2023 may be coming to an end, some might say, at a rather brisk pace, but there is always time for some amazing cinematic releases. This is your guide to some of the most anticipated end of year releases, including Christmas films to bring on that festive spirit.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be released on 17th November. A spin off book, following on from Suzanne Collins’ incredibly successful ‘The Hunger Games’ book series, is also following suit in being adapted from page to screen. The book was released in May 2020 during the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown, and follows the backstory of the infamous villain in the main series: Coriolanus Snow. It depicts his life before he became the tyrant leader of Panem, where he has to mentor a female tribute from District 12 (Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler) for the 10th annual Hunger Games. But to spice thing up (or indeed, just make life for Snow, played by Tom Blyth, that much harder), he falls in love with his mentee. It will be interesting to see how closely the film follows the structure of the book, as the previous four films have stayed incredibly true to the story portrayed in the pages. If the trailer is anything to go by, this film will be action packed, steeped with adventure and science fiction, enveloped in a war-infested and turbulent society through which the characters must navigate.
It will be interesting to see how closely the film follows the structure of the book, as the previous four films have stayed incredibly true to the story portrayed in the pages.
Slightly later in the month, on 22nd November, Napoleon will hit the big screen. With a run time of 2 hours and 38 minutes, it seems the lengthy viewings for 2023 won’t just stop at Oppenheimer (which has a duration of roughly 3 hours!). This film will take a historical and biographical approach to discussing the life of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and will capture the volatile relationship he has with his wife, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). Calling in the Oscar winning Joaquin Phoenix to bring this character to life will make this a fascinating and encapsulating watch, as we are familiar with his brilliant work in Joker, 2019. The film, it is said, will feature six major battle sequences, providing enough action to keep us hooked and really guide us through Napoleon’s history. Filming took place at many stunning locations, such as the Lincoln Cathedral in England (to represent Notre-Dame de Paris) and Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara to (represent Napoleon’s first victory site in 1793: the siege of Toulon). After release in the cinemas, the film will be available on Apple TV+.
If you’re a fan of motor racing then this one is for you: Ferrari, directed by Michael Mann. A cast with a wealth of talent includes Adam Driver starring as the main man Enzo Ferrari, alongside Penelope Cruz, and Shailene Woodley. Another biographic cinematic masterpiece is set to hit our screens before we can wave goodbye to 2023, but this time, we are set in the summer of 1957, just seven years after Formula One first materialised and became a prominent feature in modern day sporting events. The story follows Enzo Ferrari in a financial crisis as he fights bankruptcy to save the company he and his wife Laura built from the bottom up a decade earlier. Struggling through a marriage and the loss of a son, Enzo is in a traumatic and terrifying moment in his life and entrepreneurial career. He decides to take a leap of faith and launch into the Mille Miglia – a 1000-mile precarious race across Italy. The Ferrari brand is a household name, significant to many people, so it is expected that this will be heavily criticised for how every element in the film speaks to us.
The Ferrari brand is a household name, significant to many people, so it is expected that this will be heavily criticised for how every element in the film speaks to us.
Now onto Christmas: Silent Night, but not as we know it. Rather than being associated with a biblical melody, this film rather focusses on a man (Joel Kinnaman) avenging his son’s death, who was killed on Christmas Eve by gang activity. No typical cosy Christmas is shown here; instead, it is substituted for an action thriller genre within a Christmas setting. The film’s title also alludes to the fact that there is no dialogue throughout the film, which will be an interesting take on this style and genre. The cast features Catalina Sandino Moreno, Harold Torres, and Scott Mescudi and will be in cinemas come December 1st.
Red One. Not much is known about the film starring Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans, so an exact release date is to be determined, but it has been anticipated to be released before the end of the year, particularly as it is a holiday movie that also encompasses comedy, action, and adventure. Apparently, it will be released on Prime Video. The suspense builds!
Other notable films to be released throughout November and December include: The Marvels (10th November), Wish (22nd November), Wonka (15th December), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (20th December), and The Colour Purple (25th December). Interestingly, The Colour Purple will be the second film adaptation of the 1982 novel of the same name, after the 1985 film directed by Spielberg. On Netflix, ‘The Crown’ will begin its sixth and final season, and ‘Squid Game’ becomes a competition / game show!
Despite the curtains are about to fall on 2023, the film industry still has a bounty of both inciteful and thrilling films to be released.