Amour – From acclaimed writer/director Michael Haneke comes this year’s Palm d’Or winner. Georges and Anne are two retired music teachers, in their eighties, and living comfortably. One day, Anne has an attack and their relationship is thrown into despair. Watching a love one slip away in this manner is excruciatingly painful, and Haneke is not going to let us look away. Mankind has the benefit and the curse of knowing that life is temporary, and that one day we will die. How we approach the finish line and cross it, defines us just as much as how we got there. Lead performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, this is sure to challenge you. Opening wide from Sony Pictures Classics.
The Guilt Trip – Well, they can’t all be winners. For the first time ever (at least for mainstream Hollywood cinema of the last couple of years) comes a mother-son road trip movie! Who knew that people were even asking for one? Barbara Streisand plays Joyce, the single mother of Andrew, played by Seth Rogen. Andrew has invented something and is going on a road trip to peddle it, and he asks his mother to join him. As you can imagine, a lot of wacky hi-jinks and uncomfortable humor ensues and a few life lessons are learned. Directed by Anne Fletcher, Paramount is giving The Guilt Trip a limited release on Wednesday, with a wide roll out on Christmas.
Monster’s, Inc. 3-D – When 3-D was re-introduced to massive success with Avatar (2009), it was the goose that laid the golden egg. Suddenly everything had to be in 3-D and they started to retro-fit old movies into 3-D. The public was none too happy, and rightly so, as it took a few years for the studios to figure out how to use the technology. Naturally, Disney and Pixar have been at the forefront of this movement, and they also happen to be the best at it. Already animated digitally, Monster’s, Inc. is ripe for a 3-D retrofit, and will actually benefit from the reformat. There are plenty of new movies out in the next couple of weeks, but a return to the world of Sully and Mike is a welcome break from the holiday season. From the great Pixar Brain Trust in their peak: Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton, David Silverman, and Daniel Gerson write and direct with Billy Crystal and John Goodman providing the lead voices. Out in wide release from Disney.
Zero Dark Thirty – It all started on September 11, 2001, when America suffered the worse attack on home soil since the Civil War. The name Osama Bin Laden became the name synonymous with evil, and President Bush launched the War on Terror. Ten years, two wars, billions spent, and yet no one could find the man who started it all. Then one day, they got him. The director and writer of The Hurt Locker (2009) Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal re-team to bring the story of that manhunt, and what it costs both emotionally and financially. It has been rumored that when they started work on the project, it was going to be about the failed attempt to find and capture, Bin Laden, but then history intervened and a re-write was needed. Starring Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Joel Edgerton, and Jason Clarke. One of the year’s most anticipated films, finally opens in limited engagements this Wednesday from Sony Pictures, and goes wide in January.