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HOLIDAY MOVIE SNEAKS

It's looking pretty cool

Wintry escapades, icy stares and cold-blooded killers are part of a flurry of year-end films.

November 05, 2006

About the list:

This Sneaks list is a snapshot of films expected to open through the end of the year. Dates and other details are subject to change.

Holiday Sneaks:

Capsules compiled by Patrick Day and Kinsey Lowe.

*

Friday

Come Early Morning

Actress Joey Lauren Adams draws heavily on her own life in her writing and directing debut about a small-town working woman (Ashley Judd) who is forced to take a hard look at her commitment-phobic, one-night-stand life when she falls for a new arrival in town (Jeffrey Donovan). With Laura Prepon, Diane Ladd and Scott Wilson. Roadside Attractions

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 08, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Holiday films: In a list of upcoming holiday films in Sunday's Calendar section, the movies "Arthur and the Invisibles," "Black Christmas," "Bobby," "Breaking and Entering," "Factory Girl" and "Miss Potter" were listed as being distributed by the Weinstein Co. They are being distributed by MGM.

* So? Promising

Copying Beethoven

Ed Harris plays Beethoven in this fictionalized account of his struggles to finish his Ninth Symphony. Battling depression and deafness, the composer reluctantly takes on an aspiring composer (Diane Kruger) to help. With Matthew Goode, Ralph Riach and Bill Stewart. Written by Stephen Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson. Directed by Agnieszka Holland. Myriad Pictures

* So? Dutiful

Broken Sky

Love, sex and jealousy frame the lives of two college students who fall in love, then become involved with other people. With Klaudia Aragon, Fernando Arroyo, Miguel Angel Hoppe and Ignacio Pereda. Written and directed by Julian Hernandez. Strand Releasing

* So? Conventional

Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell, above, plays a mild-mannered IRS auditor who suddenly starts hearing a voice narrating his life. The voice belongs to a bestselling writer (Emma Thompson) who's writing a novel about a mild-mannered IRS auditor but trying to find a way to kill him off. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah. Written by Zach Helm. Directed by Marc Forster. Columbia

* So? Existentially faux

The Return

Plagued by supernatural visions of a young woman's murder, a trucking company saleswoman (Sarah Michelle Gellar) travels to the woman's hometown to solve the mystery but learns she may be the next victim. With Kate Beahan, Peter O'Brien, Adam Scott and Sam Shepard. Written by Adam Sussman. Directed by Asif Kapadia. Rogue Pictures

* So? Spookily familiar

Climates

Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan casts himself as a middle-aged professor. When his relationship with a younger girlfriend (played by the director's wife, Ebru Ceylan) hits the rocks, he must travel across the country to win her back. Written by Ceylan. Zeitgeist Films

* So? Cold front

A Good Year

Director Ridley Scott re-teams with Russell Crowe, this time in a comedy with the actor as a high-powered investment analyst who meets his match in an American who claims ownership of a vineyard he inherited. With Albert Finney, Abbie Cornish, Marion Cotillard and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. Screenplay by Marc Klein, based on the book by Peter Mayle. 20th Century Fox

* So? Mismatched material

Harsh Times

After losing out on a job with the LAPD, an ex-Army ranger (Christian Bale) finds himself returning to his life of crime and drugs as his childhood friend from South-Central L.A. (Freddy Rodriguez) tries to save him. With Eva Longoria. Written and directed by David Ayer. MGM

* So? Gritty

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Nicole Kidman plays Arbus in this semi-biographical fiction that imagines the real-life photographer's transformation from 1950s housewife into a powerfully influential artist. With Robert Downey Jr. Screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson, inspired by the biography by Patricia Bosworth. Directed by Steven Shainberg. Picturehouse

* So? Extraordinarily ordinary

Night of the Living Dead 3D

Remake of George A. Romero's 1968 black-and-white horror classic about flesh-eating zombies trapping humans in a remote farmhouse, this time adding color and 3-D special effects. With Brianna Brown, Joshua DesRoches, Sid Haig and Greg Travis. Screenplay by Robert Valding, based on the screenplay by George A. Romero and John A. Russo. Directed by Jeff Broadstreet. Midnight Movies Entertainment

* So? Enough already

F---

A look at the f-bomb and how it permeates our popular culture as a host of performers, writers and comedians (as well as animation by Bill Plympton) dissect the word's meanings. With Pat Boone, Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Sam Donaldson, Janeane Garofalo, Ice-T, Ron Jeremy, Bill Maher, Alanis Morissette, Kevin Smith and the late Hunter S. Thompson. Directed by Steve Anderson. THINKFilm

* So? Unprintably entertaining

Nov. 17

The Aura

While on a hunting trip in the Patagonian forest, a shy, epileptic taxidermist (Ricardo Darin) stumbles on a way to carry out the perfect robbery. The catch, however, is that his seizures are preceded by an aura that alters his perceptions of past and present. In Spanish with subtitles. With Dolores Fonzi, Pablo Cedron, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Jorge D'Elia and Alejandro Awada. Written and directed by Fabian Bielinsky. IFC First Take

* So? Taut, lean

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