Christmas is a time for lazy listening, watching great movies and curling up together to read good books. Whether you are at home with family, away in the snow or taking a distant break, take the music, stream the movies, and pack a pile of great books.
Our top 10 music this Christmas
1. Under Control (feat. Hurts), Calvin Harris & Alesso
2. Story Of My Life, One Direction
3. Somewhere Only We Know, Lily Allen
4. Of the Night, Bastille
5. The Monster (feat. Rihanna), Eminem
6. How Long Will I Love You, Ellie Goulding
7. Let Me Go, Gary Barlow
8. Animals, Martin Garrix
9. Do What U Want (feat. R. Kelly), Lady Gaga
10. Hey Brother, Avicii
Top films out now or coming soon
The Hunger Games Catching Fire – out now
Initial release: November 11, 2013 (London)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Prequel: The Hunger Games
This is a triumph of film-making, with amazing effects, great writing, believable characters and a wonderfully natural lead actress in Jennifer Lawrence. See it!
The film begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts.
Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt
This remake of a 1950s success comes out 27th December.
A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
Let’s hope this film recreates the hilarious and touching mood of the original.
Christmas theatre in London
Mojo (on now)
Venue: Harold Pinter Theatre
Genre: Dark Comedy
Opened: 13 Nov 2013
Written by: Jez Butterworth
Director: Ian Rickson
Set against the fledgling rock ‘n’ roll scene of 50s Soho, this play delves into the sleazy underworld and power games of London’s most infamous district.
The shadow of Harold Pinter looms large in Jez Butterworth’s dazzling debut play Mojo originally premiered in 1995, so it’s only appropriate that not only did Pinter himself appear in the 1997 film version, but also that it now returns to the West End theatre named after Pinter.
A serious play that is tough and uncompromising, but well worth seeing.
Books to curl up and read
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
All These Things I’ve Done, the first novel in the Birthright series, introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.
Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life.
In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place.
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