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The Holiday season is one of the busiest times in Hollywood. Movie studios will wait to release their large budget superstar movies  in this break time. This is also where Oscar nominations are born and die. This year as been one of the best in recent times giving the Oscars great buzz and giving us all the gift of great movies. This holiday season I went and saw David O. Russel’s  American Hustle and the great Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

American Hustle

This movie shocks you from the first moment in a funny scene where you see an overweight and balding Christian Bale. I’ve have known of Christian Bale’s incredible physical dedication like dropping to a mere 121 lbs. in The Machinist and then being a cut 200 lbs. in Dark Knight Rises, but this is a transformation of gaining 45 lbs. to an overweight Irving Rosenfeld. This incredibly strong movie’s biggest strength is its actors. Along with Christian Bale, American Hustle boasts Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and minor roles from Louis CK and Robert de Nero.

This incredible ensemble is used correctly and not just there for the big names. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are eye candy enough to just see the movie and their interactions are some of the best scenes of the movie.  The tension between Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale was incredible. They played off each other’s anger and the dialogue between them rivals some of the best I’ve ever seen. The movie makes you root for a man who would regularly be considered a villain while showing his personal side. The movie has some nice shots, nothing too extravagant, but it fits the mood of the movie extremely well. This movie is one of the best films I’ve seen all year and I think it will compete for Best Picture at the Oscars with Twelve Years a Slave, Gravity, and her.

 The Wolf of Wall Street

TWOWS was directed by Martin Scorsese, director of two of the greatest movies of all time, Goodfellas and Raging Bull. This movie came in with incredibly large expectation and fulfilled them. The story of the rise and fall of Wall Street giant Jordan Belfort was engrossing. You could not look away from the excess of drugs, sex, and greed. The excess of the movie can sometimes get in the way of the film, but it constantly reinforces the idea of Jordan’s incredible life. The real star of this movie ended up not being the Martin Scorsese directing, but the incredible acting of Leonardo Dicaprio. He was incredible. He made you love him, laugh, hate him, and feel sorry for him in the movie. At every moment he steals the scene being the most dominant actor in a strong cast. He has deserved to win an Oscar before this movie and he deserves to win this year. The competition is incredibly strong this year, but I think he is the most deserving for Best Male Actor. The cast around him is also very talented. A now back to fat Jonah Hill is hilarious and Matthew McConaughey’s limited role is unforgettable. TWOWS‘s ridiculous excess and incredible acting lead to a three hour ride that does not feel a minute too long.