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Published December 22nd 2016
A Lion, Ballerina, Passengers, Retiree and an Icon?
2017 begins with the Boxing Day Blockbusters, including Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival and The Girl on the Train still showing in many theatres. If your New Year Resolutions include quitting sugar, running a marathon and cancelling your credit card, add one more – watching great cinema.
In January 2017, an orphan lion, fashion icon, French ballerina, grumpy old man and sleepy deep-space lovers will carry us into the cinema. Read on to discover the best movies premiering in Australia in January 2017.
Rated M for mature themes In this adventure film with sci-fi and romance, thousands of colonists begin a 120-year journey to a distant planet. The crew are placed in hibernation to survive the journey, but one engineer (Chris Pratt – Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Moneyball, Parks and Recreation) wakes early. Tired of talking to himself, he wakes an attractive crewmate (Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Hunger Games, X-Men) and love soon blossoms. With 90 years until their arrival, their romance is tested as surviving to reach their new homeworld becomes a priority. As you recover from New Year celebrations, don't focus too closely on the plot, rescued by Jennifer and Chris' on-screen chemistry. Passengers also stars Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Midnight in Paris, Masters of Sex) as a robot, Laurence Fishburne (Apocalypse Now, Batman v Superman, The Matrix, Boyz in the Hood, CSI) and Andy Garcia (Oceans 11, Godfather 3, The Untouchables, Black Rain, When a Man Loves a Woman).
Rated PG for mild themes Lion, based on Saroo Brierley's biopic, A Long Way Home, is an inspiring true story beginning in Calcutta, India where a 5-year-old boy, Saroo, played by Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Last Airbender), becomes lost in the chaotic streets and railways of the city. Rescued by an Australian couple, he's adopted and raised in Australia. As he turns 30, his search for his biological parents using Google Earth succeeds and he travels back to India to find them. The film also stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, Australia, The Hours, The Interpreter, Bangkok Hilton), David Wenham (300, Lord of the Rings, Australia, Seachange) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Her, The Social Network).
Jackie – January 12 Classification rating pending Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis', the compelling First Lady to the assassinated President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, story is portrayed in this bio-drama. After the dramatic death of her husband in 1963, she withdrew from public life but her challenges to raise her children and enshrine their legacy is revealed in Jackie, starring Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Star Wars, Closer, Leon, Thor, V for Vendetta, New York, I Love You) in the title role. This premiere has generated much more positive buzz than other recently panned biopics of other modern-day princesses, Grace of Monaco and Diana. Jackie also stars Peter Sarsgaard (Blue Jasmine, Experimenter, Kinsey, Garden State, Night Moves, Jarhead), John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter, Alien, The Elephant Man, Nineteen Eighty-Four) and Greta Gerwig (To Rome with Love, Mistress America, Maggie's Plan, Greenberg).
Ballerina (image by Entertainment One)
Ballerina – January 12 Rated G
This 3D-animated adventure opens in 19th century France with Félicie (Elle Fanning – Maleficent, Super 8, We Bought a Zoo), a young orphan, journeying to with Victor (Dane DeHaan – The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lincoln, The Place Beyond the Pines, Life) to Paris to fulfil her dream to become a ballerina. In the bustling Parisian streets, Victor is diverted into the famous Gustave Eiffel's workshop (the real-life engineer and creator of the Eiffel Tower), as Félicie enters the high-pressure dance school in the Paris Opera. Tested by the intense choreographer, she's aided by a cryptic undertaker (Carly Rae Jepsen - Canadian Idol, Curiosity, Kiss, Grease: Live) and Victor's gadgets to star on stage. Ballerina also features the voice-acting talents of Terrence Scammell (Tripping the Rift, Rotten Ralph) and Maddie Ziegler (So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms).
A Man Called Ove (image by Nordisk Film)
A Man Called Ove – January 19 Rated M for violence and coarse language
Sweden, famous for Nordic-noir, with Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankel writing gritty, dark, socially critical crime mysteries, also has a sense of humour. Based on blogger Fredrik Backman's hilarious New York Times bestselling novel which spread throughout Australia in 2013, A Man Called Ove follows the daring nursing home escape of Ove (Rolf Holger Lassgĺrd - Kurt Wallander), a grumpy retiree. As he reflects upon his recently deceased wife and their enduring marriage, his cantankerous habits and officious comments put him at odds with his neighbours until a new family arrives. A series of suburban adventures begins as does a poignant friendship. This Swedish-language film also stars Bahar Pars, Filip Berg, Ida Engvoll and Chatarina Larsson.