I do love December; not just for the time off, holiday merriment, friends and family etc. This is the time of year when all the studios roll out their award season contenders. All the specialty fare that was acquired at Sundance and the other big fests finally gets a wide (or at least wider) release. For a film nerd like me, it's like double Christmas. December films are often the best or at least most interesting of the year. I'm home in MI for the holidays, so in between family time, gorging myself on midwestern staples (Shout out to Olga's Kitchen and Bakers' Square), and catching up with high school friends, I'm getting a jump on seeing the awards season offerings.
This year my list includes: The Descendants, Hugo, Pariah, War Horse, J Edgar, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Artist, My Week With Marilyn, Shame, Albert Nobbs, and Young Adult.
I saw Young Adult last night. I...liked it. If you like your protagonists boozy and unsympathetic you'll like it too. Charlize Theron plays Mavis, an alcoholic YA writer (of a failing series) who lives a mundane, lonely life. Don't go feeling too bad for Ms. Mavis; she's a virulent narcissist. After getting a birth announcement from her married high school ex-boyfriend, she decides she wants him back, wife and child be damned. She drives back to her home town, checks herself into a motel and puts her plan in motion. Now, I'm not going to spoil it for you, but let's just say there's no Hollywood ending in this one. I love that she has no redeeming qualities, is unapologetically selfish and yet we go on the ride with her anyway. The story seems to drag in some places, but it may be intentional to show the mundanity of everyday life? I may be making excuses because I'm a fan of both the director Jason Reitman and the writer Diablo Cody. Anyway, this film is definitely unexpected and at times cringe-worthy. With outstanding performances by Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt, it's worth an hour and half of your life.
Next up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...