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Holiday movie preview: Taking a chance on Oscar

Holiday movie preview » 14 movies between now and January take their shot at awards.



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Oscar chances » Hollywood can’t resist movies about itself, so a Best Picture nomination is likely. Thompson is a favorite for a Best Actress nod, and Hanks could score a rare double — a supporting nomination here and a lead nomination for "Captain Phillips."

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"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Opens » Dec. 25.

Synopsis » Ben Stiller directed and stars as James Thurber’s milquetoast hero, whose imagination is much more exciting than his real life.

Oscar chances » Because it’s largely a comedy, it’s not considered a major contender, but it has the possibility of surprising everyone.

"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Opens » Dec. 25.

Synopsis » Martin Scorsese again directs Leonard DiCaprio, this time in the true story of fast-rising stockbroker Jordan Belfort — and his spectacular fall into crime and corruption.


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Oscar chances » Paramount delayed the movie’s opening six weeks (and shuffled its "Jack Ryan" reboot to January) to give Scorsese the time to finish it. Expect a Best Picture nomination, and maybe one for Scorsese. Long shots for DiCaprio and a supporting turn by Jonah Hill.

movies@sltrib.com

What’s opening, and when

Here is a tentative schedule for movies opening now through January.

Nov. 27

“Black Nativity” » See main story.

“The Book Thief” » See main story.

“Frozen” » Disney animates the tale of two sisters separated when one discovers a dangerous power to make snow and ice form.

“Homefront” » Jason Statham plays an ex-DEA agent protecting his daughter from a nasty drug dealer (James Franco).

“Nebraska” » See main story.

“Philomena” » See main story.

Dec. 6

“The Armstrong Lie” » Documentarian Alex Gibney finishes his profile of cyclist Lance Armstrong, begun before he admitted to doping during his Tour de France victories.

“Out of the Furnace” » See main story.

Dec. 13

“Bettie Page Reveals All” » The pinup legend tells her own story in this documentary.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” » The second of three movies in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel.

“Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” » Director Michel Gondry interviewed linguist and thinker Noam Chomsky, and animated the results.

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” » America’s baddest grandma returns for the holidays.

Dec. 18

“American Hustle” » See main story.

Dec. 20

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” » Will Ferrell and the gang are back, this time taking Ron Burgundy to cable.

“Camille Claudel 1915” » Juliette Binoche stars as the temperamental sculptor and muse.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” » See main story.

“Saving Mr. Banks” » See main story.

“Walking With Dinosaurs” » A 3-D animated look at prehistoric creatures.

Dec. 25

“47 Ronin” » Samurai, including Keanu Reeves, are out for revenge in this action drama.

“Grudge Match” » Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro play aged boxers returning to the ring.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” » See main story.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” » See main story.

Dec. 27

“Dear Mr. Watterson” » A documentary about the influence of Bill Watterson and his comic strip, “Calvin and Hobbes.”

Jan. 3

“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” » The fifth installment in the horror franchise.

Jan. 10

“Her” » See main story.

“Hercules: The Legend Begins” » Kellan Lutz (from the “Twilight” saga) plays the muscular demigod.

“Lone Survivor” » Mark Wahlberg stars in this true story of a Navy SEAL mission to capture a Taliban leader.

“One Chance” » A biopic of Paul Potts, a shop assistant turned opera star on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Jan. 17

“Devil’s Due” » A newlywed (Allison Miller) may be giving birth to the Antichrist in this horror film.

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” » Chris Pine takes over as Tom Clancy’s ace spy.

“The Nut Job” » Animated tale of a squirrel trying to rob a nut store.

“Ride Along” » A security guard (Kevin Hart) must prove himself to a cop (Ice Cube) before marrying the cop’s sister.

“Seventh Son” » A young man learns to fight evil spirits in this 18th-century action-adventure.

Jan. 24

“Gimme Shelter” » A drama about a homeless teen (Vanessa Hudgens) seeking her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser).

“I, Frankenstein” » Aaron Eckhart plays the creature, caught in an ancient clan war, in this action drama.

“The Invisible Woman” » Ralph Fiennes directs and stars as Charles Dickens in a drama focusing on the author’s secret lover (Felicity Jones).

Jan. 31

“Labor Day” » See main story.

“That Awkward Moment” » Three single guys (Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller) each deal with commitment issues in this comedy.

TBD

“August: Osage County” » See main story.

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” » See main story.



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