The ten movies you need to see this holiday season
Perhaps you’re used to Brit director Mike Leigh constantly impressing you—his last picture, Happy-Go-Lucky, was as fine as anything he’s done. But this one’s even better. And Lesley Manville’s insecure, huggable Mary represents the best acting of the year.
The lure is stylish director Darren Aronofsky, reinvigorated after The Wrestler and ready to prove he’s a keeper with a darkly voluptuous ballet psychodrama. Yet the movie belongs to Natalie Portman, never before this robustly physical or vulnerable.
Somehow it wouldn’t be the holidays without a rib-sticking relationship drama, and Derek Cianfrance’s NYC-shot hipster meltdown is certainly that. Forget the NC-17 noise; this film features some superb heartache from the always-excellent Ryan Gosling.
Shot by wizardly cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 fascist melodrama is the revival of the season—a movie so good-looking, it will invade your headspace even as you line up for newer flicks.
The Mark Wahlberg boxing drama is being handled with CIA-level secrecy. That might be because it’s whispered to include a ferocious and tragic supporting performance by Christian Bale that will return him to the critics’ A-list.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I
We’re ready to see Harry face off with Lord Voldemort, but also to tackle the biggest baddie of them all: adulthood. Aren’t we done with these Harry Potter movies already?
French documentarian Nicolas Philibert made the moving, mulitfaceted To Be and to Have, so we expect his latest—a portrait of an aged orangutan—to deliver laughter, tears and the best monkeyshines since Every Which Way But Loose.
In what sounds like the old-school escapist pleasure of the season, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie loll around Italy while engaging in espionage and Hitchcockian derring-do.
We’re there for the light cycles, of course. But the return of Jeff Bridges and a score by Daft Punk also have us particularly psyched.
The Coen brothers return to the source material—Charles Portis’s extraordinary novel—for what promises to be a more faithful, Grit-tier Western than John Wayne’s 1969 version.