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Holiday Film Faves

What Women Want, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and All the Pretty Horses

by Beth Rowen

What Women Want

Opens December 15

Prerelease buzz has blockbuster written all over this film starring three Oscar winners (Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, and Marisa Tomei). Gibson's a chauvinistic executive who awakens from unconsciousness with the ability to read women's minds. He takes his gift a step further by acting like a woman, right down to waxing his legs.


O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Opens December 15

The release of a Coen Brothers' film has become an event for cineastes. Their eighth film may have a hard time finding an audience beyond loyal fans. It's loosely based on Homer's Odyssey, and it's a tribute to Preston Sturges' 1942 comedy, Sullivan's Travels. George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson play three escaped convicts who travel the Depression-era South to reclaim buried money. During their odyssey they rob a bank, disband a KKK rally, and record a hit song.


13 Days

Opens December 20

Kevin Costner is long overdue for a strong turn-and a strong film. 13 Days may be it. After all, he's well versed in the Kennedy era, having starred as Jim Garrison in 1991's JFK. This time out, he plays White House aide Kenny O'Donnell who helped President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy avert war during the Cuban missile crisis.


Traffic

Opens December 22

This film has already been compared to multi-Oscar winner The French Connection. Michael Douglas plays judge Robert Lewis, the country's drug czar who's losing the war on drugs. Several interconnecting stories illustrate how the battle is running amok. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the wife of a drug dealer. Steven Soderbergh, who scored box-office gold last year with Erin Brockovich, directs.


All the Pretty Horses

Opens December 25

Billy Bob Thornton directs one of the most-anticipated films of the holiday season, All the Pretty Horses, based on Cormac McCarthy's sure-to-be-a-classic Western, which is set in the 1940s. Henry Thomas and Matt Damon, whose career could use a hit, play a couple of cowboys who head south of the border to whoop it up. They find jobs as horse tamers on a ranch owned by Rubén Blades, and Damon falls for his radiant daughter, Penélope Cruz.


Did you know?
For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.