Christmas on the big screen

It looks as though there is a film for everyone to enjoy this December.

Of course some films have been long awaited, such as The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey. A prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman) on his quest to reclaim treasure from the dragon Smaug. Directed by Peter Jackson, the film looks set to draw in audiences.

However, The Hobbit, like its relatives, is to become three films, following the increasingly popular sequel trend set by films such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. This means that avid fans will be forced to dip into their pockets beyond this Christmas in order to view the ending of the film. It begs the question: is this really warranted for a film based on a book that is only few hundred pages long? Time will tell.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit different and surreal, then Life of Pi may provide an escape from the stress of Christmas shopping by plunging you into a world of adventure. Based on the often-said ‘unfilmable’ novel by Yann Martel, this film follows a young boy stranded in the ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The sea is to be the main set of the film, which might mean that its backdrop may be one-dimensional, though it looks as though it will be used as a canvas to create different moods and sense of a fantasy.

Meanwhile, Jack Reacher, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, will be introducing us to the onscreen version of the hero from Jim Grant’s (aka Lee Child’s) successful series of novels. Brought to life by Tom Cruise, whose abs are still in superhero mode from his last Mission Impossible outing, it seems like yet another generic action-filled popcorn movie. Fans of the novels will undoubtedly be interested in this, and if you’re sick of watching Die Hard every year perhaps this will be a nice alternative.

The film that may prove to be an unexpected hit this Christmas is Seven Psychopaths. Riddled with an all-star cast that includes Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson, and directed by Martin McDonagh, the story follows several dysfunctional writers who get caught up with a ‘Shih Tzu kidnapping.’ The film may very well have audiences in stitches, particularly if McDonagh’s In Bruges is anything to judge by.

Upping the tempo for fans of Glee or Step Up, Pitch Perfect may be a must-see for those of the eccentric variety. Following Beca, a college freshman played by Twilight’s Anna Kendrick, the audience will be plunged into the world of a cappella. It promises dancing, singing, male-female rivalry and the usual ‘rom-com’ antics.

Finally, on the darker side of things, I, Anna, directed by Barnaby Southcombe, will add a bit of mystery to Christmas festivities. Its trailer is entirely ambiguous (and worth checking out), and leaves you with a sense that nothing is as it seems. Its synopsis simply states that this is a noir-thriller based on the novel by Elsa Lewin.

Although, there is a lack of anything Christmas themed to watch this year, with the schedule laced with literature-to-film adaptations, there does appear to be something for everyone to enjoy this December. Sure, hang up your stocking, eat some mince pies, but make sure you get to your local cinema.


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August 2022
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