This time of year is one of my favorites. Not because of the holidays (although I really do like the part where I get to make cookies and everyone who knows and loves me gives me books to read) but because all the super fantastic Oscar-bait films are released. I’ve already seen one so far (The Ides of March, which, if you haven’t seen it, you must), and I’m looking forward to a number of others:
The Skin I Live In – Directed by Pedro Almodovar, it’s the story of a plastic surgeon who’s keeping a woman hostage in his basement. The story is a far cry from some of his more recent films (Bad Education, All About My Mother) and Seattle Times reviewer Moira MacDonald found it greatly disturbing…but she couldn’t look away. Almodovar is on a short list of movie people that I’m willing to see almost anything he does, and I figure after having read A.M. Homes The End of Alice, a story about a pedophile, I can handle disturbing. In select theatres now.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas – It doesn’t matter what the film is actually about. I’m not a big comedy person, nor am I a holiday-themed movie person, but I thought Harold and Kumar go to White Castle was hilarious. The BF has agreed to see this with me, as long as we skip the 3D version (it gives him a headache). Plus NPH makes a triumphant return! In theatres now.
Shame – Starring Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre, Centurion) he’s the reason this film is even on my radar. He plays a man with a sex addiction. Also starring Carey Mulligan (whom I adore), I’m sure this will fall into the “disturbing movie” category. I don’t care. I’m seeing it anyway. Opens in Seattle December 9.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Would you believe the BF is actually excited for this one? AND we have plans to see it as part of a double date with some friends of mine (the BF and I never go on dates anymore. It’s quite sad.) Robert Downey Jr. returns as Holmes, and this time he’s accompanied by Noomi Rapace (the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). He’s up against Professor Moriarity this time around. Should be excellent, fabulously fun. Opens December 21.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Unlike a large portion of the population, I didn’t go absolutely ga-ga over Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy (I thought they were in dire need of editing.) That said, Larsson did create one of the most amazing heroines I’ve come across in a long time in Lisbeth Salander. I’ve seen the original Swedish version of Dragon Tattoo, and thought Rapace was wonderful. So I had my doubts about this one. They fell to pieces just from watching the second trailer. Rooney Mara looks, and acts, incredibly creepy. I think it’ll work. Add in Daniel Craig (oh, YUM) and a soundtrack by Trent Reznor (squeal!) and the BF is more than willing to see it with me (although given its release date, I might sneak in on Christmas Day while he’s off with his family). Yay! In theatres December 21
The Hunger Games – I know. This doesn’t qualify as a holiday release. But I’ve never been so excited about a frickin’ movie. I loved the books (if you haven’t read them, do yourself a favor and read them. Now.) I initially had my doubts about the casting. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has some serious acting chops, or she wouldn’t have gone up against Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams for a piece of work she completed when she was only 18 (Winter’s Bone). But she was 20 when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen, and Katniss is 16. Other roles were announced (Lenny Kravitz as Cinna! Woody Harrelson as Haymitch! Stanley Tucci as Ceasar Flickerman! Donald Frickin’ Sutherland as President Snow!) and I tried to wrap my head around it. I can deal with it, I told myself. Then I saw the trailer, and now I’m planning on my first ever midnight-release showing with a friend of mine. It looks that good. Opens March 23, 2012