Annie Barrett
October 20, 2006 AT 02:00 PM EDT

The Good German (Dec. 8) Oooh, 80 seconds of proof that George Clooney (pictured) is also handsome in black and white. I enjoy the gratuitious swirls of cigarette smoke surrounding the WB logo at the beginning and the title at the end. Whatever this movie is about (post-WWII Berlin), there will be smoking, which makes everything else more authentic. And Cate Blanchett smoking, at that. I can’t stop replaying the part where she drawls in her best Euro-rific dialect, “You cahn’t ever reeeeeally get out of Berlin.” Well, no, not if you’re going to keep saying it to me like that! One question: Clooney’s an American journalist. Exactly who is the good German?

The Painted Veil (Dec. 15) “Is it a long-drawn-out affair?” asks Naomi Watts. “It’s very painful,” replies Edward Norton. So may the movie be — it’s about a cholera epidemic in 1920s China, and its tagline, “Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people,” appears to have been lifted from a fortune cookie from that era. The trailer’s quite lovely if just a touch dull. And who doesn’t love misogyny? Show ’em, Na-om!

Dreamgirls (Dec. 21) Who even needs to see the trailer when the “You can do anything!” Kohl’s commercial MTV makes you watch is so freakin’ inspiring? It makes me wanna follow my dream almost as much as Jamie Foxx urging one of the ladies, “You gotta believe!” Man, Jennifer Hudson is really belting it out there at the end. And Beyoncé, for once, isn’t overly styled and looks completely believable as a ’60s icon. But can she sing? I’m on the edge of my seat!

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