Top 10 Films to See at Christmas 2011
# 10 – Wuthering Heights
Everyone likes a period-piece at Christmas time, the snowy manor houses and crackling fires, and even if you don’t, your mum will, so take her to see Wuthering Heights when it is released in November. From the director of the artsy Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold, Wuthering Heights has a long line of adaptations to follow. Starring Kaya Scodelario of Skins fame as Cathy and the relatively unknown James Howson, discovered in open auditions in Leeds, Arnold’s Wuthering Heights will hopefully be a refreshing take on the often-adapted novel.
#9 – We Need to Talk about Kevin
The utterly fab We Need to Talk About Kevin has hit our screens early into the Christmas season, but it’s probably best to leave your holiday spirit outside for this one. Tilda Swinton plays Eva, the mother of Kevin (Ezra Miller) who decides to go on a savage high-school killing spree. The film follows their complicated relationship from Kevin’s birth, hinting at the tell-tale signs of evil (cue menacing toddler glares) and how Eva endures the guilt of the incident. A dramatic thought-provoking must-see.
#8 – Another Earth
If you fancy something a bit different this Christmas, and animated happy holidays films aren’t your bag, this bizarre and interesting sci-fi conceot about the existence of a replica Earth may intrigue you. When student Rhoda makes a terrible mistake, she crosses paths with composer John Burroughs but isn’t as honest in their relationship as she should be. Something has upset the cosmic symmetry and a parallel universe forms, working as a metaphor of self-reflcetion. Would the you on another world make the same mistake as you did?
#7- Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol
The third installation from the ever-lucrative Mission: Impossible series is set to be bigger and more full of explosions than ever. In fact, the premise of the movie is centred around an explosion. Ethan Hunt is back and he’s going rogue to clear his organisation’s name when they are implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin. “The President has initiated Ghost Protocol”… “if any of your team is caught, they will be branded terrorists, out to incite global nuclear war.” Ooo, the stakes just got bigger. And Eminem does the soundtrack. Gritty. Get set for an explosive holiday season.
Released December 16.
#6 – We Were Here
It’s not often that a 2 minute trailer makes us weep openly at our desks, and by that measure alone it’s safe to say that We Were Here looks to be the unforgettable documentary of the season. The film focuses on the AIDs epidemic in San Francisco in the eighties, and looks at once funny, frank and completely devastating. Neither pontificating nor overly sentimental, the film’s trailer alone captures the terror, the hope and the utter confusion that shaped the era.
#5 – Arthur Christmas
Now, steering away from homicidal teenagers and parallel universes, Arthur Christmas is set to be the film to see in Christmas 2011 that is actually about Christmas. With a cast more glittering than Elton John’s Christmas stocking featuring voices from the likes of James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie and Matt Lucas, Arthur Christmas cannot fail to fill us with Christmas cheer. This 2011 Xmas animation reveals how Santa manages to make, wrap and distribute Christmas presents for the entire population of the globe – with a modern slant that i-Pad wielding 21st century kids will love.
#4 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Family favourite Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (yes, another sequel to add to our Chritmas wish list) is back and more celebrity packed than ever. Original director Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey Jr. returning as Holmes (in drag) and Jude Law his trusty sidekick Watson, will be joined by Rachel McAdams and Stephen Fry as Holmes’ more intelligent (obviously) brother, Mycroft Holmes. Holmes’ “web of conspiracy has expanded” and once again the puzzle solving team will take on the dastardly Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). Festive sleuthing fun for all the family.
#3 – My Week With Marilyn
Directed by Simon Curtis, and boasting an all-star cast, My Week With Marilyn looks set to be the must-see movie this winter. Expectations are set to rocket-high standards thanks to the beautiful stills we’ve seen released over the last few weeks; opulent costumes, vivid cinematography and a wonderfully made-up Michelle Williams, who seems to have taken to the iconic blonde bob and pout effortlessly. The film promises ainsight into Marilyn’s tense interaction with Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) during the seven days she spent in the UK filming The Prince And The Showgirl, as well as an examination into what it means to be a celebrity and how stars can buckle under the pressures of fame.
#2 – Snowtown
A film about a notorious serial-killing Australian is not what you would expect to find in second place on a list of films to see at Christmas, but this John Bunting biopic looks dark and brilliant. The perfect flick for people who hate Christmas and can instead sit and brood and plan their own grizzly death-list in the back of a dark cinema all alone, watching a film about the man who did it best (and who probably hated Christmas too.) Snowtown actually focuses on a disillusioned 16-year-old Jamie who finds the charismatic Bunting slowly creeping to the ranks of father figure. Torn between loyalty and fear, Jamie’s world is torn apart as the horrific crimes begin to unfold. Merry Christmas!
#1 – Happy Feet Two
There’s snow and penguins and enough stars to top every tree in the world. Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria (so many Simpsons’ voices come from this man), Ned Beatty, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, Ray Winstone, John Goodman and PINK (yes, PINK) team up to voice this all singing, all dancing Christmas sequel. It makes it to the top of our list because it is animated, could not possibly have any more famously voiced penguins and it’s just so darn CUTE. Look at that penguin’s face and tell me it won’t fill you with Christmas wonder. Now go and take a turkey round Tiny Tim’s. Merry Christmas one and all!