By MARK HIGLEY
WONDER – Nov. 17
Happy Birthday to Julia Roberts who turned 50 on Oct. 28th. As she arrives at this milestone, she’s still carving out a highly successful movie career and is raising three children — twins Hazel and Finn, 12, and son Henry, 10 — with hubby Daniel Moder. And just in time for the holiday season, Lionsgate will be releasing Robert’s heartwarming movie Wonder, in which Roberts displays her maternal side as the mother of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a 10-year-old boy born with facial deformities. When Auggie enters mainstream school for the first time, he is escorted by Roberts and his father (Owen Wilson) to the school periphery. After Dad removes the astronaut helmet that conceals his appearance, Auggie warily enters a world where he knows he will be called names and bullied. But through the laughs and tears, the loveable Auggie proves to be an unlikely hero that draws the students and community closer together. The comedy/drama, based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder, conveys the positive theme of compassion and acceptance, proving that one can’t fit in when they were born to stand out.
THE MAN WHO INVENTED
CHRISTMAS – Nov. 22
This may be more aptly titled, The Man Who Invented ‘A Christmas Carol,’ as it’s a new slant on the old story that has been portrayed by everyone from Bill Murray to Mr. Magoo. The Man Who Invented Christmas provides a magical look at how Charles Dickens brought his classic tale about Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim to life. The story begins in October 1843 when Dickens was hurting financially. Despite early success, his last three books had failed. Rejected by his publishers, he sets out to write and self-publish a book which he hopes will keep his family afloat. Six crazed weeks later, A Christmas Carol was birthed, and arguably, so was the modern-day concept of Christmas celebrations – and plays. After all, this timeless cocktail has been produced in nearly every community theatre on either side of the Albuquerque Piggly Wiggly. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), the film features Christopher Plummer as Ebenezer Scrooge and Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens.
NOTE: Figgy pudding will not be served at the concession stand.
COCO – Nov. 22
Coco is a Disney/Pixar animated musical fantasy that follows a 12-year-old boy’s
passage into the colorful world of the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished
musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt), but his family’s inexplicable ban on music forbids it. Miguel’s aspirations and desire to prove his talent exceeds his parent’s decrees and he strums his way right into the Land of the Dead where he is befriended by charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal). Together they set off on a brightly-hued journey to reveal the story behind the generations-old family secret, forever changing Miguel’s fate and leading to an extraordinary family reunion. The combination of Pixar’s fantastical animation and the universal theme of the importance of family will help make the season right.