Tis the Season to Be Greedy

If there’s one thing the people want for Christmas, it’s a reminder of corporate greed and one-percenter excess. The Wrap reported yesterday that The Wolf of Wall Street will come out in time for Oscar consideration, on Christmas Day no less. Wolf was first scheduled for November, but there were rumors it wouldn’t premiere until 2014.

Christmas can be a very hot-cold day at the movies. The holiday means high stakes for major Oscar contenders, but also lets a family film or two squeeze in, for the kids. Moviegoers last December 25 could line up for Django Unchained, Les Misérables (the gift that kept on singing)… and the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler flop Parental Guidance.

This year, Scorsese’s party-like-its-not-a-recession movie joins a few other odd prestige pics. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the holiday with your family, while watching the August: Osage County family tear each other apart? Harvey Weinstein is reportedly billing August as a comedy for the Golden Globes, which may reflect awards campaigning more than the film’s tone. What I saw on Broadway six years ago was hardly a laugh-fest. Then there’s Labor Day, which apparently didn’t justify a major release on Labor Day itself. In a twist on classic home-for-the-holidays stories, Josh Brolin plays a fugitive who forces himself into Kate Winslet’s home. I’m sure the erotic pie bake-off scene will become a sentimental December favorite, right up there with George Bailey lassoing the moon.

We’ll also see more traditional escapist fare like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. There’s nothing to compete this year with the heaviness of Django, but the Christmas week has known some curious releases.

2010: Biutiful and Blue Valentine (December 29)

2008: Revolutionary Road (December 26)

2007: Sweeney Todd (December 21); Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (December 25); There Will Be Blood (December 26)

 Lots of broken homes, lots of blood.

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