Davis: Christmas fare and some thoughtful movies

The critical darling of all the movies this weekend is Room, a unique and touching story of the boundless love between mother and child.

Amanda Seyfried (left)

None of the new openings this weekend will likely challenge Spectre or The Peanuts Movie for box office returns, but there are some interesting options if you are looking for something different.

The Christmas-themed movies start arriving this week with Love the Coopers, an ensemble comedy starring Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Amanda Seyfried, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde and Ed Helms. The film follows multiple story lines as four generations of Cooper family members arrive in various states of confusion, anger and duress. While it may not be the equal of the classic Love Actually as far as ensemble comedies go, it may be a light and funny diversion.

The 33 is based upon the true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a collapsed mine for more than two months in 2010. Antonio Banderas stars as Mario “Super Mario” Sepúlveda, the man who became the leader of the miners, dividing what limited food they had into rations and stopping the outbursts of violence or despair. The story cuts back and forth from the increasingly desperate men underground and their families and co-workers above ground as they struggle to cope with the disaster. And how desperate they might have been as it was 17 days before anyone above ground knew that the miners were still alive. Also starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Juliette Binoche, the film is also notable as it features one of the final musical scores by the late composer James Horner (Avatar, Titanic).

Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan (Far From the Madding Crowd) as Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. Their civil disobedience sparks not only aggressive police action but also debate throughout the nation.

The critical darling of all the movies this weekend is Room, a unique and touching story of the boundless love between mother and child. After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surrounding that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery—the outside world. Starring Brie Larson (Trainwreck), Joan Allen (The Bourne series) and William H. Macy (TV’s Shameless), Room currently has a 96 per cent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

With a cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Lily James, Uma Thurman, Daniel Brühl and Emma Thompson, one would think that Burnt would have a good chance of being a hit. However, the story of a two-star Michelin chef (Cooper) trying to rebuild his career after destroying it with drugs and diva behaviour failed to capture the taste buds of both critics and audiences. But don’t let that stop you from giving it a try—just expect hamburger instead of filet mignon, even though it re-teams American Sniper co-stars Cooper and Miller. And for the best enjoyment, don’t watch it on an empty stomach.