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There’s no place like holiday movies for the maladies

How's this for a selling tool? A chunk of the key poster art for August: Osage County.
How's this for a selling tool? A chunk of the key poster art for August: Osage County.

What can be said of a Christmas season wherein Disney's holiday offering ends with its heroine resorting to senseless physical violence to make her point?

Remember the good old days when the plight of Bedford Falls favorite suicidal son or the bells of St. Mary's ringing for tubercular nun Ingrid Bergman passed for downbeat Yuletide cheer? Wait until you get a gander at the disease, violence, drug abuse, graphic nudity, and all-around profane and anti-social behavior that awaits in this year's multiplex stockings.

Ho-Ho-Holy crap! What a depressing lineup!

Using slavery and AIDS as foundation stones, studios have turned their brick-and-mortar screening venues into giant repositories of grief. This year there is something to bring everybody down.

It hit me when this holiday season's first bout with cinematic carcinoma appeared halfway through the alleged Christmas rom-"com," The Best Man Holiday. The lady seated in front of me began to weep uncontrollably, her shoulders convulsing so hard that from the back she appeared to be working a cocktail-shaker.

As a community service, The Big Screen is delighted to offer the following glossary of despair, an index of every illness, every heinous acts, every violent whip of the lash and snap of the tongue spelled out in advance for your viewing pleasure.

Beware! Some of the following categories may contain spoilers.

Cancer: The Best Man Holiday, August: Osage County

Schizophrenia: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Slavery: 12 Years a Slave

Childhood Mortality: The Broken Circle Breakdown

AIDS: The Dallas Buyers Club

Elder Abuse: Nebraska, August: Osage County, Last Vegas

Peter Pan Syndrome: Her

Incest: August: Osage County

Poisonous fog: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Suicide: August: Osage County

Some nudity and brief sexuality: 12 Years a Slave

Abnormal sexual indifference: Frozen

Still waiting for Santamount to come through with a screening of The Wolf of Wall Street.

Drug and/or alcohol abuse: The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Best Man Holiday, Out of the Furnace, Bad Grandpa, The Dallas Buyer’s Club, American Hustle, Homefront, Oldboy

Juvenile Delinquency: Bad Grandpa

Consumption: Saving Mr. Banks

Dementia: Philomena, Nebraska, Last Vegas

Floating guys who look like old lesbians: All Is Lost

And in lieu of this year’s traditional Holocaust film for the holidays from The Weinstein Company, there’s 20th Century Fox’s The Book Thief

Graphic Nudity/Strong Sexual Content: Bad Grandpa, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, Oldboy, All Is Lost

Violence/Cruelty/Brutality: The Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace, Homefront, Oldboy, Last Days on Mars

Strong Language: The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Bad Grandpa, Her, Out of the Furnace, Homefront, August: Osage County, Oldboy, Last Days on Mars

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How's this for a selling tool? A chunk of the key poster art for August: Osage County.
How's this for a selling tool? A chunk of the key poster art for August: Osage County.

What can be said of a Christmas season wherein Disney's holiday offering ends with its heroine resorting to senseless physical violence to make her point?

Remember the good old days when the plight of Bedford Falls favorite suicidal son or the bells of St. Mary's ringing for tubercular nun Ingrid Bergman passed for downbeat Yuletide cheer? Wait until you get a gander at the disease, violence, drug abuse, graphic nudity, and all-around profane and anti-social behavior that awaits in this year's multiplex stockings.

Ho-Ho-Holy crap! What a depressing lineup!

Using slavery and AIDS as foundation stones, studios have turned their brick-and-mortar screening venues into giant repositories of grief. This year there is something to bring everybody down.

It hit me when this holiday season's first bout with cinematic carcinoma appeared halfway through the alleged Christmas rom-"com," The Best Man Holiday. The lady seated in front of me began to weep uncontrollably, her shoulders convulsing so hard that from the back she appeared to be working a cocktail-shaker.

As a community service, The Big Screen is delighted to offer the following glossary of despair, an index of every illness, every heinous acts, every violent whip of the lash and snap of the tongue spelled out in advance for your viewing pleasure.

Beware! Some of the following categories may contain spoilers.

Cancer: The Best Man Holiday, August: Osage County

Schizophrenia: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Slavery: 12 Years a Slave

Childhood Mortality: The Broken Circle Breakdown

AIDS: The Dallas Buyers Club

Elder Abuse: Nebraska, August: Osage County, Last Vegas

Peter Pan Syndrome: Her

Incest: August: Osage County

Poisonous fog: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Suicide: August: Osage County

Some nudity and brief sexuality: 12 Years a Slave

Abnormal sexual indifference: Frozen

Still waiting for Santamount to come through with a screening of The Wolf of Wall Street.

Drug and/or alcohol abuse: The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Best Man Holiday, Out of the Furnace, Bad Grandpa, The Dallas Buyer’s Club, American Hustle, Homefront, Oldboy

Juvenile Delinquency: Bad Grandpa

Consumption: Saving Mr. Banks

Dementia: Philomena, Nebraska, Last Vegas

Floating guys who look like old lesbians: All Is Lost

And in lieu of this year’s traditional Holocaust film for the holidays from The Weinstein Company, there’s 20th Century Fox’s The Book Thief

Graphic Nudity/Strong Sexual Content: Bad Grandpa, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, Oldboy, All Is Lost

Violence/Cruelty/Brutality: The Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace, Homefront, Oldboy, Last Days on Mars

Strong Language: The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Bad Grandpa, Her, Out of the Furnace, Homefront, August: Osage County, Oldboy, Last Days on Mars

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Comments
4

Rather thorough list. Obviously the work of a man well-versed in human misery. ; )

Dec. 5, 2013

This coming from a man with a disjointed wink.

Dec. 5, 2013

Looking forward to when Leo meets candle in [email protected]

wait4it #, #wait4it

Dec. 6, 2013

There was no dementia in "Philomena", unless you're referring to Philomena's willingness to forgive and forget the cruelty of lying Irish nuns who, in the modern era, sold her bastard baby boy to rich Yankees. Otherwise, what you describe is just part of what Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly call "the war on Christmas," the politically correct conspiracy to secularize absolutely everything in American life, right? Pul-ease.

Dec. 6, 2013

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