Glass Onion, Pinocchio and the new Bump: what’s new to streaming in Australia this December

Plus Top Gun: Maverick, new Australian comedy series Irreverent, Leah Purcell in The Drover’s Wife and Will Smith’s first film since that Oscars slap


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Film, US, 2022 – out 23 December

With his southern drawl and finger-pointing monologues, Daniel Craig was very entertaining as the brilliant detective Benoît Blanc in 2019’s Knives Out. But the real star was the script: a wickedly entertaining swirl of surprises, subversions and misdirections from writer/director Rian Johnson, whose sequel returns the sleuth for a new case with a setup vaguely reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. A wealthy host (Edward Norton) invites a ragtag bunch of guests to a private island, where deadly jiggery-pokery transpires, and it’s one man’s job (you know who) to get to the bottom of it.

The buzz is very good, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw describing Glass Onion as “ingenious, headspinningly preposterous and enjoyable” and the Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey calling it “populist entertainment with its head screwed on right”.

The trailer for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Film, US/Mexico/France, 2022 – out 9 December

You know a distribution company has a lot of faith in the brand of a director when they use their name in the title. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio comes, of course, from the idiosyncratic Mexican auteur, applying his distinctively bent style to Carlo Collodi’s well-adapted children’s novel. I’m always particularly curious to see how any new Pinocchio movie handles the “Pleasure Island” segment: that weird bit whereby young children are encouraged to act hedonistically (drinking beer and smashing stuff) then are punished for doing so. Let’s hope GDT makes like Geppetto and carves out something that distinguishes his version from the many others.

The trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio


TV, Australia, 2022 – out 4 December

This witty, pacey, thoroughly bingeable comedy series launches a Welcome to Woop Woop-esque premise, plonking an on-the-run criminal (Colin Donnell’s Paulo) in a small beachside Queensland community. Here he poses as the town’s new reverend, while attempting to track down the actual reverend (PJ Byrne’s Mackenzie) who stole his (already stolen) money. It’s a delicious concoction of fish-out-of-water comedy, crime drama and farce, perfect for those craving easy festive season viewing with some sass and bounce.

The trailer for Irreverent

Honourable mentions: Bad Santa (film, out now), Lady Chatterley’s Lover (film, 2 December) The Recruit (TV, 16 December), The Witcher: Blood Origin (TV, 25 December), Matilda the Musical (film, 25 December), White Noise (film, 30 December).


Bump season three

TV, Australia, 2022 – out 26 December

One of the strengths of Stan’s well-loved dramedy about a young woman (Nathalie Morris’s Olly) who becomes a mother after not realising she is even pregnant is the characters keep growing on you; likewise for the show itself. That’s true of many TV shows, but there’s something quite lovely about the way Bump’s characters seem to naturalistically evolve, as we share with them the minutiae of their lives. The writing is a little uneventful at times but Bump is warmly and intelligently crafted.

The trailer for Bump season three

Dead Europe

Film, Australia, 2012 – out 8 December

There’s lots of Australian content this month, so let’s run with it and pull out some older titles to augment the new. Dead Europe is one of several fine adaptations of Christos Tsiolkas’s novels (others include The Slap, Head On and Barracuda), starring the always-reliable Ewen Leslie as Isaac, a gay photographer who heads to Athens to scatter his father’s ashes. On the way he meets a desperate young Jewish boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose face continues to haunt him. Tony Krawitz, who recently directed ABC TV’s excellent series Significant Others, combines moody drama with thriller-esque flourishes, ultimately arriving at a cryptic and thoroughly unusual ending.

Honourable mentions: The Reunion (TV, 2 December), Bad Boys II (film, 3 December), Last Ride (film, 4 December), Final Destination (film, 4 December), A Lion Returns (film, 5 December), The Social Network (film, 9 December), I Am Not Your Negro (film, 16 December), Glengarry Glen Ross (film, 17 December), Tom of Finland (film, 22 December), The Motorcycle Diaries (film 22 December), Argo (film, 26 December) District 9 (film, 30 December), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (film, 31 December).

ABC iView

Still We Rise

TV, Australia, 2022 – out 8 December

This year saw the restoration and rerelease of Australia’s greatest protest movie, Ningla-A’na, a still-galvanising account of the formation of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Also timed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the embassy – the world’s longest-ever continuous protest for Indigenous rights – is this highly engaging hour-long doco. Writer/director John Harvey brings verve and energy to the story, combining archival footage with songs, poetry and spoken word.

Honourable mentions: Operation Buffalo (TV, 5 December), A League of Her Own (TV, 5 December), Wil Anderson: Wilogical (TV, 7 December), Fleabag season one (TV, 13 December), The Yearly with Charlie Pickering (TV, 21 December), Paddington 2 (film, 24 December).

SBS on Demand


TV, Australia, 2022 – out 3 December

As Kate Cunningham recently wrote, this dramedy led by and starring people with cerebral palsy, which explores dating and disability from the perspective of Sarah (Hannah Diviney) and Frank (Angus Thompson), “feels quietly revolutionary”. Intended to provide “an accurate depiction of what it’s like to have a disability and try and have a romantic relationship”, Latecomers comes across as utterly genuine, thanks primarily to the strengths of its performances. For another production that explores sex and disability, consult Rolf de Heer’s great 1998 drama Dance Me to My Song, co-written by and starring disability rights campaigner Heather Rose.

The trailer for Latecomers

The Great Dictator

Film, US, 1940 – out 19 December

Satirising Hitler is an extremely risky endeavour, but Charlie Chaplin – one of the greatest artists of the 20th century – pulled it off brilliantly in this slapstick classic. As always it involved getting one’s targets right – here ridiculing the perverse worldview of the Nazis, which Chaplin described in his autobiography as “mystic bilge”. The film concludes with one of the boldest examples of breaking the fourth wall, depicting the star – still dressed as Hitler – delivering a spine-tingling speech about liberty, technology and people power. He implores viewers to fight “for a world of reason” that “will give youth a future and old age a security”.

Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 film The Great Dictator
A slapstick classic … Charlie Chaplin in 1940 satire The Great Dictator. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

Honourable mentions: He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (film, 1 December), Ralph and Kate season one (TV, 1 December), Blanca (TV, 1 December), Tokyo Vice season one (TV, 7 December), Train to Busan Presents: the Peninsula (film, 9 December), Reel Britannia season one (TV, 12 December), Super Mario Bros (film, 16 December), Secrets of Playboy season one (TV, 19 December).


Colin from Accounts

TV, Australia, 2022 – out now

Two potential lovers brought together in humorous and unusual circumstances? Ah yes: a good old-fashioned meet-cute! As I wrote in my review, this very enjoyable and moreish comedy series – created, co-written and co-starring Harriet Dyer – has an almost daggy kind of audacity, refreshing the rigidly formulaic romcom genre with likable and endearing characters. They are developed from the inside out by Dyer and Patrick Brammall, who share an appealing chemistry and will-they-won’t-they? tension.

After Dyer’s student doctor flashes Brammall’s brewery owner one of her breasts, his car crashes and a dog is badly injured (the aforementioned meet-cute). The pair argue, bicker and debate about what to do next, while the bells of incoming friendship (and possibly something more) start a-chiming.

The trailer for Colin from Accounts

The Drover’s Wife: the Legend of Molly Johnson

Film, Australia, 2021 – 9 December

The latest meat pie western is an Indigenous feminist reimagining of Henry Lawson’s classic 1892 short story from Leah Purcell. The writer, director and star has worked extensively with this text, also transforming it into a stage production and a novel. Revolving around the titular character, who is quick to point her gun at any stranger bold enough to visit her farm in the Snowy Mountains, the film features handsome cinematography – with plenty of scenery-absorbing long shots – but the writing feels too self-aware and stately. But the cast are appealing and Purcell crafts a pleasant, contemplative mood, notwithstanding some lurches into melodramatic territory.

The trailer for The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

Honourable mentions: The Batman (film, 1 December), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (film, 2 December), Shaq (TV, 8 December), The Year of Living Dangerously (film, 15 December), Bran Nue Dae (film, 17 December), The Last Year of Television (TV, 31 December).


National Treasure: Edge of History

TV, US, 2022 – out 14 December

There’s an interesting tension at the heart of the National Treasure movies: the broad, play-to-the-back-rows nature of the writing versus the wall-rattling flamboyance of its star Nicolas Cage. That tension won’t be part of this spin-off series, because le Cage ain’t in it. Instead, the focus is on 20-year-old Jess Morales (Lisette Alexis), who sets out to find a great big heap of old treasure that might (meaning of course will) have something to do with her deceased father. The trailer unashamedly trots out lines like “trust no one” as if they’ve never been uttered before. It looks pretty boilerplate; fingers crossed it’s fun.

Honourable mentions: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (film, 2 December), Amsterdam (film, 7 December), Muppets Most Wanted – Sing-Along Version (film, 16 December), True Lies (film, 30 December).

Amazon Prime Video


Film, US, 2022 – out 16 December

Debut director Nikyatu Jusu’s horror film moves slowly and explores a well-trodden space: the blurring of dreams and reality. But by framing the narrative as one about the immigrant experience – following a Senegalese woman named Aisha (Anna Diop) who works as a nanny for a young girl (Rose Decker) and her well-off parents – the director finds a degree of freshness and carves out a space where traditional genre elements feel particularly ruminative. The water-related metaphors are unsubtle, but Diop’s leading performance is nuanced and compelling.

Anna Diop in Nikyatu Jusu’s horror film Nanny.
Anna Diop in Nikyatu Jusu’s horror film Nanny. Photograph: Courtesy of Prime Video

Honourable mentions: Three Pines (TV, 2 December), Your Christmas or Mine? (film, 2 December), Everything Everywhere All at Once (film, 20 December), Logan Lucky (film, 22 December).


Top Gun: Maverick

Film, US, 2022 – out 22 December

You’ve no doubt heard of – and probably seen – this massively successful sequel to Tony Scott’s famously homoerotic 80s classic about big planes, bigger egos and riding a “highway to the danger zone”. The hero is again Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who is sledged in the new movie for being a creaking relic from the past. “The future is coming and you’re not in it,” grumbles Ed Harris’s Rear Admiral. But old mate Mavo has at least one big mission left in him, returning to the skies to teach a new generation of fighter pilots – including Rooster (Miles Teller), Hangman (Glen Powell) and Phoenix (Monica Barbaro) – some old tricks.

Tom Cruise back in the sky as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Tom Cruise back in control as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick. Photograph: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy

Honourable mentions: The Flatshare (TV, out now), The Lost City (film, out now), 1923 (TV, 19 December), Sampled (TV, 27 December).

Apple TV+


Film, US, 2022 – out 9 December

Director Antoine Fuqua’s slavery drama is the first film released starring Will Smith since he attacked Chris Rock on stage at this year’s Oscars. Executives at Apple TV+ presumably decided that enough time has elapsed, while surely knowing that the release of Emancipation – which cost an estimated US$120m – would inevitably be clouded by the event. In it Smith plays a slave (inspired by a real-life figure known as “Whipped Peter”) who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and joins the Union army. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it a “strong, fierce, heartfelt movie” and a “brutally violent civil war drama”.

Honourable mentions: Slow Horses season two (TV, 2 December), Little America season two (TV, 9 December).


Luke Buckmaster

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Catherine Called Birdy, The Stranger and new White Lotus: what’s new to streaming in Australia this October
Plus Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, an adaptation of Shantaram and Let the Right One In gets a new adaptation … again

Luke Buckmaster

04, Oct, 2022 @4:30 PM

Article image
Poker Face, Folau and The Wonder: what’s new to streaming in Australia this November
Plus Tim Burton’s Addams Family spinoff, a children’s series set in the Top End and another steamy take on Dangerous Liaisons

Luke Buckmaster

02, Nov, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Succession, Daisy Jones & The Six, and Weird Al: what’s new to streaming in Australia this March
Plus Jordan Peele and Baz Luhrmann’s latest thrills, a Brigid Delaney adaptation, and … a film about Tetris?

Luke Buckmaster

05, Mar, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
Broad City, Kindred and The 400 Blows: what’s new to streaming in Australia this February
Plus David Cronenberg’s latest grisly experiment, a very rich dog, so much queer content, and the Jennaissance continues with another Coolidge film

Luke Buckmaster

02, Feb, 2023 @2:00 PM

Article image
Eurovision, Mike Myers, and every James Bond movie: what’s new to streaming in Australia this May
Plus The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Nightingale, and the greatest Australian horror movie of all time: the election

Luke Buckmaster

29, Apr, 2022 @6:00 AM

Article image
Halo, Moon Knight and more Bridgerton: what’s new to streaming in Australia in March
Plus a Tiger King dramatisation, a comedy musical about buying property in Australia and a Ben Affleck erotic thriller

Luke Buckmaster

02, Mar, 2022 @4:30 PM

Article image
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Lovecraft Country, Acute Misfortune: what's streaming in Australia in August
Plus new Australian series Hungry Ghosts, Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E, and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror opus The Shining

Luke Buckmaster

31, Jul, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
From La La Land to Veep: the best of film and TV streaming in Australia in May
Prince’s breakout act, millennial ennui, and a John Clarke classic reissued – we’ve scoured the local streaming services to bring you this list of highlights

Lauren Carroll Harris

29, Apr, 2017 @11:34 PM

Article image
Gaslit, Devs and Better Call Saul: what’s new to streaming in Australia this April
Plus A Very British Scandal, a series about surfing entrepreneurs and Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s comedy about being a fictional president of Ukraine

Luke Buckmaster

31, Mar, 2022 @4:30 PM

Article image
I May Destroy You, Mulan, Freeman and more: what's streaming in Australia in September
Docos on James Comey, the Murdochs and Cathy Freeman, plus three Meryl Streep films, are among the heavy hitters coming to platforms this month

Luke Buckmaster

04, Sep, 2020 @4:28 AM