What to watch this Boxing Day: Wonder Woman 1984, The Croods: New Age, Nomadland, Soul, The Midnight Sky and more

What to watch this Boxing Day: Wonder Woman 1984, The Croods: New Age, Nomadland, Soul, The Midnight Sky and more

12/25/2020

It seems wild that after the pandemic year we’ve all been through that there even is a Boxing Day movies slate.

Maybe pondering a Boxing Day movie was the last thing you expected for today, but you can’t keep traditions down.

While the seven-film line-up only features one blockbuster popcorn movie instead of the usual three or four competing for your attention, there is still plenty of new stories on offer for those looking for an airconditioned space to awake from their food comas.

But if you just don’t fancy accidentally bumping into a rabid Boxing Day sales shopper (are people still really doing this?!), we’ve also included three high-profile streaming movie releases that came out this week.

WONDER WOMAN 1984 (in cinemas)

Big blockbusters are a rare breed in 2020 so it’s an absolute treat to get to sit in a cinema and let a splashy superhero movie transport you to a different, stimulating world.

In this sequel to the first Wonder Woman movie, the year is now 1984 and Diana Prince encounters two complex villains (played by scene-stealers Kristin Wiig and Pedro Pascal) and a culture of materialism and greed that threatens to end everything.

NOMADLAND (in cinemas)

This quiet, ruminative and poignant film stars Frances McDormand as woman who has encountered great loss, finding a different way of living on the road as a camper van nomad.

Chloe Zhao’s film is beautifully restrained in its emotional depth but features visually stunning landscapes of the American west while penetrating close-ups of McDormand’s face tells the story of a character with a history and an inner life.

OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES (in cinemas)

A towering croquembouche will seem as simple as a sponge cake compared to the delectable concoctions in this salivating documentary centred on famed chef Yotom Ottolenghi.

Set inside New York’s Met museum, Ottolenghi assembles a team of pastry chefs to conjure the most excessive bakery creations worthy of Marie Antoinette’s entreaty to “let them cake”.

HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (in cinemas)

Juliette Binoche and Yolande Moreau lead this French comedy-drama-farce-musical set on the eve of the 1968 cultural revolutions in a regional school of housekeeping.

The traditions of the past will violently collide with a changing world, but the question is what will happen to the women who have devoted their lives to turning out obedient housewives? It’s uneven and tonally confused but Binoche couldn’t give a bad performance if she tried.

THE MIDNIGHT SKY (Netflix)

George Clooney directs and stars in this emotionally earnest sci-fi drama about a scientist trying to stop a space mission from returning to a scorched Earth after an apocalyptic event.

Even though it’s working through grand themes, The Midnight Sky is a surprisingly self-contained and taut character-based film, while the performances from its talented cast including Kyle Chandler and Demian Bichir really sell the story’s emphasis on human connections.

SOUL (Disney+)

Joe is an aspiring jazz musician on the verge of his big break when he falls through a manhole and his soul ends up in the Great Before. While desperately clinging onto life, he meets an existential soul, 22, who wants nothing to do with living.

You don’t expect Pixar to present you a dud and the animation studio really, really hasn’t. Soul is a gorgeously rendered high-concept story that explores the all-consuming passions and the small moments that make life worth living – oh, and it’s going to make you weep.

SYLVIE'S LOVE (Amazon Prime Video)

Sylvie and Robert immediately spark when they meet in her father’s record story, but like with all classic romantic dramas, things can’t be easy and life gets in the way of a happily ever after. But then an encounter five years later gives them another chance.

The film ticks many of its genre boxes with style and confidence and doesn’t veer off the proscribed path, but the charismatic performances of Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha give it that extra glimmer.

THE CROODS: NEW AGE (in cinemas)

A sequel to the 2013 hit, The Croods: New Age finds the cave family on the move and looking for a new home. They think they’ve found paradise when it turns out paradise already has occupants. If you thought keeping up the Joneses was hard, try doing it pre-historic style.

With a voice cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and franchise newcomers Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran, it’s the broad family movie parents have been longing for to keep their kids quiet for 90 minutes – that is until they start pestering for the merch.

A CALL TO SPY (in cinemas)

Fans of period dramas will find much to like in A Call To Spy, a dramatisation about three real-life World War II female spies who worked against the Nazis while facing doubt and discrimination from their own countrymen.

Starring Stana Katic, Sarah Megan Thomas and Radhika Apte, the film aims to cast light on a group of women whose contributions to the war effort were often overlooked.

END OF THE CENTURY (in cinemas)

Sex, love and remembrances are on the menu in Argentian director Lucio Castro’s movie about a casual encounter between Ocho and Javi in Barcelona – turns out, the men had hooked up before, 20 years earlier while both still in the closet.

Now more self-assured and wise, and less encumbered by the limitations of 1999, Ocho and Javi’s connection may have a different ending, or will it?

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