A BOUNTY OF HOLIDAY TREATS

THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE IS FINALLY OVER, SO LET'S GIVE THANKS AND TURN OUR ATTENTION TO LESS WEIGHTY DECISIONS: WHAT TO SEE AND DO DURING THE UPCOMING HOLIDAY SEASON. HEREWITH A GUIDE TO THE MOST

CINEMA

'TIS THE SEASON TO BE MOURNFUL

As the holidays get near, Hollywood gets the glums. For Christmas, it gives moviegoers a hair shirt: severe, serious films angled more for Oscar consideration than for Yuletide joy giving. Remember Nixon, Georgia, Othello in '95? This season, with few Academy Award contenders emerging in the first 10 months, studios will come down with a bad case of good intentions.

Cineplexes will turn into pre-med lecture halls for the study of leukemia (Marvin's Room, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro) and mental illness (Shine, the acclaimed Australian film about pianist David Helfgott)....

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