Our Must Haves For December

Editors

Editors" Picks: Entertainment Must Haves For December

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What month has tons of future Oscar contenders, holiday specials on TV, and the Golden Globe nominations? December, of course! We”re about to see Meryl Streep sing in Into the Woods, Amy Adams paint in Big Eyes, and Reese Witherspoon hike an impossible distance in Wild. Not to be outdone, Allison Williams is taking on an iconic role in NBC”s live production of Peter Pan Live! Before the madness begins, let”s debrief on the most exciting things in entertainment that are about to happen.

Source: Fox Searchlight

NBC”s last live production, The Sound of Music Live!, didn”t exactly thrill critics, but it did provide the Twitter crowd with a really fun night. I”ve been curious about how Peter Pan Live! would turn out since it was first announced that Allison Williams and Christopher Walken would star. We”ve since been getting teasers and pictures, and come Dec. 4, I”m sure there will be plenty to discuss.

— Maggie Pehanick, assistant editor

Chris Rock is poised to make a huge comeback with this month”s Top Five, the comedy he wrote, directed, and stars in with Rosario Dawson and Gabrielle Union. The movie got huge buzz at Toronto International Film Festival for its laugh-out-loud-funny gags, which include cameos from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld. The trailer had us in stitches, so we”ll be eager to find out if it”s as funny as we hope when it opens Dec. 5.

— Shannon Vestal, editor

Reese Witherspoon turns in the performance of her career in Wild, the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed”s novel. As a huge fan of the book and Strayed”s work, we had high standards for the movie, and director Jean-Marc Vallée delivers, thanks in part to Witherspoon and Laura Dern, who plays Cheryl”s mother. Expect the Oscar buzz to only get louder for this one, so see it when it comes out Dec. 3.

— SV

Speaking of Oscar buzz, award season is here! The Screen Actors Guild nominations take place on Dec. 10, just one day before the Golden Globe noms on Dec. 11. We”ll be waiting to hear who”s up for the year”s biggest honors and are wondering if we”ll see Reese Witherspoon, Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Bradley Cooper up on those lists.

— SV

As someone who isn”t a J. R. R. Tolkien superfan, I”ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I”ve enjoyed The Hobbit films. They”re action-packed with impressive special effects, entertaining elves and dwarves, and tons of heart. The giant dragon Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, is back in the third and final installation, out Dec. 17. We”ll get to see how the big cliff-hanger is resolved, and as the title suggests, there will be an epic battle.

— MP

Anyone who grew up watching the 1982 version of Annie has to be at least mildly curious about how the upcoming remake will be. Little Quvenzhané Wallis takes the lead role as the perpetually happy orphan who wins the heart of Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a curmudgeonly businessman. The songs in the trailers have been undeniably cute, and we”ll get to see the full movie on Christmas Day.

— MP

Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick bring the epic stage musical to the big screen on Christmas Day, and we”ve been hopeful that the adaptation would live up to the original from the first promising trailers and pictures. Now that we”ve seen Depp as the Wolf and heard everyone sing a little, we only want more from the fairy-tale film.

— SV

Angelina Jolie is back in the director”s seat with Unbroken, the trailer for which might have you in tears already. She”s adapting the true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O”Connell), an Olympic runner who is captured and held in a Japanese prison camp while fighting in World War II. Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jai Courtney all costar in the movie, out on Christmas Day.

— MP

A Charlie Brown Christmas is just one of the many holiday specials airing this year. Get ready for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Shrek the Halls, endless reruns of A Christmas Story, and of course, holidays episodes of your favorite shows. Not only that, if you”re looking for something a little different, Bill Murray will be starring in a Christmas special directed by Sofia Coppola.

— MP

James Franco and Seth Rogen are reteaming for The Interview, a (no doubt, very raunchy) comedy in which they play a tabloid reporter and producer, respectively. When they discover that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan, they try to land an interview with him, but instead become unwitting assassins. Dumb? Yes. Funny? Probably. The movie is also out Christmas Day.— SV

James Franco and Seth Rogen are reteaming for The Interview, a (no doubt, very raunchy) comedy in which they play a tabloid reporter and producer, respectively. When they discover that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan, they try to land an interview with him, but instead become unwitting assassins. Dumb? Yes. Funny? Probably. The movie is also out Christmas Day.

— SV

Tim Burton gets a little more dramatic with Big Eyes, the true story of Margaret Keane, the artist whose paintings of big-eyed children were hugely popular — though it was her husband, Walter, who took all the credit. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz play the Keanes, and both of their performances are already being lauded. Mark it down as another Christmas Day release.— SV

Tim Burton gets a little more dramatic with Big Eyes, the true story of Margaret Keane, the artist whose paintings of big-eyed children were hugely popular — though it was her husband, Walter, who took all the credit. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz play the Keanes, and both of their performances are already being lauded. Mark it down as another Christmas Day release.

— SV

Bradley Cooper plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. I”ll take any opportunity to see Cooper, and this movie looks intense, action-packed, and likely quite emotional. It”s set to open on Christmas Day, so plan on finishing up dinner quickly and heading to the theater.

— MP

David Oyelowo has turned in impressive performances in movies like The Butler, but he”s about to break out in a big way as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, the biopic about the civil rights leader”s march in Selma, AL, in 1965. Oprah Winfrey also costars in the intense, stirring-looking film, which comes out on Christmas.

— SV

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