It's Christmas. Time for our annual NakedJen Film Festival.
I'm not going to lie, I really do miss the days when this was a larger gathering in Santa Cruz and we spent a few days sorting out the schedule and even having a bit of an argument over which films would actually make the LIST and how it was all going to go down on Christmas Day. Because, you know, FILMS and sitting in the dark, and a break for some decent food and discussion and all that good stuff.
I'm alone in Salt Lake City this year with the professor in Korea and having to choose not to travel to NYC where I would be able to share the festivities with my partner in all things that make the Nakedjen Film Festival TRULY a FESTIVAL.
So, without any further ado, here's my recommendation for your viewing pleasure tomorrow, or in the coming days, when you may find yourself wanting to escape into the darkness and quiet and to allow someone else's beautiful, tragic, or even happy story unfold and take you away. There's always the option of a two drink minimum and some popcorn, of course.
BIG EYES ~ Tim Burton delivers to us a holiday gift starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in the true story of Margaret Keane. I'm terribly excited to see this film because, well, Tim Burton (and finally not Tim Burton doing his goth turn, but Tim Burton doing something more like BIG FISH) and a story that I think just may be this year's The King's Speech. I feel OSCAR. Go see it.
INTO THE WOODS ~ We all love the musical. We all need a musical on the Nakedjen Film Festival line-up. We also all love Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp. Especially at Christmas. It's dark and edgy and perhaps not even suitable for all the children. So that makes it worthwhile to go and see it.
THE GAMBLER ~ Some of you will hate me for this recommendation. However, we've got Mark Wahlberg as a WRITING PROFESSOR. So, yeah, I'm going to go sit in the dark and watch this film. Plus, the adorable Brie Larson is here. I know YMMV, but I know I'll find it entertaining.
STILL ALICE ~ On the other end of the PROFESSOR spectrum, starring Julianne Moore, again I have my very own personal reasons for really wanting to see this film and it isn't even bowing tomorrow, but has been in theatres for a week or two. That said, this is a film that deals with Alzheimer's from the victim's p.o.v. and as a woman who has a long list of brain disorders I really want/need to see this film. I have a feeling there's a LOT of story here for me to really THINK about and digest.
SELMA ~ The most serious of my choices for the NJFF, but also perhaps the best of the bunch. (Some of you may choose to go see UNBROKEN instead and I may see that, as well, if I can). I have heard nothing but excellent things about this film and especially about how well David Oyelowo captures Martin Luther King's speeches. But more importantly, it feels as if this film is especially historically correct and quite timely and will give me a lot to consider and that is one of the best reasons for me to go and sit in the dark, to watch and to listen.
Whatever films you decide to see this holiday season, may you also leave the theatre with something new to think about and to consider and perhaps a lighter and happier heart.