Hannah Joy plays a sharp-tongued, supportive musician named Joy in the empathic Christmas film.
On Thursday, 30 November, the new movie from director and writer Heath Davis (2018’s Book Week, 2016’s Broke), Christmess, will land in cinemas just in time for the silly season.
The movie isn’t only a new one for Davis but marks the feature film debut of Middle Kids singer Hannah Joy. In Christmess, Steve Le Marquand (Wentworth, Rake) depicts a washed-up actor, Chris Flint, who’s just out of rehab and starting a mall Santa job.
At his new job, Flint reunites with his estranged daughter (Nicole Pastor) and attempts to stay sober to win his daughter’s forgiveness. The love and support of sharp-tongued musician Joy (Hannah Joy) keep him going, while comic actor Darren Gilshenan (No Activity, Colin From Accounts) also stars as Flint’s best mate.
You can watch the heartfelt trailer below, which is all about redemption.
“Christmess is what I like to call a REAL Christmas movie,” Davis told The Music in an exclusive interview in June 2022. “It’s unsentimental and unconventional for the genre. It’s a raw Christmas story that everyone can actually identify with.”
Discussing Joy’s feature film debut, Davis added, “Hannah is a complete delight. Her dedication, hard work and courage blew me away. She’s just a natural performer and soulful artist.
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“She really steals the show and is going to set tongues wagging, and not just because of the songs she performs either. She’s the best creative risk I’ve ever taken. I want to write something again for her. Life is that much better with Hannah in it.”
In July, Middle Kids released their euphoric new single, Highlands. Their second single to be produced by Jonathan Gilmore (The 1975, Beabadoobee), following the previously released Bootleg Firecracker, the Highlands music video was directed by Toby Morris in the highlands in New South Wales surrounding Jindabyne.
“Since I was young, I’ve had this yearning to be free,” Joy explained in a statement. “In this song, I used an image of the ‘highlands’ as a euphoric place where I have the space to be me, and you have the space to be you. Part of the imagery comes from my Scottish heritage, which my grandmother was always so proud of.”
She added, “When we finished the song with Jon Gilmore in the UK, he thought it was important that the song felt punky, like a bunch of teenagers practising in their garage. So, there are these two energies fighting it out - the constricted energy of the domestic space and the wide-open energy of the highlands. We have a friend who calls this kind of music ‘yearncore’. It’s that impatient energy that says, ‘I can’t keep waiting; I need a change’.”