Last week the New York Times released their annual short film series featuring the year's best actors. (I loved when they did the genre episodes that were melodramatic and captivating.) This year the series is called Nine Kisses, and the brief episodes are diverse and endearing. I found Steve Carell and Laura Dern's clip hilarious––a comic surprise. Julianne Moore and John Lithgow (some of my quiet but consistent favorites) nailed theirs. The color, mood, and atmosphere is a hit and their inhibition is electric.
Still shot of Julianne Moore in Still Alice (d. Richard Glatzer, 2014)
Speaking of this year's films and actors: I have been woefully out of touch with films this year, so some of these actors were a surprise to me. I know that Benedict Cumberbatch is a real favorite among the ladies, but I've never quite found him appealing. (Something alien about his pale, smooth face and high cheekbones...) However, I want to see him in The Imitation Game. There is always one good history film around the holiday season, and this seems to be it. I also want to see Wild (with Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern), the movie based on a true story, as well as Still Alice, which addresses the diagnosis of Alzheimer's for a prolific academic.