One of the things I love most about the festive season is the chance to wind down, stop the clock (well, the rat race one at least) and do as little as humanly possible while consuming as many calories as I can manage (hello Cadbury chocolate sultanas/raisins!).
That is partly what makes Christmas and the period before New Year the most wonderful time of the year for me.
Naturally of course this is also when all the cinema chains decide that they will release all of the many and amazing movies they have hitherto clutched possessively to themselves like children refusing to share their candy.
All of which leads to an inevitable clashing of priorities.
Do I yield to limitless sloth and indolence, awash in a sea of plum pudding, turkey leftovers and the slow steady hum of summer, or do I dash to the multiplex, buy tickets to every movie going and hope my brain doesn’t explode from all the cinematic goodness I have experienced?
It’s a tough call but one I will try to answer by sifting through the large range of available movies, many of which are Oscar contenders and more than worth my time, and picking five, yes just five to go and see.
Trust me, you will thank me later (most likely through a mouthful of fruit mince pie if you’re sensible) …
* The list is based on the Australian release schedule
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor. (source: thehobbit.com)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in Australia on 26 December 2013 (it opened in USA on 13 December).
In Frozen, fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell ) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff ) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. (source: screenrant.com)
Frozen opens in Australia on 26 December 2013 (it opened in USA on 27 November)
An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize. (source: imdb.com)
Nebraska opens in Australia on 26 December (it opened in USA on 15 November 2013)
Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who 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 (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter 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. (source: movieweb.com)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens in Australia on 26 December 2013 and in USA on 25 December.
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him in vain.
Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off for America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between them. (source: PhilomenaMovie.com)
Philomena opens in Australia on 26 December 2013 (it opened in USA on 15 November 2013)
*Honorary mentions must also go to Saving Mr Banks (26 December AU/20 December full release USA) which looks delightful, August: Osage County (1 January 2014 AU/25 December 2013 USA) which kicks the year off with a dramatic tour de force, and Mr Peabody and Herman (1 January 2014 AU/7 March 2014 USA) which looks like a wonderful updating of a quirky show of my childhood.