The Best Man Holiday

Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Nia Long | R |

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COMEDY

Call Best Man Holiday a buddy-comedy-meets-Christmas movie. It'll definitely make you laugh—and remind you how faith, love and friendship help overcome adversity. There's nothing wrong with that combination, but there's a shocking twist about an hour into the movie that feels like a sucker punch after all the funny stuff. (Just bring tissues.) An opening montage catches you up on what the college friends from the original Best Man have been doing over the past 15 years: Lance (Morris Chestnut) is a football superstar, Harper (Diggs) is a down-on-his-luck author, Julian (Harold Perrineau) is settled with kids, while Terrence Howard revives his scene-stealing role as stoner perv Quentin. The friends reunite to spend Christmas weekend together, and through all the hilarity and drama comes the realization that no matter what happens, as long as your old friends are on your side, you can get through anything. It's ultimately uplifting, but you might be surprised at how emotional you feel afterward.

Nebraska

Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb | R |

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COMEDY-DRAMA

There's no talking Woody Grant (Dern) out of the damned fool notion that he's won a million-dollar sweepstakes. So his son David (Forte) does the only thing he can: drive the old drunk from Montana to the prize office in Nebraska. Director Alexander Payne (The Descendants) sends the film on a side trip to Woody's creaky hometown, where family is buried but the past isn't quite. There's no hurry to get anywhere, but gosh is Nebraska funny while it dawdles, with Squibb a stitch as Woody's spiky wife, Kate. As for Dern, he's the picture of addled, angry old age. It's a marvelous turn for an actor who's had more than a few.

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

This take on Dickens is uninspired, though Helena Bonham Carter was born to play Miss Havisham.

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12.12.12.

Get a backstage pass to this Sandy benefit concert. Come for the music; groan through the Spinal Tap-esque moments.

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BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

Racy and controversial, NC-17 Blue features stunning performances by its brave young actresses.

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People TALKS TO

You play Chris Hemsworth's mom in the Thor sequel and have a memorable fight sequence.

It was so much fun. It's 50 percent technique and 50 percent attitude. I get road rage pretty fast, so I thought of that to get into tough-girl mode.

From 2005 to 2011 you took a break from acting. Why?

My daughter [Rosie, now 20] was heading into teendom, and I was burnt out. Work wasn't stimulating, so I chose to be with her and my husband [screenwriter-director Dan Gilroy, 54].

What was it like to be a stay-at-home mom?

It was a great time. I'd drive my daughter and her friends to the mall or a diner. That was the only time I'd get real information, when she was in the backseat talking.

What's your age-defying beauty secret?

I do laser treatments, and I tried a little bit of Botox this year for my frown lines and I like it! I work out five days a week for 20 minutes; I only do one body part a day.

You became a sex symbol after 1999's The Thomas Crown Affair. Do you feel pressure to maintain that image?

Hell no! I do not think of myself in that way. If I had to design a career for myself, I would have done comedy.

ANGELA LANSBURY

NATIONAL VELVET (1944)

Lansbury (left) costarred with Elizabeth Taylor, then 12 (center). Says Lansbury: "She was a real little professional and remained so all her life, until love got in the way."

1945

The Brit a year after making her Oscar-nominated debut in Gaslight.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

"Wow, what a woman," says Lansbury (with Laurence Harvey) of the devious mom she played. "[She] absolutely terrified me."

MURDER, SHE WROTE (1984--1996)

Lansbury was nominated for an Emmy 12 years running but never won: "I know exactly why. No one in Hollywood ever watched Murder, She Wrote."

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991)

Mrs. Potts "was this lovely little woman with a heart of gold. She does kind of look like me!"