Rave: Award season films

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when superheroes have left the silver screen and studios’ award season bait films flood the theatres. It seems every week there’s a new trailer we’re watching on repeat, and we’re having trouble deciding which movie we’ll be seeing come Christmas Day. Thankfully the weather is getting chilly, so we’re not opposed to spending day after day at the movies. 


Argo (now playing)





The latest directorial effort from Ben Affleck confirms his status as a respected director. The film tells the true story of a joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six American diplomats out of Iran during the revolution in 1980. But, as this is a Hollywood film, don’t expect it to be based entirely in fact: the story is slightly exaggerated and the role of Canada is downplayed considerably. Still, odds are high that this film may earn Affleck his second Oscar. 


Lincoln (now playing)





It’s an unspoken rule that whenever the notoriously reclusive Daniel Day-Lewis stars in a film, Academy Awards follow. In Lincoln, Steven Spielberg directs Day-Lewis as the legendary president during his final few months in office. The dramatic film is set during the Civil War, when the president fights to abolish slavery and end the war. Sally Fields, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tommy Lee Jones also star.  


Silver Linings Playbook (November 21)





Silver Linings Playbook won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and for good reason! Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in this charming comedy romance (please, do not mistake this for a “rom-com”) about two outsiders struggling to rebuild their lives. The two actors’ performances alone make this film worth seeing, but we’d be remiss to neglect mentioning Robert DeNiro’s scene-stealing role as Cooper’s father.  


Anna Karenina (November 30)





Keira Knightley re-teams with director Joe Wright to take on Leo Tolstoy’s tragic novel. What sets this adaptation apart from the rest is it’s unique staging – Wright shoots the film entirely on a single soundstage. The sumptuous costumes and beautiful designs make this visually stunning film a must. We’re intrigued to see the love triangle play out on-screen between Knightley’s Anna, Jude Law’s Karenin and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Vronsky. 


Zero Dark Thirty (January 11)





This film hasn’t been receiving the same level of popular hype as some of the others on this list, but the insider buzz is steadily rising. Not surprising, as Zero Dark Thirty reunites The Hurt Locker‘s director-writer team of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and features critical darling, Jessica Chastain. This film tells the story of the decade-long manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man, Osama Bin Laden. However, the biggest draw for us may be Coach Taylor (aka. Kyle Chandler) listed in the credits. 


Django Unchained (December 25)





Early word on this new flick from Quentin Tarantino is “holy crap, get ready for some violence!”. If you thought Inglourious Basterds was bad, well, brace yourself. Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as former slave, Django who is helping a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) search out his bounty. Django’s ultimate goal is to locate his long-missing wife (Kerry Washington). Leonardo DiCaprio plays the brutal Calvin Candie, proprietor of the infamous “Candyland” plantation.


Les Miserables (December 25)





If this trailer doesn’t give you goosebumps, then you have no soul. Award-winning director, Tom Hooper brings the sweeping, epic musical to the big screen for the best Christmas present we could ever ask for. The all-star cast includes Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. Watch this behind-the-scenes vignette, which discusses how the actors all sang while filming (as opposed to mouthing the words and laying vocal tracks in a studio). Oh, and make sure you have some Kleenex handy. 

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