Fall Movie Preview: December 2013

Yes, yes. It's weird that December is included in the Fall Movie Preview. It's supposed to snow this week, for cripes' sake! The same movies are written about in the Holiday Movie Preview! What gives? But I'm not here to complain; I like getting a heads-up about the films I'll want to make time for around the holidays, or at least the ones I'll eventually throw on the queue. The list is lengthening. After all, the closer we get to the Oscars, the closer we are to the calendar's dumping ground. So bundle up, load up your coat pockets with a secret candy stash, and let's hit the theater!

December 6

Inside Llewyn Davis: This one is on my radar purely by virtue of the fact that it's a Coen brothers' movie. I'm not terribly interested in the folk music scene in 1960s New York, but film critics that I trust are already chattering about how good this is, so I'm more than willing to walk into this one blind.

December 13

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was good, but I'm not a Tolkien geek, so the news that the relatively spare novel The Hobbit would be split into three movies made me grumpy and cynical. But hey, I wound up liking the first one just fine, and since I don't have the baggage of caring about how the book is adapted, why not just sit back and enjoy some spectacle?

American Hustle: The trio of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and David O. Russell did some great work in 2012, and their re-team this year has also pulled in Christian Bale and Amy Adams, and thrown them all into the grit and corruption of 1970s New Jersey. Yes, please. The movie involves an FBI sting operation, and looks like all kinds of fun.

Saving Mr. Banks: This one is a maybe, as is The Wolf of Wall Street. A movie about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) trying to persuade a cranky P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) into letting him adapt Mary Poppins his way sounds more appealing to me than another bloated, DiCaprio-fronted Scorsese epic (sacrilege, I know), so this one gets its own entry. What little I've heard indicates that the acting is very strong, which of course it is, given the leads. I've also read that it's a more realistic look at what Disney was like in real life than we're used to seeing. I don't know that it's a strong enough draw to get me to the theater, but if the word-of-mouth is good, I can see this being a choice rental.

December 18:

Her: Hey, didn't I just write about this? I did! I guess it's been rescheduled.

December 25

August: Osage County: I've never seen this play, about a family gathering fraught with tension, but the movie looks interesting. And not just to watch Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts throw down over the dinner table. When the family's father disappears, the remaining family members gather in the rural Oklahoma homestead to work out their issues. It doesn't sound like the most heartwarming holiday tale, but if it's done well, it could be a pretty gripping film.


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