Finally, the stress-fest that is the Christmas season is over. Let the easily discarded resolutions and doomed diets begin! First up this month is The Iron Lady (January 6), an intimate look at former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played by multifaceted Meryl Streep).
For some, Maggie will be only remembered as a Spitting Image puppet or for reality TV purists, as the mother of ‘I’m A Celeb’ 2007 winner Carol Thatcher. Those old enough to remember the ‘80s however may have come to remember her as the embodiment of the evils of Conservativism.
Privatisation, Section 28 and miners strikes notwithstanding, Thatcher was a fascinating figure, smashing class and gender boundaries on her quest for power. Love her or loath her, the film is worth watching for Meryl Streep’s pitch-perfect rendition of the Iron Lady alone.
Next up this month is Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse (January 13) a sort of nightmarish Black Beauty set during World War I, full of amazing anthropomorphic action and teary musings about the horrors of war.
The story follows young Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse Joey who are separated when Joey is sold off to the mounted cavalry. A heartbroken Albert, who is too young to enlist, sets off to war-torn France to rescue his equine ally. Here’s some cinemathematics to give an idea of what to expect: Spielberg + anthropomorphic animal protagonist + John Williams score = weepiness squared. Bring tissues!
Rounding off the month, something utterly untaxing for one’s sizzled synapses The Sitter (January 20), starring the over-exposed but admittedly watchable Jonah Hill.
Noah (Hill) is an indolent college student harangued by his mother into embarking on a career in the wonderful world of childcare. How hard could it possibly be, babysitting a bunch of wise-cracking, Ritalin-popping brats in the most litigious country in the world?
Needless to say, he finds out that it is hard and the audience watching finds out that this film is basically a remake of ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ starring the cast of Superbad. And, what harm? Adventures in Babysitting was a great movie.