December is a really good month for movies. Children are out of school for the holidays and December 26th is the last day movies can be released and be eligible for Academy Award nominations. Which means not only family movies and serious dramas, but something for everyone. Let’s take a look:
Dramatic Chick Flicks
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and the Frenchman from Oceans Twelve, Vincent Cassel star in director, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a tense psychological thriller about two ballerinas competing for the coveted lead roles in a production of Swan Lake.
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie star in this in a Hitchcock type thriller. On a trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank (Depp) unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise (Jolie), an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.
Sofia Coppola is back in the director’s chair, with Somewhere, starring Stephen Dorff as a bad-boy actor living a fast-paced life in Hollywood until he gets an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter played Dakota’s little sister, Elle Fanning.
Gwyneth’s appearance on Glee was a prelude to her starring role in Country Strong. She plays a fading country music singer who becomes romantically involved with a rising country-music songwriter, played by Tron legacy star Garrett Hedlund. Country Strong also stars Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester.
Frankie and Alice
Halle Berry stars with Stellan Skarsgård and Phylicia Rashad in a drama about a woman with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and not give in to her racist alter-personality.
The über imaginative director of Broadway’s The Lion King, Frida and Across the Universe, Julie Taymor adapts Shakespeare magical tale, The Tempest. The great Helen Mirren is cast in the lead as Prospero along with Felicity Jones and Djimon Hounsou. Russell Brand, Alfred Molina and Alan Cummings round out the cast. Even if you are not fond of Shakespeare, it will be worth it to see Julie Taymor’s artistic rendering of this movie.
How Do You Know
Director James L. Brooks’ light-hearted romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Owen Wilson. The trailers don’t really entice me to see this one, but trailers can be deceiving and Reese is always delightful.
Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Robert De Niro return to welcome a new baby into the Focker family. And the added treat of a cameo from Barbra!
From the director of the delightful and beautiful animated films, The Triplets of Belleville and La vieille dame et les pigeons comes The Illusionist. Set at the end of the vaudeville era, the story involves a French magician who feels he is past his prime.
With Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi and Mr. Sexy Back, Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo Jellystone Park is in trouble and no pick-a-nick basket is save.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Michael Apted directs this story of Lucy and Edmund’s return to Narnia and their adventures with Prince Caspian.
Jeff Bridges & Other Men
The minds behind Raising Arizona, Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ethan Coen Joel Coen bring us their version of the John Wayne classic, True Grit. Jeff Bridges stars as Rooster Cogburn, along with Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld.
Jeff Bridges is a busy guy this year. Along with True Grit, Bridges stars in Disney’s sequel to the 1982 movie, Tron. In Tron: Legacy, the son of Kevin Flynn finds his father who has been trapped inside a cyber universe for 20 years. Father and son team up with the warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde) on a life-or-death journey the Tron world.
The Company Men
Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones star in this timely drama about men you have been aid off by their company. It follows then for a year in their lives and how they are affected by the loss of their jobs.
Mark Wahlberg should be right at home starring as an Irish boxer in Boston. Christian Bale plays his in this movie about the early years of boxer Micky Ward and his brother, who helped train to become a pro fighter.Also starring Melissa Leo and Amy Adams.