Ahh, the holidays. The time of frantic, scrambling blind panic for gifts, hearty eating, heavy drinking, and most of all–MOVIEGOING!
In the month of December, moviehouses play their best hands, releasing the films they hope will secure golden trophies, either of the Globe or Oscar variety. Needless to say, this is one of our favorite times of the movie going year.
Already in theaters there are the following superb films:
Starring Clint Eastwood
I saw this film last weekend, and cannot say enough good things about it. It is Clint Eastwood at his oldest and his best–dryly comedic (there were parts that had the theater rolling in laughter), growly, embodying all his older roles into one hardened old man named Walt Kowalski. The Man With No Name is in his saunter and squint, Dirty Harry in his badass-ness. In her New York Times review, Manohla Dargis says that Gran Torino is Clint Eastwood’s mea culpa for Dirty Harry–and she couldn’t have been more right. Any fan of Clint Eastwood’s, any fan of true, golden cinema should watch this film. It is simply one of the best performances of Clint Eastwood’s illustrious career.
Starring Mickey Rourke and Marissa Tomei
Mickey Rourke’s performance here has garnered much buzz, as he has already been nominated for a Best Actor (film, drama) Golden Globe. Really, who better to play a washed up ’80s star than Mickey Rourke? The last thing I saw him in was Sin City–where he did a fabulous, steal-the-show job as Marv (as Frank Miller himself said, he was born to play this part). The Wrestler has been called the new generation’s Rocky–and as Rocky (I-IV, sometimes VI but NEVER V) are some of my favorite movies, and being the sports nut that I am, I cannot wait to watch this film.
Starring Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin and James Franco
Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office, and the lives of the people he energized and inspired. This is being billed as a new American classic film, the performances of Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, and James Franco being applauded as brilliant (indeed, Sean Penn is–yet again–in the Best Actor race). In this day and age–what with the passing of the disgustingly bigoted Prop. 8 in California–this is an incredibly relevant film, and one I cannot wait to see.
Starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Based on the award winning Broadway play of the same title, Doubt is about…well, Doubt. La Meryl (will that stick? She deserves a title) is in it, which is pretty much enough for me. She’s nominated for two Best Actress Globes–one for this film, and the other (comedy/musical) for Mamma Mia! I want to see this film, but it might be one that I will wait forgo for the DVD release.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
Is that not one of the most awesome trailers ever? I saw this preview back during the summer, and could not wait for the film. Benjamin Button is a baby born with a curious defect–while everyone grows older, he is born old and grows younger. Add to this some stunning cinematography, the Brad Pitt Best Actor nod, the beautiful and oh-so-talented Cate Blanchett…it is a clear no-brainer. I will be seeing this on Christmas Day.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Leo and Kate, together again! No, seriously, these two are acting powerhouses. Kate’s already earned serious praise for her role in The Reader (depressing book, by the way–which is probably why I won’t watch that film or mention it here) this year, but her role in Revolutionary Road has earned her a Best Actress Globe nomination–and a Best Actor for Leo.
Starring Tom Cruise
Ok so Tom Cruise looks good in an eyepatch…but he’s still Tom Cruise. I probably won’t see this one, since it just seems very strange that Tom Cruise is playing a German in a WWII flick. He’s so…Tom Cruise. (Though I do adore Bryan Singer)
So that’s whats out in theaters this Christmas! Which, if any, do you plan on watching? Any other films you are looking forward to?