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HOLIDAY SNEAKS

Will they play? That's your call

Auditioning for your attention at year's end: plucky kids and overactive ids, biopics, politics ...

November 06, 2005

Wednesday

Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Drama

Paramount Pictures

With: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Terrence Howard, Joy Bryant, Bill Duke, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Omar Benson Miller, Viola Davis

The idea: A story based on the rapper's life about an orphaned street kid who leaves behind the drug trade to pursue a career in music.

Writer: Terence Winter

Director: Jim Sheridan

* So? Great expectations

Friday

Ballets Russes

Documentary

Zeitgeist Films

With: Narrator Marian Seldes

The idea: The company formed by Sergei Diaghilev in 1909 endured through many incarnations to influence dance around the world.

Directors: Dayna Goldfine & Dan Geller

* So? Leap of faith

Bee Season

Drama

Fox Searchlight

With: Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Flora Cross, Max Minghella and Kate Bosworth

The idea: An unexpected win in a spelling bee thrusts a young girl into a national competition that upsets her family's delicate equilibrium.

Writer: Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, based on the novel by Myla Goldberg

Directors: Scott McGehee & David Siegel

* So? Stung

The Chumscrubber

Comedy-drama

Picturehouse Films

With: Jamie Bell, Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, Glenn Close, Rory Culkin, William Fichtner, Ralph Fiennes, John Heard, Lauren Holly, Allison Janney, Rita Wilson

The idea: A teen's discovery of his only friend's suicide and the town mayor's life crisis cracks the facade of a deceptively idyllic suburb.

Writer: Zac Stanford

Director: Arie Posin

* So? Familiarity breeds ...

Derailed

Thriller

The Weinstein Co.

With: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Melissa George, Vincent Cassel, RZA, Xzibit

The idea: The affair of a Chicago ad exec and his lover goes terribly wrong when the married-to-someone-else pair is held at gunpoint.

Writer: Stuart Beattie, based on the novel by James Siegel

Director: Mikael Hafstrom

* So? The meaning of risk

Ellie Parker

Comedy

Strand Releasing

With: Naomi Watts, Rebecca Rigg, Mark Pellegrino, Scott Coffey, Chevy Chase

The idea: A struggling actress leads a screwy, whirlwind life of auditions and rejections.

Writer-director: Coffey

* So? Attractively lightweight

Sarah Silverman:

Jesus is Magic

Comedy

Roadside Attractions

With: Sarah Silverman, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn

The idea: The subversive comedian in a performance based on her off-Broadway show.

Writer: Silverman

Director: Liam Lynch

* So? Irony is alive and flourishing

Shoujyo

Drama

Indican Pictures

With: Mayu Ozawa, Eiji Okuda

The idea: A teenage girl holds an intense passion for a policeman.

Writers: Katsuhiko Manabe, Izuru Narushima, based on a short story by Mikihiko Renjo

Director: Eiji Okuda

* So? Irresistibly taboo

Waging a Living

Documentary

Public Policy Productions

The idea: The struggles of the working poor are captured as they labor at full-time jobs but still find themselves below the federal poverty level.

Director: Roger Weisberg

* So? Reality bites

A Wake in Providence

Comedy

Indican Pictures

With: Vincent Pagano, Victoria Rowell, Adrienne Barbeau, Lisa Raggio

The idea: An Italian American actor living in California returns home to Rhode Island for his grandfather's funeral with his African American girlfriend as a reluctant surprise for his family.

Writers: Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore and Vincent Pagano & Michael Pagano

Director: Rosario Roveto Jr.

* So? Sendup versus stereotypes

Zathura:

A Space Adventure

Adventure

Columbia Pictures

With: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart and Tim Robbins

The idea: Playing a game they find in their basement, two brothers are launched into deep space.

Writers: David Koepp & John Kamps, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg

Director: Jon Favreau

* So? Surprise package

Nov. 18

Before the Fall

Drama

Picture This! Entertainment

With: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow, Joachim Bissmeier, Justus von Dohnanyi

The idea: A young German boxer is recruited by the Nazis but risks all to avenge a friend.

Writers: Dennis Gansel, Maggie Peren

Director: Gansel

* So? "School Ties" that bind

Gay Sex in the 70s

Documentary

Self-distributed

The idea: From the Stonewall riots in 1969 to the first reported AIDS cases in 1981, gay culture enjoyed an unprecedented period of sexual freedom.

Director: Joseph Lovett

* So? Pursuit of liberty

Harry Potter

and the Goblet of Fire

Adventure

Warner Bros.

With: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall

The idea: The fourth entry finds Harry surprisingly selected to take part in a wizarding tournament; he must also land a date for Hogwarts' Yule Ball dance.

Writer: Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling

Director: Mike Newell

* So? The magic of adolescence

One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of

George McGovern

Documentary

First Run Features

With: McGovern, Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Howard Zinn and music from Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Donovan and Elvis Costello; narrator Amy Goodman

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