December isn't just about tree lightings, holiday feasts and shopping.
It also marks the high point in Oscar season, the time of year when studios release their prestige pictures to garner the buzz they'll need to get nominated for the awards ceremony in early 2013.
In Patch's Holiday Movie Guide, we'll focus on a few of these films opening along the North Shore. Which should you see? Which should you skip? Which should you bring your kids to? Keep reading to find out.
Most Fun: The Sessions
Yes, it is strange to say that a film about a paralyzed poet is "fun." However, this film isn't about paralysis, it's about sex. John Hawkes plays Mark O'Brien, a poet paralyzed by polio who hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) so he can lose his virginity. It's funny, poignant and well-acted.
Playing at Landmark Renaissance in Highland Park
Most Family Friendly: Life of Pi
Ang Lee proved his abilities as a storyteller with Brokeback Mountain, and his abilities with special effects with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He bridges the two together here in a beautiful film about a boy stuck on a small boat with a tiger. Not a cute, anthropomorphic tiger, but an actual, bloodthirsty tiger. The result is a visually daring adventure movie.
Playing at AMC Northbrook Court in Northbrook
Most Oscar Buzz: Lincoln
Everything you've heard about Daniel Day-Lewis' outstanding acting in this Steven Spielberg film is warranted. The actor does an amazing job bringing the 16th President to life. What's equally impressive is how brightly co-stars Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader and David Strathairn still manage to shine as well.
Playing at Century 12 in Evanston
Bonus: Pulp Fiction
The '90s masterpiece that put Quentin Tarantino on the map is playing in Evanston and Northbrook for one day only on Thursday. Find out what the difference is between a Big Mac in America and France all over again.
Playing at Northbrook Court and Evanston on Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.