A Mustang Christmas

Christmas weekend openings are light on the foreign film front as the following listings show. If just one film had to be picked for viewing, go with Mustang. Not only is it a Cannes prize-winner, but Mustang might wind up being a Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee.

Beauty And The Bestie

In this Filipino action comedy, policeman Emman (Coco Martin) needs the help of his former best friend Ericka (Vice Ganda) to do an undercover job as a beauty pagent contestant. Ericka, a gay photographer, is tasked with impersonating a foreign dignitary’s daughter participating in the contest.

Opens December 25 at the Century at Tanforan


Summer frolicking on a Northern Turkish village beach turns into imprisonment for five sisters. When the girls’ innocent frolicking gets blown out of proportion as illicit behavior, the adults in the girls’ family overreact and virtually imprison them in their home. Cut off from “instruments of corruption” (e.g. computers and cell phones), the girls are endlessly taught household work in preparation for marriage. But as the elder sisters get forcibly wed, the younger sisters band together in an effort to pursue a life where they can determine their own futures. Winner of the Europa Cinemas prize at Cannes, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s debut feature is France’s submission for Foreign Language Film consideration to the Academy Awards.

Opens December 25 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas


This new adaptation of the Chinese classic Journey to the West is directed by Xiao Xing Yi, who opts for a comedic re-telling of the tale. Bai Ke plays the self-proclaimed demon lord of a small town whose life gets upended by the arrival of the Monkey King and his fellow pilgrims. What should have been disaster for both sides turns into something else entirely.

Opens December 25 at the AMC Metreon 16

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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