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Best Bets For Christmas at the Cinema

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Going to the movies on Christmas Day has become something of a tradition for many. For non-observers, those far from home, or even folks just trying to give the cook a few hours of peace, an afternoon at the cinema can be just the respite or escape they need.

Seattle theaters, as usual, have lots to offer on Christmas Day. For traditionalists, there's the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life," playing through January 2nd at the darling Grand Illusion Cinema. The theater, a nonprofit run solely by volunteers, has at this writing not announced its Christmas showtimes, but plenty of other dates have been announced.

There's also plenty of art house fare to choose from. Landmark Theatres will be running the Coen Brothers' folk flick "Inside Llewelyn Davis" as well as the Disney pseudo-tell-all "Saving Mr. Banks."

Christmas Day, though this year on a Wednesday, has become a prestigious opening day. Landmark will open Spike Jonze's intriguing "Her," featuring the award-winning disembodied voice of Scarlet Johansen. Also opening that day is "August: Osage County," with a pedigree and all-star cast that makes it sure to be a stunner.

Other promising options in wider release include Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," the all-too-timely "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," and the modern remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

And then there's the grandaddy of them all, SIFF's impressive now-traditional offering of clever counter-programming: The "Fiddler on the Roof" Sing-a-Long, complete with Chinese food buffet. Get your tickets now, as this gem is sure to sell out.

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