Martha Thomases: The Twelve Flicks of Christmas
When I had to go to work in an office everyday, I would try to save up my vacation days so I could take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ostensibly, I did this because my kid had no school and needed daytime attention.
But, really, I did it because I wanted to go to the movies.
The holiday season usually sees a flood of new releases, either to amuse those home-bound kids or to qualify for the Academy Awards. A lot of the Oscar-bait is scheduled for nation-wide release when the awards will actually be presented, and they just open in a few theaters to get by the rules. Since a lot of Academy members live in New York, we luck out.
There are altogether too many Jews in my borough for me to indulge the traditional Reform observance of Christmas (Chinese food and a movie), but I hope to celebrate the end of the year with my people (by which I mean, movie geeks).
Here’s what I’m anticipating most.
Inside Llewyn Davis Not since Bruce Springsteen teamed up with Pete Seeger has a project seemed so much like it was designed specifically for me. The Coen Brothers explore the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. I expect it to be my neighborhood, my music, my sense of humor and my reasons for moving here. And then I expect to be sad because none of this is cool anymore.
American Hustle I’m not a huge David O. Russell fan, but I like a movie with a lot of cute guys in it, even when they have bad hair, bad clothes and bodies fattened for art. However …
Out of the Furnace, which isn’t supposed to be as good, is also on my list because it’s Christian Bale being his cute self, along with a set of very very masculine, serious co-stars. Come to Mama, boys.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire I’m late to this. It’s been out for a month, and I still haven’t gone. Loved the books (although I thought the last one had a weak ending), loved the previous movies, love the clothes and love Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks. I wish the two would remake Thelma & Louise.
Saving Mr. Banks My husband and I were both huge fans of Walt Disney (politics aside) and Mary Poppins. John liked to opine that without Mary Poppins there would be no Star Wars. I read the Travers books to my son, and they are big fun, so I see no reason not to sob like a baby through this entire film.
Frozen See above about Disney. We would often observe that, unlike so many filmmakers who went for a kids’ audience, Disney (as a studio) tended to have much better scripts. This looks like it follows in the path of what I think of as the Broadway musical animated movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) and that’s a good thing.The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese is one of my all-time favorites. In this film, he seems to be treating Wall Street traders as if they are gangsters involved in organized crime. Sounds right to me.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues How much did you love the first one? Not as much as I did. When I go to SDCC, I try to walk around the park near the water, looking for roving bands of news teams.
Kill Your Darlings The first famous author I ever met was Allen Ginsberg. He had given a poetry reading at a nearby university, and came to our commune for dinner. Since I was just a girl, he ignored me just about completely. Still, I’m eager to see him portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, because it’s about as far from Harry Potter as one can get.
Her I really like Spike Jonze movies. Because of him, sometimes I wander around muttering, “Malkovich Malkovich Malcovich.” So I’m curious to see what his future is like.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Sadly, this will now seem like an elegy. A friend of mine who has to go to film festivals as part of her job saw this a few times back in the spring and said it was always fantastic. And it has Idris Elba. Yowza.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty I have no intellectual defense for wanting to see this. I like Ben Stiller. Sue me.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman
SUNDAY: John Ostrander