Once the food is eaten and the tryptophan wears off, Thanksgiving guests will almost certainly be looking for something to do. The first source for entertainment is often the movies, where family fun may be had without much interaction. Sadly, there’s no great offering this year that appeals to most ages, the way a Pixar film or last year’s The Muppets magically can. Additionally, Silver Linings Playbook, whose dysfunctional family will be playing to others just like it in the nation’s larger markets, will sadly not be opening locally for Thanksgiving as originally planned.
Despite no unifying title, the holiday offerings are nonetheless thankfully diverse. Looking around your table at the feast, there might just be something for everyone…
- For the grandfather who’s still angry about the election: Argo
Grandpa may be muttering his political disgust between bites, but Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage thriller should make him feel a little better about his country.
- For the crazy aunt who lives in the attic: Holy Motors
The nuttiness of the family’s unfortunate little secret is no match for Leos Carax’s imagination. Whoever has the honor of accompanying her to the Fine Arts Theatre will have the added bonus of realizing that she’s normal by comparison.
- For the literary college student: Cloud Atlas
Yeah, she’s read David Mitchell’s source material novel. And yeah, she says it’s “unfilmable.” Three hours later, she’ll be in a state of cinematic bliss.
- For the kids who can’t put down their video games: Wreck-It Ralph
Disney’s latest animated effort isn’t spectacular, but its arcade joys will get the youngsters to sit still and focus on something for more than five minutes. Spring for 3D where available (hint hint) for further engagement. The post-screening family discussions about Q*bert will be worth the extra couple of bucks.
- For dad, who was honest about how many platefuls he ate: Lincoln
The paterfamilias may not admit it, but he’s fascinated by the political process. The dialogue by revered playwright Tony Kushner brings 1865’s national issues to stunning life and a fine ensemble, led by Daniel Day-Lewis as ol’ Abe, does his work justice. Pop might be so taken by the drama that he won’t mind Steven Spielberg’s low-key filmmaking. Just beware the folksy Midwestern moralizing that may follow him home.
- For mom, to unwind after all the cooking: Skyfall
Nobody loves James Bond more than moms and nobody will be in more need of a breather after the big meal. The latest 007 installment is one of the franchise’s’ best, full of eye candy, big action, and solid performances. Sam Mendes’ film is escapism at its finest, the perfect reward for hard culinary work.
Consult the showtimes at the Fine Arts, Carolina, Epic, Biltmore Grande, Carmike, or Beaucatcher and enjoy. The post-screening family chat with leftovers is optional. The joint viewing of A Christmas Story, however, is not.