Your ultimate December movie list
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Oh hey, look at you, still reading the paper. You must be hanging around for exams. Know what comes after exams? Winter break! But what are you going to do with all of that spare time? Wait, I’ll answer that for you, you’re going to see movies! So many movies!
Better yet, most of the movies currently playing are fairly awesome; just awesome enough to be Oscar bait. You’ve got the obvious choices, like The Master, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Looper, and even though it’s already on DVD, I’d be shocked if The Avengers didn’t get some kind of sound award at the least. While this has arguably been one of the more spaced out nomination seasons in terms of having essentially a year-long window, of course, what would the business be if the best weren’t saved for last?
First off, coming out on December 14 is something that needs no introduction, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You’ve got your J. R. R. (Tolkien), your P.J. (Peter Jackson), your BBC approved John Watson (Martin Freeman)—it’s all the first of another epic trilogy, and it would be a sin against nature if it didn’t appease everyone left and right—including them stuffy Oscar voters.
Because it’s winter, we’re also back to the release of films on Wednesdays as well, and the first Wednesday to keep an eye out for is the 19, when the newest Kathryn Bigelow political thriller Zero Dark Thirty will hit theatres. Bigelow didn’t waste anytime waiting around after Osama bin Laden was successfully found and killed, and apparently neither did writer Mark Boal, as this film tackles the subject; is it too soon? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Two days later on the 21—and get the notepad out for this one—This Is 40, The Impossible, and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will all make their way into theatres. This Is 40 is Judd Apatow’s Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl-free “sort of sequel” to 2007’s Knocked Up, focusing instead on the characters of Heigl’s sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and her husband Pete (Paul Rudd), in which both of whom have hit the dreaded big four-o. After that comes the inevitable tearjerker The Impossible, based on the true story of a Spanish family—portrayed as British in the film—vacationing in Thailand who gets separated during the horrific 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Then we have Worlds Away, performed by the acrobatic stars of Cirque du Soleil, in which they tell the highly visual story of, well, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s expected to be visually astounding and will be shown in 3D, so I’m sold.
Finally, forget the chestnuts, forget Jack Frost, hell forget Wednesday releases; on Tuesday, Christmas day two enormous and drastically different major releases will finally make their debuts. After months of waiting, Tarantino’s latest Django Unchained and arguably the most major film adaptation of Les Misérables will be out for the world to see. Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as recently freed slave Django and beloved Inglorious Basterds “Jew-hunter” Christoph Waltz also playing hero, as the two pair up in the wild west against the sinister oil tycoon Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). And in the sung-through Les Mis we have The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper taking the reigns on what turns out is a multi-talented cast of Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (as Inspector Javert), Anne Hathaway (as Fantine), and Amanda Seyfried (as Cosette). Both are nearly three hours long, so unfortunately you’re going to very likely just pick one to see on Christmas day—but either way is a win as far as I’m concerned.
So there you are, possibly the most epic of epic lists of December movies that could have ever existed. So make your own list (and check it twice) this holiday season, because each of these films deserves to be seen at least once.