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January in Movies

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January In Movies |

Welcome to movie watching in 2015, everybody!

January is sometimes a quiet release month because the studios try to take advantage of holiday audiences in December. But this January we have three powerhouse performances by talented women on our must-watch list: Three actresses nominated for this year’s Golden Globes are opening their films in January (or close enough…one opens on New Year’s Eve). See these ladies in the theater and catch the awards themselves (hosted by Tina and Amy, of course) on January 11.

2015 is looking bright!

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima.

A Most Violent Year

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor. Starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and David Oyelowo. Opened on December 31. 

This crime drama by the always-interesting J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost) is already riding high with a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and critical acclaim pouring in from all directions. A Most Violent Year is set in 1981, during New York’s worst recorded year of crime. Jessica Chastain, who won the best actress Golden Globe in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty, is nominated for a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Anna Morales, the wife of driven immigrant Abel, played by Oscar Isaac. They are joined by David Oyelowo, who is celebrating his own Golden Globe nomination for playing MLK in Selma. 

Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in Still Alice, directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in Still Alice, directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

Still Alice

Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, based on the book by Lisa Genova. Starring Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and Shane McRae. Opens on January 16. 

Julianne Moore is nominated for a best actress (drama) Golden Globe award in this Glatzer and Westmoreland (Quincenera, The Last of Robin Hood) film. She’s already racked up eight best-actress wins in festival and critics contests across the country, so I’ve got high expectations for her portrayal of Dr. Alice Howland, a linguistics professor who is dealt an early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis and must deal with the fall-out in her own life and the lives of her three children. It’s also another indie-film opportunity for Kristen Stewart to shake off the Twilight vamp-dust, as she seems to be steadily doing with interesting roles in smaller-budget films.

Jennifer Aniston in Daniel Barnz's Cake.

Jennifer Aniston in Daniel Barnz’s Cake.


Directed by Daniel Barnz. Written by Patrick Tobin. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, and more. Opens on January 23. 

Jennifer Aniston is nominated for a best actress (drama) Golden Globe award for her unglamorous turn as Claire, a woman with chronic pain, an obsession with a woman in her support group who committed suicide, and a tenuous connection with that woman’s widower. I’m excited that Aniston took this challenging role in this Daniel Barnz (Won’t Back Down) indie. I think she shines as complex women in character-driven movies, although her career keeps taking her to Rachel-ish rom-com leads. If you haven’t seen Aniston in Nicole Holofcener’s Friends With Money (2006), watch it ASAP to prep for Cake. 

Plus, a bonus!

Chris Hemsworth in Michael Mann's Blackhat. © 2014 - Universal Pictures

Chris Hemsworth in Michael Mann’s Blackhat. © 2014 – Universal Pictures


Directed by Michael Mann. Written by Morgan Davis Foehl and Michael Mann. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis and Wei Tang. Opens on January 16.

Blackhat is a timely tale from master director Michael Mann (The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Collateral, etc.) about a worldwide hunt for a cyber-criminal—and the dangerous prisoner released to help track him down. It’s a serious action movie for Chris Hemsworth, who just won a pretty silly (but time-honored) award. Hemsworth is backed up by two bad-ass ladies, Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder, Prisoners, The Help, Doubt) and Wei Tang (Lust, Caution). It promises to be a thrill ride.

What are you seeing this month?

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Sarah Magill

Sarah Magill has a full-time movie habit made possible by a day-time greeting card writing gig. She blogs at Gimme Some Film and is learning to write scripts and direct. She tries to balance her screen obsession with trail running, jazz singing, book clubbing, and hanging out with The Best Golden Retriever Ever, Copa.

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3 comments on “January in Movies”

  1. This looks like a great list. I love a good movie. I tend to reference scenes in movies all the time when trying to explain concepts to other people, and I’m always frustrated when they haven’t seen it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for this list! I think I have been over-reliant on Netflix lately, time to get out and watch something a little more current for a change! I’m super curious about the Jennifer Aniston movie… always cool to see an actor show you another side. Happy New Year!

  3. so nice to have met you Sarah at Sundance, where I was volunteering at the Poison Creek bus stop! You pointed me to Give Me Some Oven – great blog.  I look forward to reading your reviews of the movies at the festival.