as you may know, (since i’ve only mentioned it here and here) every year on christmas day my family ventures to the cinema (said with a british accent because it sounds fancy, like this cinnneeemahhhhhh) to take in a matinee. it started with patch adams in 1998 and ended with last year’s not-so-christmas-appropriate django unchained.
and now that the holiday is just a week away, it’s crunch time to solidify this year’s pick. but with many viable movies set to release on or around december 25th, this year’s pick might take a bit more consideration than in years past. blame it on the final push to get all of the good films out before the oscar nominations or the fact that movie theaters have caught onto the fact that people are always looking for a way to entertain their in-laws and extended family, but whatever the reason, these last two weeks of december are choc-full-o-goodness. and by goodness i mean christmas cookies. oh, and also seemingly good films.
so here’s what we’re working with:
movie: anchorman 2
known actors: will farrell, paul rudd, steve carell, christina applegate (basically everyone you knew and loved from the first one as well as a bunch of amazing cameos)
plot summary: “with the 70s behind him, san diego’s top rated newsman, ron burgundy, returns to take new york’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.”
reasons for christmas viewing: laughing increases endorphins. endorphins make you happy. and doesn’t everyone just want to be happy on christmas?
reasons it can wait: let’s be honest, it probably won’t. (spoiler alert: my money’s on this one for this year’s pick, kids).
movie: the secret life of walter mitty
known actors: ben stiller, kristen wiig and a bunch of people you probably don’t know by name but would totally recognize from another film (yeah, those actors)
plot summary: “a day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. when his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.”
reasons for christmas viewing: i have heard from a valuable source (one of my friends’ gchat statuses) that it is worth seeing. i also have a feeling it will only fuel my ever-growing wanderlust.
reasons it can wait: i prefer my ben stiller in the form of derek zoolander, tony perkis, or greg focker. and also, aforementioned wanderlust is expensive to appease.
movie: the wolf of wall street
known actors: leonardo dicaprio, jonah hill, matthew mcconaughey & kyle chandler (and then there’s the fact that it’s directed by the legendary martin scorsese)
plot summary: “based on the true story of jordan belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.” basically a guy gets rich, we see him live opulently, and then inevitably lose it all. he does it all, of course, dressed impeccably and to a really great soundtrack.
reasons for christmas viewing: who am i to deprive myself of a kyle chandler-filled christmas? but seriously, it has already earned itself two golden globe noms for best picture and best actor (leonardo dicaprio) and it’s based on a true story. meaning it’s somewhat educational due to its connection to current affairs.
reasons it can wait: i’m not sure this is as family-appropriate as i want it to be.
movie: american hustle
known actors: bradley cooper (bradley coopers’ jerry curls), christian bale, jeremy renner, jennifer lawrence, amy adams, so basically a total loser of a cast
plot summary: “a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, american hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving rosenfeld (christian bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive british partner sydney prosser (amy adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent richie dimaso (bradley cooper). dimaso pushes them into a world of jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. jeremy renner is carmine polito, the passionate, volatile, new jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife rosalyn (jennifer lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.” (i’m kind of confused already).
reasons for christmas viewing: let’s not beat around the bush on this one, i have no argument for seeing this on Jesus’ birthday.
reasons it can wait: similar to leo’s flick, not quite sure where this falls on the zero to awkward scale as far as seeing it with the rents goes, but something tells me that the little onesie number that jennifer lawrence sports in the previews answers that question for me.
movie: the invisible woman
known actors: ralph fiennes (voldemort), felicity jones (even i don’t know who this is)
plot summary: “at the height of his career, charles dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death.” (who knew charles dickens had a sordid affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter? well apparently the makers of this movie, but i certainly didn’t).
reasons for christmas viewing: charles dickens did write “a christmas carol” didn’t he? so it would seem appropriate to pay homage to his literary contributions to the world by viewing a film about how he was totally unfaithful in his marriage.
reasons it can wait: no one wants to think too hard on christmas. the literary themes of this film might be a little much for the holiday, so it could be best to wait until the sugar cookie coma has worn off (think mid-january). plus, i mean, it’s about infidelity, nothing christmasy about that.
movie: saving mr. banks
known actors: tom hanks, emma thompson, colin farrell (what?!)
plot summary: “author p. l. travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker walt disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, mary poppins.”
reasons for christmas viewing: who doesn’t love a good disney movie around the holidays? also, tom hanks. always see anything with tom.
reasons it can wait: i’m fairly certain my dad is taking my mom to see this (she LOVES mary poppins) on a date night. i’m all about third-wheeling, but i feel totally fine sitting this one out and waiting for it to come to a redbox near me. chim, chiminey, chim chim, charoo.
movie: lone survivor
known actors: tim riggins
plot summary: tim riggins
what the critics are saying: tim riggins
reasons for christmas viewing: tim riggins
reasons it can wait: THERE IS NO WAITING FOR TIM RIGGINS
and then i realized that this movie’s national release date isn’t until january 10th. oops.
i’ll let you all know what we decide. merry christmas from my family tradition to yours.