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A dressed-up woman gets out of a car in this image from Amblin Entertainment.
“The Color Purple” is for the Broadway lovers. (Image: Amblin Entertainment)

Christmas Day has become synonymous with big box office releases in the movie industry. I remember being excited in my youth for the 2009 “Sherlock Holmes” movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and, more recently, “Wonder Woman 1984” with Gal Gadot. However, the day isn’t reserved just for action-packed blockbusters. This year’s Christmas Day releases feature a biopic, a highly anticipated musical remake, and an inspirational true story. Don’t know which to watch first? Here’s what you should know about “Ferrari,” “The Color Purple,” and “The Boys in the Boat” before you buy that movie ticket.

Watch the video:

The Intense Biopic: ‘Ferrari’

A man in a suit and sunglasses in this image from Forward Pass.
Enzo Ferrari enters the Mille Miglia as a coping mechanism for loss. (Image: Forward Pass)

Based on a true story, “Ferrari” is set in the summer of 1957. Car lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy this take on the life of Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver). Director Michael Mann says he’s wanted to make this film since he was a 24-year-old film student. It’s an adaptation of the biographical book by journalist Brock Yates, “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races, The Machine.”

After 10 years, the company is on the edge of bankruptcy, and his relationship with his wife, Laura (Penélope Cruz), is tumultuous, at best. With the death of one of his sons lingering over him, Enzo decides to enter the Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile race across Italy. The film will depict the disastrous Ferrari crash that occurred near the end of the race, and Mann warns audiences there will be more blood and gore than expected.

Alongside Driver and Cruz, the cast also stars Patrick Dempsey as Italian race car driver Piero Taruffi, showing off his real-life race driving skills. Shailene Woodley plays Lina Lardi, Ferrari’s longtime mistress. Other roles include Jack O’Connell as British driver Peter Collins, Sarah Gadon as Mexican actress Linda Christian, Gabriel Leone as driver Alfonso de Portago, and Erik Haugen as de Portago’s navigator Edmund Nelson.

“Ferrari” promises to be an intense ride that’ll keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The movie will be released in theaters on Christmas Day and is rumored to hit streaming services by February or March 2024.

Check out the trailer:

A Musical Masterpiece: ‘The Color Purple’

A woman in a red gown and red feather headdress sings and dances in a bar in this image from Amblin Entertainment.
The bonds of sisterhood are put to the test. (Image: Amblin Entertainment)

“The Color Purple” is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of the same name by Alice Walker. It was originally adapted in 1985, featuring actors like Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey. In 2005, it debuted as a musical on Broadway and had a Broadway reprisal in 2015. It’s only fitting that all these renditions are now colliding spectacularly.

This latest evolution of “The Color Purple” is a musical featuring music from the Broadway show and gives audiences a glimpse into Celie’s (Fantasia Barrino) imagination. The American Idol winner first portrayed this role on Broadway in 2007, so it’s only fitting that she reprises it in the film. Another Broadway star reprising her original role of Sofia is Danielle Brooks. Other cast members include Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Colman Domingo as Mister, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, and H.E.R. as Squeak.

The story spans about 40 years of Celie’s life. She suffers abuse at the hands of her father, among other hardships of the 1900s. She strives for independence and explores the depths of her own strength. It’s a tale of female bonds and empowerment. If you aren’t sold yet, take a look at the trailer:

“The Color Purple” hits theaters on Christmas Day and is said to be available on streaming services in February 2024.

For the Sports Fans: ‘The Boys in the Boat’

A group of young men in USA shirts carry a boat in this image from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
This inspirational story comes just in time for setting your New Year's resolutions. (Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

“The Boys in the Boat” is a biographical sports drama based on the true story of the University of Washington rowing team achieving the unthinkable – making it to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. During the Great Depression, the team struggles with motivation as they’re pitted against elite rival teams. While the film follows the team as a whole, it specifically follows teammate Joe Rantz (Callum Turner), who joins the rowing team due to the part-time work and free shelter. Joel Edgerton plays Coach Al Ulbrickson.

The film is directed by George Clooney, who says it’s a feel-good story. Clooney was a fan of Daniel James Brown's novel and was excited to work on the project. Terry O’Neill, an Olympic rowing coach with a gold medal under his belt, was brought on to train the actors for eight weeks before they began filming.

“The Boys in the Boat” is a wonderful underdog story. The fact that it really happened just makes it that much more uplifting. After its premiere in theaters, it’s set to stream on Apple TV+, although a release date is yet to be determined. Check out the trailer below:

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