Just because Thanksgiving 2010 is yesterday's news doesn't mean we can't take some time to be thankful for what we have, and have yet to come. It's time for a light look ahead to what December holds in movies. Here are five things I'm thankful for in film for the end of the year.

5. I'm thankful for Daft Punk's score in Tron: Legacy. It's incredible. I saw the film last week and the music was as impressive as the visuals. Tron: Legacy opens on December 17th. Actor & stunt man Anis Cheufra has dazzling manuevers and is poised to become a big star.

4. I'm thankful for Mark Wahlberg's determination to get The Fighter made. The film went through years of development, several directors and various big names attached to star opposite Wahlberg before the movie had the money needed to get made. His passion for the project helped push it through, and thanks in part to a demanding 33-day shoot on location in Lowell, Mass., and some spot-on performances from a great ensemble cast, the film feels a little grittier and more authentic than many star driven studio bio-pics. 

3. I'm thankful for two honest depictions of married couples trying to make it work. I'm sick and tired of "airplane" rom-coms that lack any true feeling or invention. Rabbit Hole is about a married couple played by Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart that's trying to move on with their lives and come together as they grieve the death of their 4-year-old son. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are a tumultous couple whose marriage falls apart as they grow more and more distant. Both films are superbly acted, intense and at times deeply moving, well directed, and beautifully crafted overall.

2. I'm thankful for "above the title directors". There are only a handful of filmmakers who achieve this lofty claim. They are household names that are as much of an attraction at the box office as many of the stars in their films. They continue to push the medium forward, challenge audiences and inspire the next generation of visionaries behind the camera. The month of December brings us new works from Sofia Coppola (Somewhere), Alejandro Inaritu (Biutiful), David O. Russell (The Fighter), The Coen Brothers (True Grit) and Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan).

1. I'm thankful that with the release of Black Swan, moviegoers can experience the greatness and precise artistry I saw back in September. At the Toronto International Film Festival, I saw Natalie Portman's performance and immediately predicted Oscar gold. She is flawless. The film is so visceral and compelling. Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassell deserve praise as well. So far the movie is my favorite of 2010, and look for it to be a heavy favorite all awards season long.

There you have it. A few film highlights to look forward to the last month of the year and the holiday season. What are you thankful for this month? And what are you most excited for in the new year in the world of movies?

Happy Holidays...BL

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