December’s Trailer Recommendations
Festivals are over, and in December and January, the streaming platforms seem determined to devour every free minute of our end-of-year holiday. Cinemas join the fight by relying on a long-awaited sequel, and art film distributors know that now is the best time to release their most tempting premieres. That being said, we got a little bit of something for everyone!
And Just Like That… (comedy-drama miniseries created by Michael Patrick King)
If the ’90s medical drama series (in particular ER and Chicago Hope) convinced the audience that once you get into a hospital, doctors and nurses are ready to sacrifice everything to heal your body (and sometimes even your soul), the global phenomenon Sex and the City pulled the rug from under us with the idea that it is enough to write a weekly editorial to afford to fill your closet with Manolo Blahniks. Even so, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte had a lot to say two decades ago, but the two feature films made for the big screen (2008, 2010) have drastically diminished their relevance, and the trailer above doesn’t quite prove that they’ve regained it, especially after Kim Cattrall decided not to reprise her role as Samantha. But let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions.
And Just Like That… premieres on HBO on December 9.
Don’t Look Up (satire, dir. Adam McKay)
Adam McKay built his career with a series of comedies starring Will Ferrell (in my opinion an acquired taste almost impossible to acquire), but in 2015, he hit the jackpot with The Big Short, and this year, he offers the most attractive premise for a film premiere: two astronomers (Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio) discover that a comet as big as Everest is heading towards Earth, and the collision will most certainly destroy the planet. To their surprise, humanity (authorities, press, public opinion) refuses to pay attention to them… Here is an incredible premise that is handled very credibly in the film (I saw it and it’s very good), the allusions to the pandemic and the absurd reactions around it being quite obvious.
The Netflix premiere is scheduled for December 24, so we got one week to digest the ideas presented in Don’t Look Up and decide whether to start 2022 more awake or still indulging in Instagram, consumerism, and instant gratification.
Stay Close (crime drama miniseries created by Harlan Coben)
Yes, Harlan Coben is an overrated author and I won’t forgive him for The Woods, the Polish series that stole 306 minutes of my life. But from time to time, Coben delivers and may regain some ground with Stay Close, part of a huge contract signed by the author with Netflix, which will produce and release, over the span of five years, adaptations after 14 of his novels. The most interesting name in the miniseries cast is undoubtedly James Nesbitt, here as a detective obsessed with an old unsolved case. We also have a housewife (Cush Jumbo from the popular legal series The Good Fight) haunted by her past as a stripper who is prepared to do anything so that her husband and children will never find out about it.
Netflix premiere on December 31.
The Gilded Age (period drama series created by Julian Fellowes & Sonja Warfield)
You say Julian Fellowes and you automatically think of Downton Abbey. Anything that this prominent figure in British television has made since then can’t be compared to the global success of the Crawley family’s adventures, but perhaps The Gilded Age, in which HBO has invested generous budgets, will at least come close to the global popularity of the superhit that kept the eyes of all England fixed upon the ITV channel with each new episode. The events in The Gilded Age take place in the 1880s New York City, and at the center of attention, we have Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski), a socialite whose status and old values will be put to test by the emerging modern world. Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) plays the heroine’s less fortunate sister.
HBO premiere on January 24.
Inventing Anna (drama miniseries created by Shonda Rhimes)
A disapproving growl escaped me when I saw the trailer for Bridgerton, but the show broke Netflix viewership records, further proof that Shonda Rhimes turns everything she makes into gold. Coming out in February, Inventing Anna is a series based on a true story that retraces the unexpected itinerary of a Russian woman, Anna Sorokin (Julia Garner, known for her role in Ozark), who cons her way into the New York social elite as Anna Delvey, a German wealthy heiress. It’s no spoiler that Sorokin later went to jail for the long string of scams that topped up her accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another interesting fact is that Lena Dunham (Girls) is working with HBO on another series inspired by her life.
Netflix premiere on February 22.
The Matrix Resurrections (science fiction action, dir. Lana Wachowski)
The most anticipated sequel of the year? Of the decade? Of the last two decades? Matrix 4 has a great chance to overturn in a single week the top grossing movies of the year, as Star Wars did in previous years or, before them, The Hobbit. The above trailer has been released very recently and, unfortunately, it fails to erase the feeling of “same old, same old” given by the images. Let’s hope that the story doesn’t spoon-feed us convoluted philosophies like Matrix 2 and that it’s not total chaos like Matrix 3.
Coming out in cinemas on December 24.
Spencer (biopic, dir. Pablo Larraín)
The news that Kristen Stewart will play Princess Diana in a new biopic by the Chilean director Pablo Larraín has caused a real (but not very flattering) roar on the Internet, but the actress and the director carried on with their work and when they released the first images with Stewart in the role, I thought to myself “come on, it’s not that bad”. The film has an attractive premise: we see Diana at a turning point, when the “queen of the heart” decides, over the course of a few days, to say goodbye to her marriage, although this decision will surely turn her into a pariah in the royal family. Choosing your own path instead of a bright but poisonous status is a real challenge…
Coming out in cinemas on December 17.
Tre Piani/Three Floors (drama, dir. Nanni Moretti)
One of the most famous and awarded Italian directors, Nanni Moretti tries his hand at adaptations by making a film based on the 2017 novel Shalosh Qomot by Israeli writer Eshkol Nevo. Released at Cannes (where it received an eleven-minute ovation but no awards), the film takes us to a residential complex in Rome where we witness the changes in the lives of three families over a decade. Margherita Buy, Riccardo Scamarcio and Alba Rohrwacher play the lead roles, along with Moretti himself.
Coming out in cinemas on January 7.