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No matter what genres are popular, drama is always the foundation upon which all great films are built. (Well, OK, perhaps documentaries play by different rules, but even then, the core ideas of drama are important, too.) A good drama has all the things we love to see at the movies: Talented actors performing a resonant story under the guiding hand of a skilled filmmaker.
From awards season contenders to critical favorites and true stories projected larger than life, there are many new dramas in theatres now and set to open soon. Here are just a few of the ones we can't wait to see.
[Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]
Terrence Malick, a master of dreamy, intuitive dramas (THE TREE OF LIFE, DAYS OF HEAVEN) returns with A HIDDEN LIFE. August Diehl stars as Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis during World War II. Because he spurns the war machine, the Austrian farmer faces execution for treason. Family and faith initially sustain Jägerstätter as he stares down oppression, but can those pillars support him as his trials draw on? [December 13]
[Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Billy Ray adapt Marie Brenner's article "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell." Their film, RICHARD JEWELL, chronicles the true story of the title character, a security guard who discovered pipe bombs hidden on the grounds at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Jewell reported the bombs, but inaccurate reporting labeled him a suspect in the bombing, and his life was ultimately derailed by his good deed. Paul Walter Hauser plays Jewell, while Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm also appear. [December 13]
[Image Credit: Sony Pictures]
With LITTLE WOMEN, LADY BIRD writer-director Greta Gerwig gives movie fans a great Christmas present with her inspired take on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothée Chalamet, and Laura Dern headline one of the year’s most impressive ensembles in the eighth adaptation of the 1868 book, which centers on four sisters struggling to come of age in America post-Civil War. Watching this literary classic put through the lens of Gerwig’s signature wit is a perfect way to end the holiday season. [December 25]
SHORT TERM 12 filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton returns with a powerful and thought-provoking true story. JUST MERCY follows the young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) as he embarks upon a history-making battle for justice. The Harvard grad walks away from lucrative jobs, choosing instead to defend wrongly condemned defendants in Alabama, with the help of a local advocate (Brie Larson). He picks up the case of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, despite evidence that proved his innocence, was sentenced to death for the murder of an 18-year old girl. Despite being stymied by the machinery of the justice system, Stevenson battles for McMillian's rights and freedom. [December 25]
[Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics]
This musically-tinged drama spans multiple eras on either side of World War II. At the beginning of the war, 9-year old Martin forges a bond with his new adopted brother Dovidl, a Polish-Jewish refugee and gifted violin prodigy. But Dovidl disappears without a trace, leaving Martin uncertain of what happened to the young man. Years later, 56-year old Martin hears a violin played in a way that could only be the result of Dovidl's influence, and THE SONG OF NAMES ultimately follows Martin on an odyssey in search of his lost brother. [In Select Theatres December 25
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[Image Credit: NEON]
In CLEMENCY, Alfre Woodard stars as prison warden Bernadine Williams, whose soul has been burdened by years of carrying out death row executions. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. [In Select Theatres December 27]
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