confidant. It opens in limited release next week before expanding across the country.

A couple smaller films looking for awards consideration also open in a few theaters soon, before finding their way to other markets. One such title is Ben is Back starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. This is a drama about a paranoid mother spying on her drug-addicted son after he leaves rehab and arrives unexpectedly for the holidays. Another film gunning for Oscars is the historical biopic, Mary, Queen of Scots. If you know your history, you know not to expect a light and frothy comedy. Also opening this month is the strange little movie Vox Lux, about a young girl who becomes a famous musician after witnessing a violent shooting at her school.

As these pictures arrive on cinema screens around the country, there are a few lighter efforts. Mid-December sees the release of the mysterious Once Upon a Deadpool, which is said to be a holiday-themed re-cut of Deadpool 2, presumably with some extra gags and material that wasn’t present in the previous version.

Speaking of superheroes, Sony will be releasing the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. This week also sees the release of Mortal Engines, a sci-fi fantasy produced by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit). And Clint Eastwood makes an unexpected return to acting on the big screen with the release of the drug-trafficking drama, The Mule.

On the awards circuit, the family drama If Beale Street Could Talk from writer/director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) opens in limited release, hoping to develop a following as it expands in the coming weeks.

It’s been 54 years since its release, but that hasn’t stopped Disney from shooting the family film sequel Mary Poppins Returns, which sees the nanny return to help the grown children from the original film.

As Christmas approaches, action fans will have the DC universe superhero flick Aquaman and the Transformers spin-off, Bumblebee. This weekend also sees the release of the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Second Act as well as Welcome to Marwen, a special-effects heavy biographical drama about a man (Steve Carell) taking refuge in a world of action figures. It comes from director Robert Zemekis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away, The Polar Express).

If you don’t have plans on Dec. 25, there are a few more titles you might be able to find. They include the goofy comedy Holmes and Watson, with Will Farrell and John C. Reilly displaying a slightly dimmer take on the famous detectives.

Vice is another biopic drama hoping for some awards attention with Christian Bale playing Vice President Dick Cheney. And in limited release, you’ll find the Nicole Kidman drama Destroyer and On the Basis of Sex, a depiction of the life of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It appears there’s plenty of variety appearing over the next few weeks, and fingers crossed, there will be some stellar pictures arriving as the month progresses.

Visit: www.CinemaStance.com

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun