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Movies to watch over Thanksgiving Break

Scene Staff Report | Monday, November 21, 2011

“The Descendents”

George Clooney, the eternal bachelor, plays father to Shailene Woodley in what looks like an unusually heart-warming film. Set in beautiful Hawaii, Matt King (Clooney) is forced to take on the role of nurturing parent after his wife is injured in a boating accident. He has trouble controlling his reckless teenage daughter, but upon trying to convince her to open up, he learns that his wife has been cheating on him. As his emotional stability falters, he begins to connect with his daughters in a way he never had before.

“My Week With Marilyn”

Michelle Williams channels Norma Jean in “My Week With Marilyn,” a film based on the true story of a Marilyn Monroe filming, “The Prince and the Showgirl,” in Britain. After her husband leaves, Colin Clark, an assistant on the set of the film, shows Marilyn around Britain. In the mean time, however, Clark is given a privileged view inside the life of a woman who lived her act to the very end. Portraying such an iconic figure as Marilyn would be a daunting feat for any actress, but Williams seems to strike a believable tone.

“A Dangerous Method”

Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung. Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud. A disturbed young Russian woman played by Keira Knightley coming between them. This is nothing like your 9:30 a.m. psychology class. Directed by David Cronenberg, whose films include the intense “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises,” “A Dangerous Method” explores the relationship between Jung and his mentor Freud, and how a beautiful patient both divides them and helps them develop the famous theory of psychoanalysis. If nothing else, Knightley’s Russian accent should be somewhat entertaining.

“Arthur Christmas”

In this soon-to-be Christmas classic, the question that has eluded children through all time will finally be answered: How does Santa get all those presents delivered around the world in one night? The story follows the Claus family: the “Grand-Santa,” the current Santa and the next-in-line, Santa’s son Steve. And then there’s Arthur, Steve’s awkward and easily-excited younger brother. When one little girl’s present gets left behind, and the “new and improved” Santas are not concerned, this unlikely hero must step up and bring back the spirit of Christmas. With comedy, family and Christmas cheer, this movie is perfect for the start of the holiday season.

 “The Artist”

Set in the 1920s, a silent film star struggles with his fall from fame with the rise of talking pictures, while the woman he loves is a rising star in these “talkies.” This film follows the style of the old silent black and whites, showing the hardships that accompany loss of fame and those that go along with being in love with someone who is taking your place in the spotlight. This film has romance, comedy, tears, smiles and John Goodman. It is very unique and has won awards at several international film festivals, so you won’t want to miss this one.

“Hugo”

Though Hollywood has been hot for 3D recently, many of its most prolific directors have been hesitant to join the craze. On Nov. 23, Martin Scorsese of “The Departed,” “Taxi Driver” and “Goodfellas” fame releases “Hugo,” his first film in 3D. Based on the novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, “Hugo” follows the story of a young boy, Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who lives in the walls of a Paris train station after being orphaned. He discovers a magical mystery involving his deceased father (Jude Law), some automotons and the famous French pioneering filmmaker Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley), whom he must unravel with the help of new friend Isabella (Chloe Moretz). The movie promises adventure and a heartfelt story perfect for friends or the entire family over Thanksgiving weekend. “Hugo” also features Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee, amongst many others in this impressive cast.

“The Muppets”

Kermit, Miss Piggy and friends are back. It’s been a while since these puppet characters have been in our lives, but their new movie promises to be one not to miss. A Texas oilman wants to destroy Muppet theater to drill the oil underneath, but Walter (voiced by Peter Linz), the Muppets’ biggest fan, gets wind of the plan. Along with his brother Gary (Jason Segel), they try to raise the money necessary to save the theater. But they must reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways and have lost some of their fame. It’s hard to go wrong with a Segel film, and combining him with the Muppets ensures that the movie will keep you laughing. Bring your whole family for some extra Thanksgiving bonding time.

“Melancholia”

Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” stars Kirsten Dunst, who plays a depressed woman on her wedding day. Her wedding day just happens to be right before the apocalypse. “Melancholia” refers not only to the mood of the film, but the name of the planet about to crash into Earth. The trailer for “Melancholia” features something prevalent in nearly all Kirsten Dunst films ¾ a lot of Dunst staring at the camera and looking sad. However, the sci-fi aspect of “Melancholia” seems intriguing, and the preview promises cool special effects.