The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

'99 Homes' Will Make You Mad

Review of "99 Homes"
Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)
99 Homes is a fictional story with elements that were inspired by true stories of people evicted from their homes. The thriller feels so real, that you will forget that that is really the same guy who played Spider-Man and that’s the same woman who used to run away from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park up there on the screen. Only true actors can take you into fictional story and make you believe that it’s all real. The photography and music is excellent and feels as if you are watching a documentary. There’s a reason for that. Director Ramin Bahrani has done his share of documentaries as well.

Without hardly any setup, 99 Homes whisks you into one family’s heartbreaking story and also serves as a cautionary tale as well. The time is 2010. Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is a hardworking construction worker who is having a hard time finding enough work to pay his mortgage on the family home. He and his mother and son live in the very house that Nash grew up in. His mother Lynn (Laura Dern) is a hairdresser with a shop set up in the house’s living room. His son, Connor (Noah Lomax) is the product of a failed relationship that the film doesn’t really get into. The house itself is nothing special. It’s old and dated but is kept up nicely and these three love living there. It’s a home that many in the audience will be able to relate to unlike so many other Hollywood versions of “real life.”

Laura Dern and Andrew Garfield in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)
The bad guy in the story is Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) who seems like that rotten person you hated playing Monopoly with who always had to be the banker when you were a child. He’s ruthless and appears to be missing a soul. For our purposes, he might as well be the devil.

After going to court about his financial situation with house, Nash is told that he will lose the house but has 30 days to apply for an appeal. The problem comes the very next day when Carver arrives with his crew to evict Nash and his family and literally tosses them out on the street. Apparently, he can still make the appeal, but he can’t live in the house while he does so. The scene is gut wrenching as Nash learns that he has no recourse. The three grab what little items they can and move into a local motel where it is filled with other families in the same situation.

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