Top holiday films deliver blockbusters and Oscar fare

Films opening in November and December aim to attract moviegoers during the holidays as well as nab nominations during the last days of Oscar eligibility. The season is filled with blockbusters, notable dramas, and family fare, as well as the usual releases from romantic comedies to action-adventures.

127 Hours
November 5
An early Oscar favorite, James Franco portrays mountain climber Aron Ralston who became trapped under a boulder while hiking alone in Utah and resorted to desperate measures to survive. This true story is directed by Danny Boyle ( Slumdog Millionaire), with the majority of the film shot in a narrow canyon.
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/127hours

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
November 19
The first half of the final installment of the Harry Potter film series finds Harry and his friends in a battle for their lives to defeat Voldemort, whose power threatens the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. The much-anticipated film features the return of the all-star cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter and more. http://harrypotter.warnerbros.com

The King's Speech
November 24
The story of England's King George VI, portrayed by Colin Firth ( A Single Man), another Oscar contender, who has a stutter and hires a maverick speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush ( Pirates of the Caribbean) who helps him address the country on the eve of World War II. Co-stars Helena Bonham Carter ( Alice in Wonderland) and directed by Tom Hooper ( The Damned United) adapted from a play by David Seidler.
http://www.firth.com/king.html

Burlesque
November 24
Pop singer Christina Aguilera stars in her first feature film as Ali Rose, a small-town girl in Los Angeles to seek her dreams. She lands a waitress job in a burlesque club run by a former dancer, played by Cher. Costars Kristen Bell ( You Again), Alan Cumming ( It's Complicated) and Stanley Tucci ( The Lovely Bones). http://www.burlesquethemovie.com

Tangled
November 24
The 50th animated feature from Walt Disney is a 3D spoof of the tale of Rapunzel. Starring Mandy Moore as the voice of the longhaired girl in the tower and Zachary Levi ( Chuck) as a bandit who's seeking a hideout. Also stars Ron Perlman ( Hellboy films).
http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/tangled

Black Swan
Dec. 1
A psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman as a ballerina who befriends her rival and embarks on fierce competition. Also stars newcomer Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder. The director is Darren Aronfsky ( The Wrestler). Portman is an early Oscar candidate for Best Female Nominee.
http://foxsearchlight.com/blackswan/

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
December 10
The third installment of C. S. Lewis's fantasy novel series about Lucy and Edmund Pevensie's travels to Narnia to meet Prince Caspian on a journey aboard The Dawn Treader to the edge of the world. The film has been converted to 3D.
http://www.narnia.com/

The Tourist
December 10
Set in Venice, this romantic thriller follows an American, played by Johnny Depp, who travels to Europe to get over one relationship but falls for another. The attractive woman portrayed by Angelina Jolie may not be who she claims. Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck won an Oscar for the East German film The Lives of Others.
http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thetourist

TRON: Legacy
December 17
The 3D sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film about a video game designer (Jeff Bridges) who gets trapped in his own virtual world features light cycles, light discs and visual special effects. His son (Garrett Hedlund) goes in search of his father to take down the Master Control Program. Co-stars Olivia Wilde ( House MD) and Michael Sheen ( The Twilight Saga) and the return of Bruce Boxleitner.
http://disney.go.com/tron/

True Grit
December 22
Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen direct a new take on the classic John Wayne Western from 1969 based on the Charles Portis novel. Jeff Bridges take over the role of a broken-down US marshal hired by a 14-year-old (Hailee Steinfeld) to avenge the murder of her father. Costars Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. http://www.truegritmovie.com

RC

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