2 December 2011


december film round up

Story by Michelle Veysey

Get your culture fix this month by ensuring you get along to these must-see December release films.

Our resident film buff Michelle Veysey gives us the inside word on her pick of the three new films that should be making an appearance on your cinematic radar this month.

The First Grader

Starring: Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Sam Feuer
Season starts: 15 December with advance screenings from 8 December
Director: Justin Chadwick
Rating: M violence & offensive language

An inspiring true story about an 84-year-old Kenyan man who enrolls in the first grade when the government introduces a “free education for all” policy. At the time of his enrollment, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge as the oldest person in the world to start primary school. The ex Mau Mau freedom fighter was no stranger to battle, and with the help of head teacher Jane Obinchu they go up against fierce opposition from parents and officials who don’t want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.

“The story is uplifting in a predictably pro-education, antiwar, feel-good way, warmth and humor balancing the heavy moments.” Colin Covert. Minneapolis Star Tribune

We Bought A Zoo

Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church
Season starts: 26 December
Director: Cameron Crowe
Rating: TBC

A gorgeous family drama which is an absolute must-see this holiday season. Take the kids and I promise you everyone will enjoy it. It is based on a remarkable true story of a dad who moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and reopen a struggling zoo. From acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous).

Cameron Crowe casts a heart-warming cinematic spell that will milk many a tear from its widespread target audience.” Cole Smithey


Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Director: Lars von Trier
Season starts: 22 December
Rating: M Contains offensive language and nudity

Lars von Trier’s visually stunning film Melancholia premiered in the 2011 New Zealand International Film Festival and has been receiving wide acclaim ever since. This beautiful and visceral portrayal of depression and destruction may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is both original and profound. Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael are celebrating their marriage at a grand party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite her sister’s best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth…

“(The) mind-blowing Melancholia offers perhaps the gentlest depiction of annihilation one could imagine from any director, much less the Danish provocateur.” Peter Debruge, Variety

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