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“Mary Poppins Returns” and “Once Upon a Deadpool”: Films to see in December

Believe it or not, tomorrow will be December 1st. Yes, we’re about to enter the final month of 2018. Crazy, right? As such, the final crop of movie releases will be hitting screens. The films coming out are a mix of big budget titles and Academy Award hopefuls, as it always is. Hell, some of them even hope to be both. Below you’ll be able to see ten of the best bets for the month, along with a bunch of really worthy Honorable Mentions. We’re going to wrap up the year with some really interesting flicks. I’ve seen most of the too, so you can trust me when I say that…

Here are the very best cinematic bets for December:

*Special Citation*

Once Upon a Deadpool – To be fair, we’ve already basically seen this when Deadpool 2 came out. Now, a PG-13 version of the Merc with a Mouth does sound terrible, but it looks like they’re having fun with the premise. If so, it has potential to be an enjoyable lark. Consider it if you’re a fan of what Ryan Reynolds has been doing with the character.

10. Mary Queen of Scots – I can’t say I’m a fan of this period piece, but I also know that I’m in the minority. The costumes are admittedly very good, and so is Saoirse Ronan, but the project on the whole underwhelmed me. It’s a fringe awards contender, so keep an eye on it as the precursors go on, but it can’t hold a candle to The Favourite…

9. The Mule – One of the last of the unseen Oscar season X factors is this Clint Eastwood vehicle, no pun intended. No one has seen it yet, so we can’t tell if Eastwood is a player or not. Once it actually hits, we’ll know more. Until then, it’s pure guesswork. Make of this one what you will, at least until someone sees it!

8. Stan & Ollie – John C. Reilly is really good in this Laurel and Hardy biopic. The film on the whole is a little too safe, but it does have a low key charm to it as well. Reilly fans in particular will enjoy his turn here. More on it soon, but it’s an option that older viewers may really take to.

7. On the Basis of Sex – As you read this, I’ll have just seen this film. Felicity Jones playing a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg was actually my year in advance pick to win the Oscar for Best Actress. Was I on to something? You’ll find out when I update predictions next week, but it’s definitely a movie that’s of the moment. Between this and RBG, Ginsburg will be in the thick of Academy Award contention.

6. Welcome to Marwen – The other truly unseen potential Academy player is this adaptation of the documentary Marwencol. This version is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Steve Carell. With Carell also in play for Beautiful Boy and especially for Vice, this could put him over the edge for a nomination. Stay tuned for more on this one. If nothing else, it’s another interesting possibility to consider, right?

5. If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins’ follow up to Moonlight is one of the early precursor favorites. I saw it back at the New York Film Festival and found it very good, even if I don’t quite love it as much as many of my colleagues. It’ll do well this season, that’s for sure. Oscar voters will certainly go for it. The question is, just how much? Time will tell.

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The buzz so far for this animated Spidey flick is through the roof. Could we have a late breaking Best Animated Feature player? That’s clearly a possibility now. It should be a big hit, which never hurts things. I should be seeing it shortly, and obviously can’t wait…

3. Ben is Back – I loved this movie when I saw it back in October. Lucas Hedges gives the best performance of his young career so far for his father, writer/director Peter Hedges. Furthermore, Julia Roberts is amazing here. Both could easily be nominated by Oscar. It’ll be a smaller film in the running, so it will need support, but sleep on it at your own risk!

2. Vice – Over the weekend I saw Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, a follow up to the Academy Award winning The Big Short. As I reported on Monday, it’s a huge Oscar player, with Christian Bale disappearing into the role of the former Vice President. If audience members take to this, watch out for voters to go head over heels for it as well.

1. Mary Poppins Returns – I see this film this evening, and have heard almost exclusively raves for this long coming sequel to Mary Poppins. Emily Blunt may well end up in the running to win Best Actress for playing the title character. I’ll be able to give a better sense of that soon, so sit tight for my take on it…

Honorable Mentions: Amazing Grace, Aquaman, Birdbox, Bumblebee, Capernaum, Destroyer, Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, Dumplin’, Holmes and Watson, The House that Jack Built, Mortal Engines, They Shall Not Grow Old, Vox Lux

Be sure to check out these various films all throughout the month of December!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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