Worth Watching in November

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By John P. McCarthy

Television & Internet

PBS’s six-hour miniseries CIRCUS hits the road with the Big Apple Circus to offer an unprecedented and visually thrilling look inside the big top as well as behind the scenes, where myriad performers reflect on the ups and downs of circus life (November 3, 10, 17).


The HBO documentary WARTORN: 1861-2010 examines the effects of combat stress and post-traumatic illnesses on soldiers and their families throughout American history (November 11).


In Hallmark Channel’s original movie THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a busy family has little time to prepare for the yuletide season until Santa crash-lands onto their roof and forces them to reconsider their priorities (November 20).


The documentary DEEP DOWN, shown as part of public television’s “Independent Lens” series, chronicles tension between two residents of a Kentucky mining town who are on opposite sides of the fight against the policy of mountaintop removal mining (November 23).


The latest “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentation NOVEMBER CHRISTMAS stars Sam Elliott, John Corbett, and Karen Allen as members of a Rhode Island community that bands together to create magical holiday moments for a seriously ill girl (CBS; November 28).


DOWNSIZED, an eight-episode series premiering on cable channel WEtv, follows a well-to-do family after they’ve been financially crippled by the recession. The nine members of the Bruce family must now live on a poverty-level budget and use love, humor, and discipline to navigate the challenges of their new circumstances (November 6).


CATHOLICMATCH.COM, the largest Catholic dating site, has launched a blog entitled “Faith, Hope & Love” featuring contributions from 20 Catholic writers, aimed at giving Catholic singles the credit and support they deserve.


With the mission of providing a safe online environment, Catholic Internet Services, Inc., has launched an array of new Internet services at MYCATHOLICISP.COM.




Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky brings a cherished holiday story to life, and Oscar-winning composer Tim Rice has written eight new songs for the production. THE NUTRACKER IN 3D stars Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, and John Turturro (November 24).


127 HOURS tells the harrowing true story of a mountain climber (James Franco) who resorts to extreme measures to save his own life after being trapped in an isolated Utah canyon. Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) directs (November 5).


In the 3D cartoon MEGAMIND, Will Ferrell voices the titular supervillain and Brad Pitt is his lifelong nemesis, a caped superhero known as Metro Man (November 5).


Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for the secret to Voldemort’s immortality in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1, the penultimate film based on J.K. Rowling’s books. Part 2 follows next summer (November 19).


Set in 1960s England and based on actual events, MADE IN DAGENHAM centers on a group of female factory workers seeking equal treatment in the workplace. The cast features Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins, and Rupert Graves (November 19).


Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton play bickering television anchors in MORNING GLORY, a comedy in the mold of “Broadcast News” (November 12).


THE KING’S SPEECH chronicles the real-life friendship between Britain’s King George VI (Colin Firth) and the Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who helped the monarch find his voice and inspire the nation during World War II (November 24).


Bird enthusiasts won’t want to miss THE LEGEND OF PALE MALE, a documentary about a remarkable love story between the city of New York and a redtail hawk (November 24).




Described as the “faith-based CRASH,” the movie I AM uses the Ten Commandments as the framework for a drama about disparate strangers in Los Angeles whose morality and faith are severely tested (November 2).


THE SOUND OF MUSIC 45th ANNIVERSARY EDITION makes the Oscar-winning treasure available on Blu-ray disc for the first time. The three-disc set includes an interview with the real Maria von Trapp and a reproduction of the original 1965 souvenir program (November 2)


TOY STORY 3 offers a gratifyingly poignant and highly entertaining conclusion to Pixar’s memorable trilogy (November 2).


A remastered version of the family classic CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, based on Ian Fleming’s children’s book, arrives this month loaded with interactive extras such as a driving game and a featurette entitled “A Fantasmagorical Motorcar” (November 2).


(Dates and schedules subject to change.)

John P. McCarthy