Release Date: Dec. 5
Director: Darnell Martin
Starring: Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles, Jeffrey Wright, Mos Def
Memo to Beyoncé: If you continue to insist on proving yourself as an actress, stop choosing roles where you also play a singer.
Memo to Adrien Brody: Did you forget you won an Oscar for your astonishing, transcendent performance in The Pianist? Pick some better scripts, and fast.
Memo to Mos Def: You're a cool guy. Keep doing what you do.
Memo to moviegoers: The bland-looking Cadillac Records seems destined to be that movie you stumble across on cable and forget about 10 minutes after it's over.
Release Date: Dec. 25 (limited)
Director: Laurent Cantet
Starring: Francois Begaudeau
France's submission for this year's foreign film Oscar (and the Palme d'Or winner at Cannes), The Class is based on Begaudeau's novel and real-life experience as a teacher in a downtrodden French community. It looks like a French version of Half Nelson (probably minus the drug addiction). For a film with such pedigree though, the trailer doesn't do it any favors, almost portraying it as a documentary. Regardless, it's something to add to your Netflix queue, if not seek out in theaters.
A Christmas Tale
Release Date: Nov. 14 (limited)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Paul Roussillon
A Christmas Tale, yet another French film garnering praise amongst moviegoers and critics alike, looks to be a much richer story than its by-the-numbers title might suggest. Rising star Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the upcoming Quantum of Solace) plays a banished son who returns home for the holidays to help his ailing mother. Unlike The Class, this film is blessed with a brilliant trailer, perfectly showcasing the story but also the film's irreverant, Royal Tenenbaums-esque humor and its tender, pulsating heart.