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Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, NT Live’s The Lehman Trilogy) brings a singular vision to his wartime epic. At the height of the Great War two British soldiers (George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission: they must cross enemy territory to deliver a message that will stop 1600 men from walking into a deadly trap laid by the retreating German army. Shot in a dramatic ‘single take’ by master cinematographer Roger Deakins and performed in real-time by an epic cast, Mendes has crafted a breathtaking cinematic experience and an immediate Oscar frontrunner.

A thrilling tale of escape, the Stasi, and the division of Germany, BALLOON finds two families trying to enact a daring plan to fly a hot air balloon out of the GDR. Directed by Michael Bully Herbig and based on a true story, a homemade hot air balloon was the escape route of choice for the Wetzel and Strelzyk families. Secretly building the balloon in a cellar over 18 months, the families’ lift off one night – only to crash just before the border of West Germany. The Stasi are soon in pursuit, and the escape is an increasingly desperate race against time. A film relevant in terms of the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, BALLOON is a look at one particularly spectacular escape attempt out of the thousands that took place from East Germany in the ‘60s and ‘70s – as well as a pertinent study on what it means to be free, and the lengths those who aren’t will go to. German language, English subtitles.

When a jaded magazine writer (Matthew Rhys) is assigned to profile iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), he sets out to discover the ‘real person’ behind the kindly television personality. Based on the true story of a meeting between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) crafts a poignant tribute to a TV star that became a neighbour and defacto parent to millions of American children. Many films will stir tears, laughter and consideration, but Heller’s drama will inspire you to be a better person.

A documentary tackling environmental issues whilst following two farmers and their homestead, Apricot Lane Farm, THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM shows us an idyllic “what could be” – chasing the dream of a sustainable farm. Filmmaker John Chester, his wife, and his dog have taken to the land to try and live off it: eight years on, the natural world has started rebounding, alive with growth and produce. Chester has created a documentary that shows nature taking the wheel, imbuing the couple’s lives with beauty and possibility, while also guiding them through drought, fire and death. Ultimately, THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM offers hope, beauty, and a vision of a natural world we all hope will be our way forward.

Inspired by the fall from grace of king-making Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman feature alongside Oscar nominee Margot Robbie in a compelling all-star drama. A look inside the most influential media empire of the twenty first century, screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Big Short) tells the explosive story of the women who dared to defy the man who created it. Co-starring John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Kate McKinnon and Malcolm McDowell, Emmy Award winning director Jay Roach crafts a powerful polemic ripped from the headlines. BOMBSHELL is available for private and advance group bookings from December 21! Please email our Groups Co-ordinator for further information: admin@cinemanova.com.au

Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) stars alongside adorable tyke Julian Atocani Sanchez as our titular hero Sailboat, a young boy whose chance discovery of a ukulele inspires him to write the greatest song ever heard - capturing the hearts of his fellow students and the residents of his drought-stricken town. Directed by Australian filmmaker Cameron Nugent amid the stunning vistas of the American Midwest, this quirky comedy recalls the films of Wes Anderson and evergreen classic Napoleon Dynamite; offering a breath of fresh cinematic air for the whole family.

From director Ayumu Watanabe, and veteran composer Joe Hisaishi of Studio Ghibli, comes CHILDREN OF THE SEA: a kaleidoscopic film anime full of stunning visuals of a world under the sea that draws the viewer in. Teenager Ruka has always been fascinated by the mysteries of the ocean – both of her parents are oceanographers, and her dad works at the aquarium. When she meets Umi and Sora, two boys raised by dugongs, she’s drawn back into the water’s secrets: right as the world’s marine life begins to disappear. Based on Daisuke Igarashi’s award-winning manga, CHILDREN OF THE SEA is a film of breathtaking imagery, a dreamy score, and ends up a timely approach to the issues facing the world’s oceans. Japanese language with English subtitles

Nova exclusive! Louie Schwartzberg gives us incredible, eye-popping time-lapse photography of dozens of weird and wonderful mushrooms you’ve never heard of, interspersed with renowned scientists and mycologists extolling the virtues and biochemistry of those life forms existing somewhere between plants and animals. FANTASTIC FUNGI highlights the beauty, intelligence and also the solutions the ‘mushroom kingdom’ offer us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.

A hit with critics and audiences, Lulu Wang's poignant comedy is set to be remembered as one of the best films of the year. Awkwafina stars as Billi, a young Chinese-American woman whose family congregates in Changchun, China, to celebrate a wedding – but it’s all a ruse. The family matriarch, Billi’s grandmother Nai-Nai, is dying, and Nai-Nai doesn’t know: the family have gathered to give them an excuse to be all together one last time. Tackling familial expectations, the meaning of home and whether “a good lie” makes someone leaving any easier, THE FAREWELL explores how families function when protecting one of their own. Based on Wang’s real life experiences of her own grandmother, it’s a story of how we can be one in ourselves, yet part of a greater whole as a family. Some Mandarin language with English subtitles.

Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in FORD v FERRARI, based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. Director James Mangold's heart-pounding drama debuted at the Telluride Film Festival where it immediately placed at the head of awards race. Seamlessly blending trackside thrills with an intimate story of a team who would repeatedly put their lives on the line, FORD V FERRARI is top-shelf Hollywood filmmaking led by a stellar cast including Tracy Letts, Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe and Nova's own Benjamin Rigby.

FRIDA: VIVA LA VIDA is a cinematic documentary that highlights Frida Kahlo’s two souls: the woman, fiercely independent and tormented by love, and the artist, free from the leashes of her physical bounds. Acclaimed actress and director Asia Argento will join us to uncover the two faces of the iconic artist through Frida's own words: letters, diaries and private confessions. Journey deep in the heart of Mexico to explore the heart and soul of Frida Kahlo, including big screen access to her masterpieces in some of Mexico’s most extraordinary museums. A deep dive into Frida’s art of opposites and dualism - pain and pleasure, darkness and light, moon and sun, life in death and death in life.

Few filmmakers appear to have as much fun as Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), who offers up a stylish and witty British comedy showcasing a rip-roaring cast. Matthew McConaughey is underworld mogul Mickey Pearson: working at the top of his game but ready to cash out and go legit. Entertaining buyers from across the criminal landscape, he soon attracts the sort of attention that could see his plans go horribly awry. Hugh Grant (in career-best form), Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Colin Farrell (looking fine in a tartan tracksuit), Charlie Hunnam (The Lost City Of Z), Jeremy Strong (Succession) and Eddie Marsan join in on the action-packed caper.

Career con artist Roy Courtney (Ian McKellen) can hardly believe his luck when he meets wealthy widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) through a dating website. Carefully crafting a scheme to fleece her of her millions with the aid of his partner in crime (Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter), Roy is surprised to find himself caring for the kindly Betty and second-guessing his plan. Distracted by the reappearance of a past patsy and keenly watched by Betty’s wary grandson (Russell Tovey), Roy’s dilemma will keep you guessing in Bill Condon’s twisted and tricky British thriller.

Following its triumphant debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, Lorene Scafaria's HUSTLERS has been catapulted into the Awards Season conversation thanks to a career-best performance by Jennifer Lopez and its gritty true-crime tale of revenge. Destiny (Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians) is trying to find her feet at a New York strip club when she meets confident crowd-favourite Ramona (Jennifer Lopez). Working together, the two women improve their personal fortunes thanks to the indulgences of bankers and financiers while Wall Street booms. Until it doesn't. As the Global Financial Crisis takes its toll the women embark on a scheme to make those who caused the crash pay in an unexpected and personal way. Recalling Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, Scafaria's energetic and edgy adaptation of Jessica Pressler's article The Hustlers At Scores co-stars Julia Stiles, Mercedes Ruehl, Cardi B and Lizzo. "A lean, fierce take on the nature of female empowerment" (Independent UK), "A Best Actress Oscar nomination for Jennifer Lopez? You better believe it. This you don't want to miss." (Rolling Stone), "The kind of era-defining film that Hollywood didn't know it needed." (Empire), "A lush, lavish joy that's difficult to forget." (Atlantic), "Funny, empowering, sexy, emotional, and a bit scary, with most of those superlatives coming care of a full-force performance from Jennifer Lopez genuinely deserving of awards consideration." (IndieWire).

Based on true events, director Nils Tavernier (The Finishers) paints a love story set in the late 19th century south of France in THE IDEAL PALACE. Cheval (Jacques Gamblin) is a solitary daydreaming postman who falls in love with Philomène (Laetitia Casta). The pair soon sees the arrival of their daughter, Alice – and Cheval’s entire world is changed. He sets about building Alice a castle of stone with his bare hands, and the project he takes on will form the next 30 years of his life. Persistence, love and legacy are all explored in the tale of one man’s epic undertaking – the pursuit of his ideal palace. French language, English subtitles.

Nova-favourite writer/director Taika Waititi (Boy, Hunt For The Wilderpeople) brings his signature style of humour to his Toronto Film Festival Audience Award winner, set in Nazi Germany. Roman Griffin Davis plays Jojo; a fanatical boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his beloved mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided by his imaginary friend Adolf (Taika Waititi), Jojo is forced to confront his blind nationalism. A self-described ‘f**k you' to Hitler, JOJO RABBIT is fresh, funny, unexpected and bold – making it the perfect film for modern times. Co-starring Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Thomasin McKenzie.

Completely subverting the big-screen comicbook adaptation, Joaquin Phoenix gives one of the performances of the year in JOKER. The year is 1981 and the city is in the midst of a crisis. Garbage is piling-up on the streets, the divide between rich and poor is growing, health funding is being cut and people are getting angry. Arthur Fleck, clown for hire and aspiring stand-up comedian, spends his time entertaining others, visiting his psychologist and caring for his frail mother (Frances Conroy). When circumstances cause him to lose his job, Arthur begins a downward spiral that is fueled by the unkindness and mockery of others until a chance meeting with a neighbour (Zazie Beetz) offers a glimmer of hope for the wannabe comic. Giving a killer performance as a man on the edge, Phoenix and director Todd Phillips' vision pays homage to the gritty early films of Martin Scorsese while crafting a film for the modern age which also cleverly references the performer's own unusual career trajectory, delivering what is bound to become one of the year's most discussed films. - "This is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism - arguably the best social horror film since Get Out - and Joaquin Phoenix is magnetic in it" (Time Out) - "Having brazenly plundered the films of Scorsese, Phillips fashions stolen ingredients into something new, so that what began as a gleeful cosplay session turns progressively more dangerous - and somehow more relevant, too" (Guardian) - "Joker is a thunderously powerful character study of a man with a mental illness, and a ferocious indictment of a society that doesn't treat the mentally ill with compassion" (Daily Mail) - "Like the best of the New Hollywood classics it references, this is a film that exhilarates and unsettles while having something to say about today" (Financial Times) - "One of the true masterpieces of the superhero cinema, and one of 2019's greatest achievements" (Forbes), "Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself" (Empire)

Renee Zellweger gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Judy Garland in director Rupert Goold's JUDY. Born Frances Gumm, Hollywood starlet Judy Garland became a household name following the release of The Wizard Of Oz. Lorded over by MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, young Garland's life was a highly choreographed affair lived in front of camera lens. Years later Garland (Zellweger) is a brittle shadow of the upbeat young woman audiences had fallen in love with, struggling financially and rarely seen on-screen. Invited to London to perform a series of live shows, Garland embarks upon what she hopes will be her comeback but soon discovers that past demons are hard to leave behind. Thoroughly inhabiting the role of tarnished star Judy Garland, Zellweger gives a monumental performance complete with musical numbers that capture the actress at her most electric. Co-starring Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon, and based on the stageplay 'End of the Rainbow'.

A powerful and thought-provoking true story about a young lawyer and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan (Michael B. Jordan) might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political manoeuvrings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

Director Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom) turns his hand to whodunnit: murder mystery flick KNIVES OUT is his latest clever self-penned offering. Assembling quite the cast of Hollywood heavyweights, the film sees a famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) murdered at his home; enter Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who’s brought in to figure out what has gone so horribly awry. Who is a suspect, and who’s just a dysfunctional family member? Red herrings, lies and intrigue steer a rollicking black comedy, also starring Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans and Michael Shannon, that crackles as it unfolds on screen.

Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age tale of four young sisters determined to live life on their own terms has been put to film many times over the years, though none are quite like director Greta Gerwig’s (Lady Bird) acclaimed adaptation. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) shines as the inimitable Jo March alongside a stellar cast including Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. Shot on location in Massachusetts – where Alcott grew up in real life – Gerwig’s film captures the authenticity and warmth of Alcott’s original story in a new vision that gives it bold modern flair. LITTLE WOMEN is available for private and advance group bookings from December 12! Please email our Groups Co-ordinator for further information: admin@cinemanova.com.au

Nick Broomfield (Whitney: Can I Be Me, Biggie + Tupac) returns with his elegiac style of filmmaking with another chapter of music drenched in history: Leonard Cohen’s life. MARIANNE + LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE follows the maverick and his muse - Marianne Ihlen - beginning on the Greek Island of Hydra in 1960, when Cohen was an unknown writer and Marianna a young mother. Joining a community of expat creatives, Leonard and Marianne soon made musical history - but the parts you don’t know are captured here by Broomfield with never-before-seen footage. A portrait of a friendship that lasted fifty years until their deaths, Broomfield bids a sweet “so long” to them both.

Nova exclusive! Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) returns with a disarmingly personal documentary about one of the world’s most famous politicians. Now 87, visionary former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R Mikhail Gorbachev has mellowed but remains resolute and driven. Celebrating Gorbachev’s remarkable accomplishments including reducing the international nuclear weapon count, the reunification of Germany, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, through unforgettable archive material Herzog reminds us of the unforeseeable way the world can change.

Anthony Minghella’s vividly cinematic staging returns to cinemas, featuring soprano Hui He in the devastating title role. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts one of opera’s most beautiful and heartbreaking scores, with a cast that also includes tenor Bruce Sledge as Pinkerton, baritone Paulo Szot as Sharpless, and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki.

Oscar nominee Keira Knightley stars in the true story of Katharine Gun – British intelligence specialist and ultimate whistleblower – from acclaimed director Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game, Tsotsi). Intelligence translator Katharine (Knightley) receives an accidental email outlining a blackmail plan by the US to swing the UN Security Council on the matter of going to war with Iraq. Leaking the details to The Observer, Katharine soon realises that more than just her job is now at risk. With an impassioned performance from Knightley and a gold standard array of British actors: Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans, Hood’s feature illuminates a little-known name whose actions should have had larger consequences – and an ordinary woman thrown into very extraordinary circumstances.

Quentin Tarantino's 1969-set masterpiece returns, bookended with ten extra minutes of previously deleted scenes plus commercials shot for the film. Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) returns with the hugely anticipated ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD. Reteaming with Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) and Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), Tarantino takes us back to the summer of ’69 where Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) - always accompanied by long-time stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) - is an actor past his prime. Reminded of his fading stardom by the rising fortunes of neighbour Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her director husband Roman Polanski, the two men work to rescue Rick’s career as a sinister presence threatens to shake Hollywood to its core. When an early version of the film debuted at the Cannes film festival, critics raved about Tarantino’s long in the works recreation of a pivotal moment in American history, catapulting the film into the awards season conversation. Co-starring Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Luke Perry, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning and Australia’s own Damon Herriman, ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD is a retro ode to eras gone by, and a blissfully crafted look at a world that has Tarantino transfixed.

Pedro Almodóvar teams up again with his long-time collaborators Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz in PAIN AND GLORY, a nostalgic ode to an ageing filmmaker – one who perhaps may echo Almodóvar himself. Salvador (Banderas) is a filmmaker in his 60s, becoming increasingly incapacitated by his body’s limitations and wondering if he has any movies left to make. Reunited with an old estranged friend, Alberto (Asier Etxeandia), Salvador finds himself dabbling in drug use, feeling young again, and reflecting on his relationship with his mother (played in flashbacks by Cruz), as well as his childhood and sexuality. Outstanding in its cinematography and lush in its storytelling, Almodóvar is back with a true return to form with PAIN AND GLORY – and with one of the finest vessels that have been lent to both Banderas and Cruz.

From master filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho (The Host, Snowpiercer, Mother) comes the Palme d'Or winning comic thriller, set to take Cinema Nova audiences by storm. Ki-Taek (Song Kang-Ho, The Host) and his family are living meal-to-meal in the slums of South Korea. Making ends meet by folding pizza boxes, Ki-Taek's son Ki-Woo (Choi Woo-shik, Train To Busan) is offered the chance to tutor the young daughter of a wealthy family. Ingratiating himself into the home of Mr and Mrs Park, Ki-Woo quickly engineers the employment of his sister as a tutor for the family's young son. This sets off a chain of events that brings together the two families in an unexpected and sinister way. Earning critical acclaim from critics upon it's Cannes debut, PARASITE finds director Bon Joon-Ho "in total control of his craft" (Times UK). Prepare for "a nerve-racking masterpiece whose spell lingers long after its haunting final image" (Vulture), and "a complex, thrilling and audacious social satire... an instant contender for film of the year" (One Room With A View). Korean language, English subtitles.

From the team behind the worldwide success The Beatles: Eight Days a Week comes two time Academy Award® winning director Ron Howard’s documentary celebrating the life of the beloved opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who sold over 100 million records in his lifetime. The 1990 World Cup in Italy was the moment opera left the elite and hit the masses. Opera star Pavarotti joined fellow tenors Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras onstage in Rome watched by 1.4 billion worldwide. Their powerful rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma’ lives on as one of the most popular and famous pieces of music the world has ever heard, and Pavarotti realised his long held dream of bringing opera into the mainstream. Ron Howard takes an intimate approach in telling Pavarotti’s story, going beyond the iconic public figure to reveal the man himself. Thanks to a partnership with Decca Records and unique access to the Pavarotti family archives, home videos, behind the scenes and extensive live music footage, we see Pavarotti’s personal story emerge: from his humble beginnings in Northern Italy through to global super stardom. We travel the world with Pavarotti. We get to know the great tenor as a husband and a father, a committed philanthropist, as well as a fragile artist who had a complex relationship with his own unique talents and unprecedented success. PAVAROTTI will include the latest Dolby Atmos audio technology, allowing theatrical audiences to experience the late Pavarotti’s extraordinary voice once more in a unique and spine-tingling way.

A slow-burning and exquisitely shot two hours that details the relationship that builds between a painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) and her subject Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a reluctant soon-to-be bride who refuses to sit for her portrait. Marianne is commissioned by Héloïse’s mother who gives her an encumbered task: to paint her daughter in secret. Winner of the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay at Cannes, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is full of intimacy, longing, and two luminescent performances from its stars. The result is an immersive portrait in itself, and one that will burn on long after the credits. French language, English subtitles.

Ken Loach (I Am Daniel Blake) returns with a raw drama representing the heart of modern Britain - and indeed summing up the daily lives of many just trying to support their families and get by. Written by Paul Laverty, Loach’s film tells the tale of a former construction worker turned van driver for a large delivery company. Ricky (Kris Hitchen) lost his building career in the economic crash of 2008, and has two children and his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) to support. When his mate cottons him on to what looks like an easy money earner - delivery driving - Ricky doesn’t realise it’s less about the personal touch, and all about meeting delivery targets. Lumped with debts because of having to rent his own van from the company, Ricky’s life soon devolves into a gut-wrenching account of trying desperately to stay above the line.

Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) makes his non-Japanese language debut with an intimate and heartfelt drama. Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) has enjoyed a long and successful career as an actress and has just released her much-anticipated memoir. Travelling to Paris for her mother’s special occasion, screenwriter Lumir (Oscar winner Juliette Binoche) - accompanied by her actor husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young daughter – arrives knowing that the reunion offers an opportunity to repair or fracture the family’s relationship. A moving exploration of family, THE TRUTH is a love letter to mothers and daughters everywhere. Some French language, English subtitles

From the director of the global smash hit Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, comes a fantastical animated romance set in contemporary Japan, combining Shinkai’s breathtaking animation with an emotionally charged story. During the summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. Failing to find work, constant storms and flash-floods make matters worse. Finally landing a job working for a magazine focusing on urban legends and the occult, Hodaka is told of a girl who may posess the ability to manipulate the weather. Seeking to track her down, Hodaka not only changes his destiny but also the future of the entire city. Japanese language, English subtitles. Revoiced English language version commences February 13.