This week's new movies and TV shows: Holiday picks, Xavier Dolan's megawatt casting and more

By Clare Douglas

From new series to memorable guest stars and the new movies releases that will have you racing to the theatre, Hello! Canada’s weekly report on new movies and TV shows is your all-access guide to the big and small screen. Check back on Mondays to stay up to date on must-see TV and noteworthy silver-screen news!

TV:

BINGE-WORTHYY
This year’s surprising, but deserving, nomination for a Golden Globe is the charming series Jane the Virgin. Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, the show stars best actress nominee Gina Rodriguez as a celibate woman whose world is turned upside down after she is artificially inseminated by accident. With the series taking a break until its return on Jan. 19, now is the perfect time to catch up on this sweet and sexy dramedy. (Exclusively streaming on Shomi.)

TUNE IN - Avoid Jack Frost nipping at your nose by staying warm and cozy inside with loved ones - and these fun and festive holiday programs!:

The Social: Year in Gossip (Dec. 19, CTV)
The always outspoken ladies of daytime (Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor) take a trip down memory lane by looking back at the year’s biggest (and sometimes scandalous) stories from Hollywood.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (Dec. 31, City/ABC)
Say farewell to 2014 and ring in the New Year with some musical friends, including Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Bastille and Lady Antebellum.

MOVIES:

IN THEATRES - Three movies to check out on December 25th.
If you’re in the mood for a disco-era crime caper with a serious ensemble cast (think: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Maya Rudolph, Benicio Del Toro), then you’ll enjoy INHERENT VICE, the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master).

If you’re in the mood for a musical then go check out INTO THE WOODS. Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick star in this retelling of some classic fairytales, set to music by the inimitable composer Stephen Sondheim and already garnering nominations.

If you’re in the mood for suspense then go see Clint Eastwood's AMERICAN SNIPER. Starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, the film takes a chilling look at the life of a war hero and the struggle to find peace after the battle is over.

CASTING NEWS
Next year is shaping up to be another stellar one for Canadian director Xavier Dolan. After winning this year’s Jury Prize at Cannes, the Montreal-native has assembled an Oscar-caliber cast for his first English-language feature film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan . Jessica Chastain, Kathy Bates and Susan Sarandon will step in front of the 25-year-old director's camera this spring when filming on the project is expected to begin in Montreal and London.

Fresh off her first SAG and Golden Globes nominations for her portrayal of Jane Hawking in the harrowing biopic The Theory of Everything, British beauty Felicity Jones has signed on to star in Inferno alongside the ultimate cinematic duo of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard.

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