The Big Short

Welcome to our winter solstice edition! There isn’t much cinema going on this week as people jam the department stores, but you’ll want to check out Leah Pickett’s long review of The Big Short, an adaptation of Michael Lewis’s nonfiction best seller about the subprime mortgage crisis, starring Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Christian Bale. And I’ve got something to tell you about Youth, a philosophical comedy from Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda.

Dreams Rewired

Check out our new reviews of: Christmas, Again, an indie drama about a poor soul selling Christmas trees and living in a trailer; Dreams Rewired, a lyrical essay film, narrated by Tilda Swinton, about how public consciousness was altered by early radio, TV, and telecommunications; Flowers, a Spanish drama about people dealing with the loss of loved ones; Sisters, a dreadful comedy with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; and—oh God, I feel it, bursting to life with the heat of a million suns—Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Crime Wave

Best bets for repertory: John Paizs’s Crime Wave (1985), Friday at Facets Cinematheque; Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s On the Town (1949), Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library; Frank Tashlin’s Susan Slept Here (1954), Tuesday at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium; and it’s last call for White ChristmasIt’s a Wonderful Life at Music Box.