Rebecca Ascher-Walsh says the season's big releases are filled with the spirit of Bah, Humbug!

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated December 10, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
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Holiday movies trend toward the dark and depressing

Planning on having a merry Christmas and a festive holiday season? Not if Hollywood has its way.

While this may be the time of year you’re looking for a little cheer, filmmakers are looking for their last chance to score some Oscar attention. And while ”Toy Story 2” may make you smile, actors are more likely to get nods if they produce a tear or two. So take out your hankies and get ready to plummet into the depths of depression at your local cineplex.

Beautiful Women Get Depressed Too Just in case you were thinking that people who looked like Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie couldn’t possibly have a care in the world, along comes ”Girl, Interrupted.” The actresses play rather maladjusted adults shut up in a mental institution. Count your blessings and your Prozac pills.

Innocent Miracle-Makers Suffer Tom Hanks plays a prison guard on Louisiana’s death row during the depression in ”Green Mile,” based on Stephen King’s six novellas of the same name. When Hanks’ character meets a gentle spirit wrongly accused, there’s no Holiday clemency to be found. The only nod to Christmas: The film’s cuddly mouse, Mr. Jingles.

Women Who Think They’re Men Get Offed The spectacular ”Boys Don’t Cry,” based on the true tale of a woman in the midwest who passed as a man and was ultimately murdered for his/her deceptions, ”Boys” is so haunting just TRY to close your eyes and see dancing mistletoe when you come out of the theater.

Orphans Have it Rough ”Cider House Rules,” the new adaptation of John Irving’s best-selling book, beautifully explores such upbeat topics as abortion, incest, war, and impossible love.

True Love Is About Pain Graham Greene’s tragic tale of star-crossed lovers, ”The End of the Affair,” stars Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes in Oscar-worthy turns. Chances are you’ll do more weeping in this movie than Gwyneth Paltrow did at last year’s Oscars.

Boys Don't Cry

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