• L-R: The Great Beauty, The Grand Budapest Hotel, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The White Balloon (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).
18 Dec 2020 - 3:32 PM  UPDATED 22 Dec 2020 - 5:48 PM

THIS WEEK'S MOVIES ON SBS, SBS VICELAND, NITV & SBS On Demand
TV Movie Guide: 28 December - 3 January
When it comes to movies, there's something for everybody on SBS, SBS VICELAND, NITV and SBS On Demand. Find out what's screening where and when.

Closed Captions (CC) are available for Kill the Messenger, Precious, Philomena, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boy, Maggie, 12 Years a Slave, Intolerable Cruelty, The King's Speech, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Destroyer and The Man Who Knew Infinity

 

MONDAY 28 DECEMBER

Kill the Messenger
7:30pm

MA15+, CC
USA, 2014
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Michael Cuesta
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Sheen
What's it about?
Based on the true story of Journalist Gary Webb, this film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb (played by Renner) uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the US that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series 'Dark Alliance'. As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fuelled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:

Precious
9:35pm

MA15+, CC
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 hand and foot on a poisonously angry mother (Mo'Nique, winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). In these conditions she grows up unloved and generally unnoticed. But underneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakable sense that other possibilities exist for her.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:
RELATED
Why You Should Watch: Precious
Sandy George has four good reasons to see Lee Daniels’ two-time Oscar winner this Saturday night at 8:30pm on SBS VICELAND.

 

TUESDAY 29 DECEMBER

Philomena
7:40pm

M, CC
UK, 2013
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy-Clark, Mare Winningham
What's it about?
When former journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan, who also co-wrote the film's Oscar-nominated screenplay) is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena (Dench, in an Oscar-nominated performance), who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son's fate.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:
RELATED
Philomena interview: Steve Coogan
The sardonic comic gets serious about his movie choices, and taking on the challenge of Philomena.
Philomena Review
Unfussy storytelling reveals a hidden gem.
Philomena: Stephen Frears interview
The veteran UK director and master of humanist storytelling talks Philomena and his long partnership with Judi Dench.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
9:30pm

M, CC
USA, 2014
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Tony Revolori, Owen Wilson, Jude Law
What's it about?
Adventures are in store for legendary concierge Gustave H (Fiennes), who works at a famous European hotel between the wars. His problems begin when one of the hotel's guests that he has had a romantic encounter with suddenly dies. The deceased woman (Swinton) leaves Gustave a valuable painting, much to the horror of her son (Brody). Written and directed by Wes Anderson (RushmoreThe Royal TenenbaumsMoonrise Kingdom) and nominated for 9 Academy Awards (including Best Picture).

NOTE: No Catch-up at SBS On Demand
RELATED
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson interview
The American original gives a revealing interview as his celebrated new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opens around the country.
The Grand Budapest Hotel Review
The return of a great storyteller.

 

WEDNESDAY 30 DECEMBER

Boy
7:55pm

M, CC
New Zealand, 2010
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: English
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: James Rolleston, Taika Waititi, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Mavis Paenga
What's it about?
Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother Rocky, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy's other hero, his father, Alamein, is the subject of Boy's fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, ware hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson. In reality, he's "in the can for robbery". When Alamein comes home after seven years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along without the hero he had been hoping for. Written, directed (and starring) Taika Waititi (Hunt For the WilderpeopleThor: Ragnarok).

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:
RELATED
Taika Waititi can’t make a bad movie
He made two great films in two years with 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' and 'Thor: Ragnarok' — and his winning streak goes back further than that.

The Great Beauty
9:30pm

MA15+
Italy, 2013
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: Italian
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso
What's it about?
Journalist Jep Gambardella (Servillo) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. But when his 65th birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafes to find Rome in all its glory - a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Picture.

RELATED
Dinner and a Movie: ‘The Great Beauty’ and pasta e fagioli
Match a meal from SBS Food with a movie at SBS on Demand, for the perfect night in.
The Great Beauty: Toni Servillo interview
Another collaboration with director Paolo Sorrentino, another great performance by Italian actor Toni Servillo.
The Great Beauty Review
An artful look at a melancholy life.

 

THURSDAY 31 DECEMBER

Maggie
7:45pm

M, CC
USA, 2015
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Henry Hobson
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Aiden Flowers
What's it about?
There's a deadly zombie epidemic threatening humanity, but Wade (Schwarzenegger), a small-town farmer and family man, refuses to accept defeat even when his daughter Maggie (Breslin) becomes infected. As Maggie's condition worsens and the authorities seek to eradicate those with the virus, Wade is pushed to the limits in an effort to protect her.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:

12 Years a Slave
9:30pm

MA15+, CC
USA, 2013
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt
What's it about?
In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free Black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles to survive and maintain some of his dignity. In the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada (Pitt) changes Solomon's life forever. Winner of Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:
INTERVIEW
'12 Years a Slave': Interview
Director Steve McQueen and actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender open up about their Oscar nominated drama on the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup.

 

FRIDAY 1 JANUARY

Intolerable Cruelty
7:35pm

M, CC
USA, 2003
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Starring: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Geoffrey Rush
What's it about?
A successful divorce attorney, Miles Massey (Clooney), marries a revenge-seeking gold digger (Zeta-Jones) who plans on making a killing from their divorce. An homage to classic Hollywood screwball comedies such as His Girl Friday and The Lady Eve from the Coen Brothers.

NOTE: No catch-up at SBS On Demand
REVIEW
Intolerable Cruelty review: A romantic comedy with bite
From its elegant opening credit titles to its completely satisfying conclusion, this is sheer delight.

The King's Speech
9:30pm

M, CC
UK, 2010
Genre: Drama, History
Language: English
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle
What's it about?
After the death of his father King George V and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie (Firth), who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Rush). Winner of Best Picture at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Streaming after broadcast at SBS On Demand:
RELATED
The King’s Speech Review
A right royal tale of friendship, duty and diction.

 

SATURDAY 2 JANUARY

The White Balloon
6:55pm

G
Iran, 1995
Genre: Drama
Language: Persian
Director: Jafar Panahi
Starring: Aida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy, Anna Borkowska
What's it about?
An international success and the winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 1995, Jafar Panahi's (OffsideThe Circle) film follows a little girl trying to find the money her mother gave her to buy a goldfish. A charming allegory that celebrates tenacity, ingenuity, and the wide-eyed innocence of youth. Co-written by Abbas Kiarostami (The Taste of Cherry, Close-Up, Certified Copy).

RELATED
Jafar Panahi at SBS On Demand
Three compelling realist studies of three different generations of resilient women in contemporary Iran (and one self-portrait from Panahi himself, made under house arrest) from one of the country's most fearless and influential filmmakers.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
8:30pm

M, CC
USA, 2000
Genre: Comedy, Adventure, Action
Language: English
Director: Joel Coen
Starring: George Clooney, John Turturro, Holly Hunter, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman
What's it about?
Based loosely on Homer's Odyssey this Coen brothers gem follows the misadventures of escaped con Ulysses Everett McGill (Clooney) and his none-too-bright sidekicks Pete (Turturro) and Delmar (Nelson). The trio tries to make its way back to Ulysses' Penelope (Hunter) before she can marry again. This hit comedy from the Coen Brothers (FargoNo Country For Old Men) was nominated for two 2001 Academy Awards (Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.)

NOTE: No catch-up at SBS On Demand
RELATED
How George Clooney's 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' accent was a family affair
George Clooney has revealed he turned to his uncle from Kentucky for help getting into character for 'O Brother, Where Art Thou'.
O Brother, Where Art Thou review: Original, unusual and entertaining
An odyssey full of surprises

Destroyer
10:30pm

MA15+, CC
USA, 2018
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama, Action
Language: English
Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Tatiana Maslany, Bradley Whitford, Toby Kebbell
What's it about?
Erin Bell (Kidman) is an LAPD detective who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader (Kebbell) of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past. Directed by Karyn Kusama (GirlfightThe Invitation). 

 

SUNDAY 3 JANUARY

The Man Who Knew Infinity
6:30pm

PG, CC
UK, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Matt Brown
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry
What's it about?
When self-taught mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan (Patel) fails out of college, he does not give up hope. Determined to pursue his passion, he contacts Professor GH Hardy (Irons) and is invited to attend Trinity College.  

Rojo
8:30pm

MA15+
Argentina, 2018
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Language: Spanish
Director: Benjamín Naishtat
Starring: Darío Grandinetti, Andrea Frigerio, Alfredo Castro, Laura Grandinetti, Claudio Martínez Bel, Susana Pampín, Rafael Federman, Diego Cremonesi, Rudy Chernicoff, Mara Bestelli
What's it about?
Claudio (Grandinetti) is a well-known lawyer and pillar of his community in the Granada of 1975, where the unease of the impending coup d'etat is already hanging heavy in the air. After a heated altercation with a menacing man at a restaurant, Claudio and his wife Susana will meet the same stranger on their way home - an encounter that starts the lawyer out on an unthinkable road of no-return littered with death, secrets and silences.

 

Click here for details of SBS World Movies' Summer of Discovery 

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