Malibu Seen: Out with the Old, In with the Gold

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was one of the many films released in December. 

Have you ever wondered why a slew of great flicks come out at the end of the year? Here’s one good reason why: filmmakers and savvy studio heads usually save their best for last as a lead-up to the award season. 

Even though many December films are in limited release, the force, the buzz and the PR blitz is with them. It’s perfect timing for the upcoming Golden Globes.

The nominees couldn’t be more different with “Mad Max: Fury Road,” starring Malibu beauty Charlize Theron, “The Room,” “Spotlight,” “The Revenant” and “Carol” all up for best motion picture in the drama category. “Joy,” “Spy,” “The Big Short,” “The Martian” and “Trainwreck” are up in the musical or comedy category. 

Cate Blanchett kicks off the best actress slot. She’s up for her performance in “Carol” along with Saoirse Ronan for “Brooklyn,” Rooney Mara for “Carol,” Brie Larson for “Room” and Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl.” 

Local Leonardo DiCaprio is up for his gutsy and grunting performance in “The Revenant,” along with Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish Girl,” “Concussion’s” Will Smith, Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs” and Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo.” 

For musical or comedy, there are plenty of familiar names like Jennifer Lawrence for “Joy,” Melissa McCarthy for “Spy,” Maggie Smith for “The Lady in the Van,” as well as Amy Schumer for “Trainwreck” and Lily Tomlin for “Grandma.”

There are are plenty of acting vets in the musical or comedy category with Al Pacino for “Danny Collins,” Matt Damon for “The Martian,” Steve Carell for “The Big Short,” Christian Bale for “The Big Short” and Mark Ruffalo for “Infinitely Polar Bear.”

The diverse lineup has taken many by surprise and it will be interesting to see what makes it onto the Oscar nods. In addition to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” there were plenty of fine films to be seen, including “Bridge of Spies,” a riveting drama courtesy of locals Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Then there’s a powerful performance by Johnny Depp as mobster Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass.”

Sandwiched in between the two major awards — Globes and Oscars — you’ll find a plethora of smaller but still important awards, from the People’s Choice to the Critic’s Choice, Screen Actor’s Guild, DGA and WGA. 

The holidays are over and that can only mean two things: the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl of celluloid. Look for a non-stop parade on the red carpet in a year that could be full of surprises.