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OSCAR WANNABES ARE HERE

For Hicksflicks.com, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

This is the time of year when, in addition to such blockbusters as the new “Star Wars” film, we start getting potential Oscar nominees, or so the studios hope.

Oh, and there’s also a new Will Ferrell comedy. And a remake of a 1990’s crime flick.

“Concussion” (PG-13). Will Smith stars in this true story of forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who brings his research about brain damage to the NFL and finds himself not only brushed off but attacked. Co-stars include Albert Brooks, Alec Baldwin, Paul Reiser, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Luke Wilson, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones and David Morse.

“Joy” (PG-13). Comedy-drama biographical true story of Joy Mangano, a divorced single mother of two that created the Miracle Mop, but had a tough life to go through to get there. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Donna Mills and Susan Lucci in support.

“Youth” (R). Michael Caine stars in this Italian comedy-drama as a retired classical composer vacationing in the Swiss Alps at a luxury resort with a longtime filmmaker pal (Harvey Keitel). Rachel Weisz co-stars as Caine’s daughter, with Paul Dano and Jane Fonda in supporting roles.

“Daddy’s Home” (PG-13). A mild-mannered radio executive (Will Ferrell) is trying to be a good stepfather to his new wife’s children, but their natural father (Mark Wahlberg) is tough competition in this comedy.

“Point Break” (PG-13). Remake of the Patrick Swayze-Keanu Reeves 1991 heist flick stars Luke Bracey as FBI agent Johnny Utah, assigned to go undercover and infiltrate a group of extreme athletes that is suspected of robbing banks under the leadership of Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez).

“The Big Short” (R). An all-star cast populates this true comic drama of several businessmen that believe the financial market bubble is about to burst and bet against the banks just before the 2007-10 financial crisis. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei lead the ensemble.

“The Danish Girl” (R). This true story is a biography of landscape artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), who underwent a male-to-female sex-reassignment surgery in 1920s Copenhagen. Alicia Vikander co-stars as his wife, with Ben Whishaw in support.