The holiday movie season is upon us and with it comes the second blockbuster season of the year with what promises to be a mixed bag of a line-up with blockbuster films like Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the dark thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the highly-anticipated Sherlock Holmes sequel, the all-star ensemble romantic comedy New Year’s Eve and family films like The Adventures of Tintin and The Muppets. This is also when movie studios make a final push before the start of awards season by releasing Oscar bait, and this year is no exception with Steven Spielberg’s War Horse set for release.
This time in the movie world often treats moviegoers to some great film fare. Consider the holiday movie season of ’08 that gave us Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Doubt. This year promises to be just as good with big name stars starring in some pretty interesting vehicles and there’s plenty of variety too.
I found this year to be a rather underwhelming one for movies, but there look to be some real game changers set for release in the last two months of the year that could help salvage a rather mediocre year in film.
Here are a few selections from the 2011 holiday movie season:
This is a Roman Polanski film that teams Jodi Foster and John C. Reilly with Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz as parents who decide to meet after their kids have a schoolyard brawl. With a cast this great, there’s no doubt we’ll be treated to some superb performances.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Gary Oldman stars as a disgraced British spy who is hired secretly by his government to uncover a double agent working for the Soviets who has infiltrated MI-6. This film is based on a novel and early buzz is that it’s a great international thriller.
I haven’t seen Charlize Theron in anything worthwhile in quite some time, so it was a welcome surprise to see her headlining the new Jason Reitman-Diablo Cody vehicle Young Adult. Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer who returns to her hometown to relive her glory days and with the hopes of reuniting with her married high school sweetheart.
The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep does what she does best in the intimate biopic about Margaret Thatcher – she immerses herself in the role to completely embody the character. The film documents the strides made by the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to break through gender and class barriers in a male-dominated society. I think it’s safe to assume that Streep will likely receive her 14th Oscar nomination for this role.
New Year’s Eve
Gary Marshall recycles his last movie idea, but instead of taking place on Valentine’s Day, his new film takes place on New Year’s Eve. Once again, he’s assembled a large ensemble cast, only this time, he tells a series of intertwining stories of a group of New Yorkers on New Year’s Eve.
We Bought a Zoo
I’m happy to see a directorial effort by Cameron Crowe since he hasn’t made a feature film since 2005’s forgettable Elizabethtown. We Bought a Zoo is a film based on true events that tells the story of a recently-widowed father who moves to a beautiful estate miles outside of the city that also doubles as a dilapidated zoo.
The Adventures of Tintin
This marks Steven Spielberg’s first animated movie. He animates the popular comic book character Tintin using a performance-capture process similar to the one used to create Gollum in Lord of the Rings.
What film are you most looking forward to seeing this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section.