'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)....