OU'RE READY. Oh, you are so ready. You're going to follow up on that Personal Commitment to hoist your sluggard spouse out of the house and see a movie.
A good movie, of course. You've been thinking about a big one, a three-hankie weeper, maybe. Or maybe a "fun" one. Or an arty one. Or something, you know, serious, with Meryl Streep or (cue the moans) Denzel. And isn't there some movie version of "Chicago" coming out? And also some Jack Nicholson flick? And isn't Leonardo DiCaprio competing against himself, in two different movies? Yes, yes and yes. The holidays are here. And we got your movies right heah.
Or should we say: Hollywood does. The end of the year is Tinseltown's equivalent of presidential campaign time.
Now is when the studios' publicity and marketing departments attempt to generate buzz throughout the industry, media and public. They're entering the awards season, in which a movie can build its Oscar-winning potential with victories at the American Film Institute, professional guilds, Golden Globe and other competitions. So it's important to save their best releases for late in the year. Which would be now. Which would mean that we're about to see the cream of the crop.
Well, how is that cream this year? (And how, exactly, does a crop have cream? Discuss.) Actually, this year's offerings are very good.
I can generate my own, very positive buzz, here and now, about "Adaptation," "Antwone Fisher," "About Schmidt," "The Pianist" (which won the Golden Palm at Cannes earlier this year), Pedro Almodovar's "Talk to Her" and an obscure little release called "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Out of the films I've been lucky enough to view ahead of time, these are the immediate standouts. You're not going to go wrong with any of them.
And by the way, DiCaprio will be starring in two high-impact movies: Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" and Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can." He's not the only one. Streep has major roles in two films as well. She's book author Susan Orlean in Spike Jonze's "Adaptation." And she's a book editor in "The Hours," Stephen Daldry's movie about Virginia Woolf. And Nicolas Cage plays two people in the same movie. That's "Adaptation."
For more details about these and other holiday releases, read on.