December Blu-ray Roundup
The weather outside is frightful, so it’s the perfect time to cuddle up with your loved ones and watch some top-notch films in the comfort of your own home. Studios tend to release the best films of the year not only theatrically but also on home entertainment in the month of December, and so, without further ado, here are some of our favorite blu-rays that come out this month.
Florence Foster Jenkins
Based on the true story of heiress Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep), Stephen Frears’ film is a lighthearted treat that never teeters into caricature or camp territory. The film tells the story of the tone-deaf aspiring opera singer, who may or may not have delusions of grandeur about her pitch, but is determined to perform to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. Her loving husband, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), hires aspiring concert pianist Cosme McMoon (The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg) to accompany her and pays off a well-meaning crowd as well as critics to continue the ruse. At its core this is a tender love story with a lot of heart and charm and features beautifully captivating performances by Streep, Grant, and supporting stars Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson and Hannibal‘s Nina Arianda.
The home entertainment release includes a blu-ray and digital copy of the film as well as about an hour of bonus features. Our favorite of those featurettes is a 16 minute Q&A with star Meryl Streep where she speaks about Florence, singing the part, and how she captured the balance of comedy and drama needed for the film to succeed.
The inspiring film is bound to get attention come awards season so be sure to pick up your copy before hand!
As a female writer I know all too well the struggles females face in the workforce. In the film industry it’s a rarity for women over 30 to star in a film (unless you’re Meryl Streep), and it’s even more of a rarity for women to be hired behind the camera (not only as a film director but even as a producer or any other crew position that doesn’t include fetching coffee for the men in charge). That’s why I’m a very vocal champion of Equity, an entirely female fronted film that’s not only starring strong, ballsy women over the age of 30 but is also entirely written and directed by women. Starring Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn and Orange is the New Black‘s Alysia Reiner, the film expertly captures the cutthroat nature of, not only the financial marketplace, but also a world where women need to support one another.
Unfortunately the disc is a tad light on the special features but each of the three key featurettes are loaded with fascinating insights from the cast, producers and investors, and are definitely worth your time.
In 2016, animated films like Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets perhaps unfairly stole the thunder from the sweet, yet little seen, animated film Storks. Now available on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD, Storks is the charming tale of overachieving stork Junior (Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Andy Samberg) and his human friend Tulip (Katie Crown) who must deliver a baby girl from Stork Mountain before the other storks find out. The film features an all-star cast including Jennifer Aniston, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and the two-disc set includes the hilarious short Storks: Guide to Your New Baby that you must check out.
Have we mentioned lately how much we adore Anna Gunn?! The Equity star appears here as a NTSB investigator, whose post-crash inquiry into Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s (Tom Hanks, in yet another awards-worthy performance) heroic “Miracle on the Hudson” landing forms the framing device for the film Sully. Director Clint Eastwood’s latest expertly captures the terrifying 2009 flight and how each of the 155 passengers were saved by the cool-headed and highly capable Captain. Watch the film and then play the bonus feature titled ‘Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster On the Hudson’ that has Sullenberger, his co-pilot Jeff Skiles and air traffic controller Patrick Harten give their detailed recollections of Flight 1549.
Florence Foster Jenkins, Equity, Storks, and Sully are all available on home entertainment in December.