- on Monday, 12 November 2012 16:25
- by Frank Wilkins
With the sun having set on the summer's rambunctious slate of cinematic fare, and the calendar tipping over into the end of the year, it's time to take a look at the films that will be decking our cinematic halls this holiday movie season. While many will be mentioned come awards season, most will be long forgotten before they even arrive. Here's our list of the movies we're most jazzed about this holiday season:
Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - November 16
The saga continues.
Anna Karenina November - 16
Tolstoy's 1877 romance novel gets yet another big screen go, this time with the queen of period pieces Keira Knightley in the titular role. Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald and Olivia Williams also star. Will be mentioned at Oscar time.
Lincoln - November 16
Steven Spielberg directs this biopic that follows the 16th president as he guides the North to victory during the U.S. Civil War. Daniel Day-Lewis sports the beard as Abraham Lincoln while Sally Field plays Mary Todd Lincoln. Hear that buzz? That's Oscar talk.
Life of Pi - November 16
Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) directs this adaptation of Yann Martel's award-winning novel from a screenplay by David Magee. The story is a fantasy adventure divided into three distinct sections that tell the tale of Pi (Suraj Sharma), an Indian boy who survives a shipwreck only to be stranded on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker with whom Pi must develop a relationship in order to survive. We'll see, but this one's already getting Oscar talk.
Silver Linings Playbook - November 21
David O. Russell follows up his award-winning The Fighter with another sports film, this one a comedy-drama that stars Bradley Cooper as a former high school teacher who recently served a stint in a mental institution and now thinks the answer to any crisis is a Philadelphia Eagles football victory. Also stars Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. Oscar?
Rise of the Guardians - November 21
Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, and Alec Baldwin voice characters in this animated feature adapted from the popular William Joyce novel series called The Guardians of Childhood. Baldwin provides the voice of Santa Claus, Isla Fisher that of the Tooth Fairy, Pine is the voice of jack Frost, and Jackman voices the Easter Bunny, all who must band together in an effort to stop the evil Pitch (Jude Law), from plunging the world into perpetual fear and darkness.
Red Dawn - November 21
Remake of the 1984 version, this time with Chris Hemsworth who leads a group of teenagers looking to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.
Hitchcock - November 23
Stars Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense and Scarlett Johansson as Psycho's Janet Leigh. Need we say more?
Killing Them Softly - November 30
Watch a poker game go horribly awry - mob style. Here's a lesson: never attempt a heist during a mob poker game. Stars Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins.
Hyde Park on Hudson - December 7
Bill Murray plays Franklin D. Roosevelt in this period love story that chronicles the love affair between the 32nd president and his distant cousin, as King George of England and his wife the Queen Consort Elizabeth made a visit to Roosevelt's country estate in Hyde Park, New York. Also stars Laura Linney as Margaret Suckley, Ilivia Williams as the president's wife Eleanor, and Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth. This one's getting a lot of Oscar buzz!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - December 14
The first film in Peter Jackson's cinematic trilogy of the beloved J.R.R. Tolkein fantasy. Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, and Ian McKellen return as Frodo, Gandalf, and Bilbo Baggins respectively, with many of the other actors reprising their roles from the highly successful Lord of the Rings films. Will likely be mentioned come Oscar time.
Stand Up Guys - December 14
Al Pacino and CHristopher Walken are a pai of con men try to get the old gang together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment - to kill his comrade.
Monsters Inc 3D - December 19
Sully and the gang are back! This time in eye-popping 3D. Line up the Brinks trucks.
Zero Dark Thirty - December 19
Kathryn Bigelow's controversial chronicling of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks. Stars Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Taylor McKinney, and Scott Adkins. Though the film was moved from an October release to December to remove itself from any campaign politicking, something tells us many viewers still won't be able to separate the film from their own political leanings. Let the debate begin! Has Oscar written all over it!
The Impossible - December 21
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in this Spanish-produced English-language movie about a couple's experience as they endure the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami that swamped ashore killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries. The Impossible comes from The Orphanage director, Juan Antonio Bayona.
Jack Reacher - December 21
How much effect will Tom Cruise's recent tabloid-fodder divorce have on the buzz surrounding his portrayal of British author Jim Grant's fictional Special Investigations officer digging deep into a case involving five random victims of a military sniper's bullet? Enquiring fans want to know. Also stars Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, and Richard Jenkins.
On the Road - December 21
Another Jack Kerouac novel adaptation, this one from the same-named semi-autobiographical novel widely considered the defining work of the postwar Beat Generation. No, Johnny Depp isn't in this one, but Kristen Stewart is… and apparently she goes shirtless more than Taylor Lautner in a Twilight movie. Also stars Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Steve Buscemi.
This is 40 - December 21
Writer-director Judd Apatow looks back at the lives of stressed-out parents Pete and Debbie a few years after the events in his smash hit Knocked Up… specifically the eve of both turning 40. Naturally, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd return in their roles, as does Jason Segel. This time around however we get Megan Fox and Melissa McCarthy, the latter fresh off her breakout role in Bridesmaids. No word on a Seth Rogen cameo.
Not Fade Away - December 21
Sopranos creator David Chase directs James Gandolfini in something that's not about the inner-workings of the mafia but IS set in New Jersey. The film is the coming-of-age story about a group of teenagers who put together a rock band after watching the Rolling Stones on TV in 1964. Mostly no-names (including newcomer John Magaro) co-star in this David Chase passion-project that hopes to become the next American Grafitti or Almost Famous.
Les Miserables - December 25
Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe give it a go in Tom Hooper's big screen version of Victor Hugo's classic French epic that is widely lauded as one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. Anne Hathaway, Sach Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfriend and Helena Bonham Carter also lend their talents to the musical drama. Oscar bait!
Django Unchained - December 25
A Quentin Tarantino film on Christmas Day. What could be better? Leo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz star. Should be an Oscar contender.
Parental Guidance - December 25
Race to Witch Mountain filmmaker Andy Fickman directs Billy Crystal from the City Slicker star's own fish-out-of-water script about a grandfather having to raise his three grandkids using 21st century technology. Marisa Tomei, Bailee Madison, Bette Midler and Dwayne Boyd also star.
Gangster Squad - January 11
Stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sean Penn in this chronicle of the Los Angeles Police Department's fight to keep out the East Coast mafia during the 40s and 50s. Was pushed back from its original September release because of the Colorado theater shootings. That should tell you something.