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Films to See over the Holidays
jade kasoff 11 staff writer
December 15, 2009

If you need something to do over the holidays, you can catch up on the slew of movies that came out just after Thanksgiving break and keep up with the one that will hit the theaters over winter break. The most exciting and highly-recommended are, the ones predicted (by Moviefone) to be potential Best Picture candidates: Up in the Air, The Lovely Bones, Nine, and Avatar.

Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman, (Juno, Thank you for Smoking), stars a human resource administrator (George Clooney) whose life on airplanes becomes the focal point of his world as he works to reach his one-millionth frequent flyer mile. The “dramedy” was the toast of Toronto, earning raves from critics across the board. George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, playing his love interest, are predicted to be nominees for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

The Lovely Bones, directed by The Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson, will also be in theaters by the time winter break starts. Adapting the movie from the celebrated bestseller by, Jackson turns a slow-moving and introspective tragedy into a crime thriller: from heaven, a young girl watches her family attempting to track down her killer while he covers his tracks and prepares to claim his next victim. Mark Wahlberg, starring as the girl’s father, is another possible best actor candidate, and Rachel Weisz, as her mother, is a possibility for Best Supporting Actress.

Nine, a musical by the creative team behind the Oscar-winning Broadway adaptation of Chicago, will come out a few days after the start of break. Directed by Rob Marshall, Nine chronicles world-class filmmaker Guido Contini’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) effort to realize his latest cinematic vision while simultaneously balancing his relationships with his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard) and mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz). Co-starring in the movie are Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, and Fergie; three of the four co-stars, as well as every one of the movie’s stars, have already won Oscars, and Day-Lewis’s performance in the movie might earn him another.

Avatar, a digital 3-D sci-fi epic directed by Academy Award-winning James Cameron (Titanic), will come out the same day. The movie features a paraplegic war veteran (Sam Worthington) who is sent to establish a human settlement on the planet Pandora, only to find himself battling mankind alongside the planet’s aliens. Supervised by Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning Weta Digital visual effects house, Cameron combines actor’s movements and digitalized appearance to create the aliens, and has hinted that he is revolutionizing filmmaking with the techniques he used in the movie. This prospect, as well as the fantastic achievements by other directors and actors, makes it look like it’s going to be a great Christmas for movie-goers!