December 6, 2013 – Movie studios often wait until the end of the year to release their best films. As long as it appears in theaters by December 31, even in limited release, it is eligible for Oscar consideration, and late releases are likely to remain in the minds of Academy voters when selecting nominations.
All I want for Christmas is a free eight hours to see these four soon to be released films.
American Hustle – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
David O. Russell scored big with last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook”, which earned Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar, so why not come back with another compelling story, two of the same stars with two more big name actors added to the mix. The story is fictional, yet based on one of the biggest American scandals ever, complete with con men, powerbrokers and the New Jersey mafia. “American Hustle” has been creating a lot of buzz in the entertainment world, and was named as the best film of 2013 this week by the New York Film Critics Circle. If that isn’t enough to lure you in, perhaps the awesome afro sported by Bradley Cooper in the film will do the trick.
Inside Llewyn Davis – Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
The first time I saw a preview for this film, I knew I had to see it. Sure, I’m a fan of Joel and Ethan Coen, but even if someone else had written and directed the story of a young singer trying to make it in the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s, it would appeal to me. I’m not familiar with the lead actor, Oscar Isaac, but he seemed quite capable in the previews, and if he’s good enough for the Coen brothers, he’s good enough for me.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt
Here’s another film with intriguing previews that have been teasing me for months. The name sounded familiar, and I learned it is based on a 1939 short story by James Thurber, and then turned into a movie in 1947 starring Danny Kaye. Now, I want to see that version, too. As a life-long daydreamer myself, I find the plot intriguing. Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a daydreamer who escapes his simple life by disappearing into a world of fantasies.
Her – Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
In our world of text messages and ever-changing technology, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this clever concept: a man falls in love with his computer’s operating system. If anything, the storyline sounds imaginative. Moreover, it’s the complete opposite of HAL, the computer we hated in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the first computer given a personality. Spike Jonze, a filmmaker who likes to experiment with the unusual, brings us this interesting film, which is described as romance meets sci-fi. I’m normally turned off by anything sci-fi, but this one is begging me to go along for the ride.