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Articles by Diana beechener

Bay Weekly Moviegoer’s not-so-traditional takes on what to watch in the holiday season

      Movie-makers love the holiday season as much as you do. It’s a Wonderful Life and The Grinch are the bare tip of the iceberg. To take you far beneath the surface, I offer a sampler of 10 that prove the winter holidays can be an ideal backdrop for all genres. Take my challenge and dip beneath the surface … 
 
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Three women fight for power and position in this fascinating dramedy
      In the early 18th century, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) doesn’t want to be bothered with financing a war or running her country. Suffering from gout and fear of being unloved, she prefers to stay in her chambers, shouting at servants and playing with her 17 rabbits — one for each child she’s lost. 
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Videogame characters discover the World Wide Web and the meaning of friendship

      After finding a friend and his place in the world, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly: Stan and Ollie) thinks he has it all. His daily routine has two parts. When the arcade is open, he’s super villain Ralph who wrecks a building in an old-school 8-bit game. When the arcade closes, he meets his best friend, racer Vanellope (Sarah Silverman: I Love You America), for a few pints of root beer. 
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Nazis conscript the dead in this clever horror movie
      On the eve of D-Day, the Allied Forces are hopeful of bringing the Second World War to an end. Standing in the way of success is the most powerful German radio tower in France. To knock it out, a squad of paratrooper goes behind enemy lines.
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In this sensational heist flick, four women fight the patriarchy by robbing it 

      Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis: How to Get Away with Murder) has made a happy life by blinding herself to husband Harry’s (Liam Neeson: The Commuter) work as an armed robber.
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A disappointed author writes her way to infamy in this fantastic drama
       Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy: The Happytime Murders) is good at her job, biography, but not at her profession. She’s uppity and standoffish with other writers, refuses to do radio or press for her books, berates her agent and drinks herself into scenes. Only her cat loves her.
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A pair of brothers seeks greater purpose in this existential Western

     The Sisters Brothers Charlie and Eli (Joaquin Phoenix: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot; John C. Reilly: Kong: Skull Island) work as toughs and killers for land magnate The Commodore.
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A horror rematch 40 years in the making 

     In 1978, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis: New Girl) survived masked lunatic Michael Myers’ murder spree. Her friends were butchered, but Laurie lived to see Michael captured and committed. Still, she couldn’t move on. 
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In what he says is his last film, Robert Redford reminds moviegoers why he’s a star

      Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford: Our Souls at Night) loves what he does for a living. The work has never lost its thrill. It puts spring in his step and a smile on his face. Everybody sees it; people describe him as “a happy guy.”
      His secret: He robs banks for a living. 
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A dilapidated hotel holds more than dusty sheets in this hilarious thriller

      The El Royale on the California/Nevada border was once a hangout for gamblers and glitterati. But the hotel has fallen far, having lost its gambling and half its liquor license plus its appeal.
      The bellboy wanders empty halls, watching the building decay.
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