• From left: The Motorcycle Diaries, Saint Laurent, The Mercy, Sweet Country (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Your guide to some of the stories from around the world, screening on Australia's own HD SBS World Movies channel (Digital channel 32).
By
SBS Movies

27 Dec 2019 - 4:45 PM  UPDATED 27 Dec 2019 - 4:45 PM

MONDAY 30 DECEMBER

Paris or Perish
7:50PM

G
France, 2013
Genre: Comedy
Language: Arabic, French
Director: Reem Kherici
Starring: Reem Kherici, Tarek Boudali, Cécile Cassel, Philippe Lacheau
What's it about?
Maya (Kherici), an up and coming young Moroccan stylist, is about to get her first full-time job, in a famous fashion house. Childhood in a working class suburb and her family in Morocco are behind her now, she is now officially an 'it girl' in the world of fashion and Saint Germain des Pres. As bad luck would have it, a simple police check reveals that her green card has expired and in less than 24 hours she is on a direct flight to Morocco, back to the country and family she had wanted to forget, for a shock of cultures and a shock of prejudices.

Sonja: The White Swan
9:30PM

M
Norway, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: English,
Director: Anne Sewitsky
Starring: Ine Marie Wilmann, Valene Kane, Eldar Skar, Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Mordal
What's it about?
The true story of one of the world's greatest athletes and the inventor of modern figure skating, who decides to go to Hollywood in 1936 to become a movie star. Her first film breaks the box office by selling the most tickets in the world in 1937. It is the story of a remarkable, iconic person who sacrificed everything to stay in the spotlight.

TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER

Sweet Country
7:30PM

MA15+
Australia, 2017
Genre: Drama, History, Western
Language: English
Director: Warwick Thornton
Starring: Hamilton Morris, Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Thomas M. Wright, Ewen Leslie
What's it about?
It’s 1929 on the vast, desert-like, Eastern Arrernte Nation lands that are now known as the Central Australian outback. Sam Kelly, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith. After an ill-tempered bully arrives in town and Kelly kills him in self-defence, he and his wife go on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down. Warwick Thornton's acclaimed follow-up to 2009's landmark Samson & Delilah.

Warwick Thornton talks up his Venice award-winning film, 'Sweet Country'

Love & Mercy
9:35PM

M
USA, 2014
Genre: 
Drama, Music, Biography
Language: 
English
Director: 
Bill Pohlad
Starring: 
Paul Dano, John Cusack, Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Banks 
What's it about?
In the mid-60's, Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson (played by Dano in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) grapples with his inner demons during the creation of the now-classic “Pet Sounds” album, even as the late 1980s Wilson (played by Cusack) escapes the influence of the domineering Dr. Landy (Giamatti) with the help of protective girlfriend Melinda (Banks).

Love and Mercy review: Paul Dano magnificent as Brian Wilson

WEDNESDAY 1 JANUARY

Beauty and the Beast
7:30PM

PG
France, 2014
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Language: French
Director: Christophe Gans
Starring: Vincent Cassel, André Dussollier, Eduardo Noriega, Léa Seydoux
What's it about?
In this adaptation of the classic fairy tale, an unexpected romance blooms after the youngest daughter (Seydoux) of a merchant (Dussollier) offers herself to the mysterious beast (Cassel) to which her father has become indebted. 

The Mercy
9:35PM

M
UK, 2018
Genre: Drama, Adventure
Language: English, Spanish
Director: James Marsh
Starring: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss
What's it about?
In 1968, Donald Crowhurst, an amateur sailor, endangers the fate of his family and business, and his own life, blinded by his ambition to compete in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, attempting to become the first person in history to single-handedly circumnavigate the world without making any stopover.

THURSDAY 2 JANUARY

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
7:30PM

G
Canada, France, 2013
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Language: English
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie
What's it about?
A 12-year-old cartographer (Catlett) secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father (Rennie) and scientist mother (Carter) and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, co-director of AmelieDelicatessen and The City of Lost Children.

Saint Laurent
9:30PM

MA15+
France, 2014
Genre: Biography, Drama
Language: French
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, Léa Seydoux, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel, Brady Corbet
What's it about?
A look at the life of the late French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent (Ulliel), from 1965 to 1976 when he was at the peak of his career. From acclaimed director Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama, House of Pleasures).

Saint Laurent Review

FRIDAY 3 JANUARY

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
7:30PM

M
France, 2007
Genre: Biography, Drama
Language: French
Director: Julian Schnabel
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Marie-Josée Croze, Max Von Sydow, Emmanuelle Seigner
What's it about?
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Amalric), who suffers a stroke, leaving him entirely immobile, with his right eye the only fully functioning part of his body. Nominated for four Oscars including Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography and Editing.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Review

La Vie en Rose
9:35PM

M
France, 2007
Genre: Music, Drama, Biography
Language: French
Director: Olivier Dahan
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Seigner, Sylvie Testud
What's it about?
A biopic about the legendary international singing icon Edith Piaf (Cotillard, in an Oscar-winning performance), whose voice and talent captivated the world. The remarkable artist was born into poverty but survived using the only gift she had – her voice. Piaf's tragic life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love, with no regrets.  

La Vie En Rose review: You will have no regrets seeing this.

SATURDAY 4 JANUARY

The Motorcycle Diaries
7:30PM

M
Argentina, USA, 2004
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Biography
Language: Spanish, English
Director: Walter Salles
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De La Serna, Mercedes Morán
What's it about?
This acclaimed film is based on the written memoir of Che Guevara. In January 1952, the almost 30-year-old biochemist Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) and his younger friend, the 23-year-old student close to finishing his medical degree, Ernesto Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal), set off from Buenos Aires on an old but treasured Norton 500 for an adventure through Latin America. By the time they get to Machu Pichu, the middle class young men have begun to see Latin America through eyes that have been opened to poverty and oppression, big business and the sheer hardship of daily life. 

The Movie Show reviews The Motorcycle Diaries. The Movie Show Episode 36 2004

Precious
9:50PM

MA15+
USA, 2009
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Lee Daniels
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Bill Sage
What's it about?
Set in Harlem in 1987. Precious (Sidibe, in an Oscar nominated lead performance) endures unimaginable hardships in her young life. She's pregnant for the second time to her abusive father; at home she must wait hand and foot on a poisonously angry mother (Mo'Nique, winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). In these conditions she grows up poor, angry, illiterate, overweight, unloved and generally unnoticed. But underneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her.

Why You Should Watch: Precious

SUNDAY 5 JANUARY

Labyrinth of Lies
7:30PM

M
Germany, 2014
Genre: Drama, History
Language: German
Director: Giulio Ricciarelli
Starring: Alexander Fehling, André Szymanski, Friederike Becht, Johann von Bülow
What's it about?
Germany, 1958. Nobody wants to look back to the time of the Nazi regime, so when young prosecuting attorney Johann Radmann (Fehling) comes across sensitive documents that would bring members of the SS who served in Auschwitz to trial, he is told to bury the past. However, against the will of his superiors, he begins to examine the case and lands in a web of repression and denial.

Female Agents
9:45PM

MA15+
France, 2008
Genre: Drama, History, War
Language: French
Director: Jean-Paul Salomé
Starring: Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Moritz Bleibtreu, Deborah Francis, Marie Gillain
What's it about?
A five-woman commando unit parachutes into occupied France in May 1944 on a daring and dangerous mission to protect the secret of the D-Day Landings and eliminate Colonel Heindrich (Bleibtreu), the head of the German counter-intelligence. Louise (Marceau) is a trained sniper and the widow of a Resistance leader. Jeanne (Depardieu) is a tough sex worker who won't hesitate to kill. Gaelle (Francis) is a young and brilliant explosives expert desperate to see some action. Suzy (Gillain) is a stunning former showgirl and Heindrich's one-time lover. Maria (Maya Sansa) is an Italian contessa undercover with the French Resistance.

Female Agents review: Spy drama goes beyond the Mata Hari myth