Hollywood's holidays range from Muppets to Marilyn

By David Germain

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 24 2011 5:05 a.m. MDT

Streep could add to her Oscar record of 16 acting nominations as Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," a portrait of the conservative prime minister that co-stars Jim Broadbent.

Also on the London front is director Madonna's "W.E.," which blends the story of a modern woman (Abbie Cornish) in an unhappy marriage with the 1930s scandal over the abdication of King Edward so he could marry divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough).

"A Dangerous Method" follows the birth of psychoanalysis through the professional and personal clash of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and their relationships with a patient (Keira Knightley).

On "J. Edgar," DiCaprio teams with Eastwood for a portrait of Hoover, who ran the FBI and its predecessor for nearly 50 years and drew accusations of abuse of power in his declining years.

"He was somebody that just stayed in power too long," DiCaprio said. "Toward the end of his regime, he was out of touch and out of date with what was going on in this country."

ACTION AND ADVENTURE:

Director Spielberg teams with producer Peter Jackson for "The Adventures of Tintin," which opens overseas well ahead of its December release in the United States, where the youthful adventurer is virtually unknown despite his global renown from the storybooks of Belgian writer Herge.

The film sends eager reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) on a treasure hunt with seafaring pal Capt. Haddock (Andy Serkis), the production created through a performance-capture shoot layered over with digital animation.

Downey as the great detective and sidekick Watson (Jude Law) meet criminal mastermind Moriarty (Jared Harris) in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." James Bond star Craig stars with Rooney Mara in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," an English-language remake of the Danish film based on the Swedish best-seller about a troubled computer genius aiding a journalist investigating a decades-old crime. "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol" has Cruise's elite team going rogue after an attack on the Kremlin.

Murphy and Stiller star in "Tower Heist," an action comedy about a band of defrauded workers who plot a break-in against the billionaire (Alan Alda) who swindled them. "Immortals" casts Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke and Henry Cavill in a battle among humans and the gods of ancient Greece.

Then there's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1," the first of two movies based on Stephenie Meyer's final novel about teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her supernatural suitors (Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner).

Given how well fans already know what's coming from Meyer's novel, director Bill Condon is not too concerned about spoiler alerts over the epic events of "Part 1."

"Bella gets married, she has a honeymoon, she has sex for the first time, she gets pregnant, she gives birth, she dies, she becomes a vampire," Condon said. "All in one movie."

"Breaking Dawn: Part 2" is due out in November 2012.

FAMILY MATTERS:

The season is heavy on families coping with loss and other domestic troubles. Clooney stars as a neglectful husband and father forced to take charge of his spirited daughters after an accident puts his wife in a coma in "The Descendants," which centers on a large extended family that is heir to a priceless piece of unspoiled Hawaiian land.

"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" features Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in the story of a boy searching New York City for the lock that fits a key left behind by his father, who was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Martin Scorsese directs the 3-D adventure "Hugo," the story of an orphan boy living in the walls of a Paris train station who joins with an eccentric girl as he seeks answers about the father he recently lost. The live action feature is based on Brian Selznick's children's book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."

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