MARY MAGDALENE November 24
This might not be the biggest-grossing film of the next few months, but it’s likely to rank high in terms of the public debate it generates. Rooney Mara takes on the role of Mary Magdalene, the biblical figure represented as being close to Jesus, played here by Joaquin Phoenix. Plot details are still scant, but presumably it will focus on Mary Magdalene’s relationship with Jesus, even if it doesn’t go as far as The Last Temptation Of Christ’s dream sequence which had the duo consummating their bond.
EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI December 15
This is the one where Luke realises he can’t fight any longer against the might of the marketing force of the Wild Atlantic Way, so he retires to help his dad run a surf shop in Kilkee that’s called Darth Boards. Perhaps not, but the Irish locations are expected to feature more prominently than ever in the second instalment of the sequel trilogy. The film will also be a poignant watch for longterm fans, as it’s the last featuring the late Carrie Fisher, present since the very first Star Wars back in 1977.
THE PAPERS December 22
This historical drama unites Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the tale of how the so-called Pentagon Papers came to be published, and thus exposed the government cover-ups around the Vietnam War. Streep is in the role of pioneering female newspaper publisher Kay Graham, while Hanks plays her Washington Post editor, as they battle to lift the lid on the state’s secret expansion of the war.