Among the many new streaming TV shows and movies in December are some of the best films of the year.
Among the many new streaming TV shows and movies in December are some of the best films of the year.

Bumper crop of new streaming this month

The countdown until the end of the year has well and truly begun - OK, maybe it started in September.

So with some spare time on our hands (hopefully), between digesting too much food, or while you're waiting for your Christmas shopping to be delivered, you need something to watch, right?

Feast your eyes on the new streaming titles on offer this month - especially the movies selection because some of these new films are the best of the year.

 

Amanda Seyfried is an Oscar contender for Mank.
Amanda Seyfried is an Oscar contender for Mank.

 

Mank (Netflix, December 4): David Fincher's stunningly beautiful black-and-white film about Hollywood screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz looks at the scribe's contentious relationship with newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and how he came to write the screenplay for Citizen Kane. Magnetic performances from Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Charles Dance and Tom Pelphrey.

Small Axe (Foxtel Now/Binge, December 19): Filmmaker Steve McQueen's anthology series consists of five films about the lives and experiences of West Indian immigrants in London in 1960 and 1970. Starring Letitia Wright, John Boyega, Jack Lowden and Alex Jennings, some of the films have been hailed as some of the best this year.

Sylvie's Love (Amazon Prime, December 25): Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha star in this sweeping love story that encompasses a passion for music as an aspiring TV producer and saxophonist. They cross each other's paths one summer and when they reconnect years later, those feelings have not dulled.

 

Jude Law, lost in the woods.
Jude Law, lost in the woods.

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The Third Day (Foxtel Now, December 7, Binge, December 28): The first three episodes of T he Third Day follow Jude Law as a man who accidentally stumbles onto a mysterious island off the coast of the UK, while the next three are centred on Naomie Harris as a woman who went there intentionally. From their experiences, the island's secrets are revealed.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix, December 18): Chadwick Boseman's last screen performance is also gaining momentum for a posthumous Oscar win. Adapted from an August Wilson play, the film stars Viola Davis as a legendary musician wrestling with power games during a recording sessions.

A Sunburnt Christmas (Stan, December 11): Taking a leaf out of classic family Christmas movies, this Australian comedy directed by Christiaan van Vuuren is set in the Outback. A single mum is struggling to put on a top Christmas when a criminal dressed as Santa crashes into their farm. Shenanigans ensue. Stars Daniel Henshall, Sullivan Stapleton and Ling Cooper Tang.

Soul will be available to stream on December 25.
Soul will be available to stream on December 25.

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Soul (Disney+, December 25): Originally intended for cinema release, Pixar's latest film is packed full of pathos and heart, the story of Joe, a jazz musician who finds himself in the Great Before after an accident. There, he meets 22, an existential soul who has resisted a life on Earth. Together, they'll find the real meaning of life. It's Pixar, so know that you're going to get weepy.

World of Calm (SBS On Demand, December 2): The guys behind the Calm app ventures into slow TV with this exceedingly unstimulating series that features slow-motion visuals of the noodles, rainforests, polar bears, horses and more. It's designed to make you very chill, lulling you to a zoned-out place, with soothing voiceovers from actors including Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Zoe Kravitz and Oscar Isaac.

Bridgerton (Netflix, December 25): Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes' first series under her Netflix production deal is a historical romance TV show based on a series of books by Julia Quinn. Set during the Regency era, it's a heightened and dramatic series with scheming, marriage plots and lots of gossiping.

GBBO Christmas Special (Foxtel Now/Binge, December 15): Even though we don't need a log fire, Christmas puddings and eggnog in Australia (because, you know, so hot), there is something comforting and warm about those northern hemisphere Christmas rituals. And there is nothing more comforting than the Great British Bake Off, so that and Christmas? Big metaphorical hugs.

 

George Clooney directed and stars in Midnight Sky.
George Clooney directed and stars in Midnight Sky.

 

The Midnight Sky (Netflix, December 23): George Clooney directed and stars in this sci-fi film as a scientist in a remote Arctic outpost who must stop a team of astronauts from returning to Earth after an apocalyptic event. Also stars Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Demian Bichir, Kyle Chandler and Ethan Peck.

Euphoria Christmas Special (Foxtel Now/Binge, December 7): After a wild first season of this psychedelic teen drama, Euphoria is whetting the appetite for season two with a couple of Christmas specials, the first of which will be focused on Rue, the character for which Zendaya won an Emmy for Best Actress Drama.

The Wilds S1 (Amazon Prime, December 11): Rachel Griffiths leads a young cast of up-and-comers in this series about a group of girls whose plane crash lands on a deserted island. They try to survive in the face of great challenges and clashes, and then it's revealed their accident was no accident.

Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell Pagan Holiday Special (iview, December 20): As irreverent as ever, the Mad as Hell crew's one-hour holiday special will not mention the word "Christmas" even once. Do you think those culture warriors will get the irony or are they already running with their pitchforks?

Saturnalia tales.
Saturnalia tales.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pt4 (Netflix, December 31): The witch queen of Greendale and Hell returns for her final adventure with eight episodes in the aftermath of the time paradox and whatever mysterious creature Faustus has released from that luminous egg.

Dom & Adrian 2020 (Stan, December 13): The Bondi Hipster boys Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier star in this mockumentary about two aspiring DJs whose careers are forever on the verge of taking off, if only they weren't waylaid by bushfires, floods, hailstorms, pandemics and anything else 2020 can throw at them.

Big Mouth S4 (Netflix, December 4): Turning the emotionally if not physically fraught experience of puberty into an animated series sounded ludicrous on paper but Nick Kroll's clever show proved that piece of paper wrong. So wrong that it's now on its fourth season.

The Prom (Netflix, December 11): Adapted from the Broadway play, this Ryan Murphy directed musical has an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington and James Corden. The story is about a same-sex high school couple whose prom predicament is co-opted by two national stars.

 

The Prom has an all-star cast.
The Prom has an all-star cast.

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Your Honour (Stan, December 7): A legal thriller based on an Israeli series, Your Honor is set in New Orleans and kicks off when a respected judge's son is involved in a hit-and-run. Sounds pretty par for the course until you realise that judge is played by Bryan Cranston and other cast members include Michael Stuhlbarg, Carmen Ejogo and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Now we're talking.

Godmothered (Disney+, December 4): Starring Isla Fisher and Jillian Bell, this family romp is about a fairy godmother-in-training out to prove the world still needs them. She finds an old letter from a 10-year-old asking for help, only to find out that 10-year-old is now a 40-year-old single mother who could use a little magic in her life.

Adam Liaw's Roadtrip for Good (SBS On Demand, December 2): Adam Liaw ventures across Australia in search for the best culinary treasures on offer in regional and rural communities ravaged by bushfires. Starting off on Kangaroo Island, his journey includes stops in Mallacoota, Berrima, Batlow and Beechworth.

Sammy J's 2020 Dumpster Fire Spectacular (iview, December 13): Is there anyone who can sum up the sh*tshow that was 2020 as well as Sammy J can? He promises to tackle big issues including a toilet paper caper and philosophical ponderances over the essential nature of hairdressers.

 

A suspenseful crime thriller.
A suspenseful crime thriller.

 

The Sister (SBS On Demand, December 2): Luther creator Neil Cross adapted this four-part thriller from his own book, Burial. Suspenseful and morally murky, it follows Nathan (Russell Tovey), an everyman whose past secrets - a poor decision made on a bad night - come knocking on his door, threatening his happy life.

On Pointe (Disney+, December 18): A six-part docuseries filmed at the School of American Ballet in New York City, it's a behind-the-scenes look at the vigour, discipline and dreams of aspiring ballerinas.

Godmothered (Disney+, December 4): Starring Isla Fisher and Jillian Bell, this family romp is about a fairy godmother-in-training out to prove the world still needs them. She finds an old letter from a 10-year-old asking for help, only to find out that 10-year-old is now a 40-year-old single mother who could use a little magic in her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share your movies and TV obsessions | @wenleima

Originally published as Bumper crop of new streaming this month



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