Timely and amusing, "The Campaign" stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as political opponents, vying for a North Carolina Congressional seat. And even before Thanksgiving, there's "Christmas Story 2" about a 15-year-old who accidentally wrecks his dream car before getting it off the lot and is helped by his family and friends.

"Ruby Sparks" is Zoe Kazan's humorous, slyly sentimental romantic fable about a neurotic literary prodigy (Paul Dano) who envisions an idealized woman (Kazan) who, inexplicably, comes to life, cooking breakfast in his kitchen -- with a supporting cast that includes Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas.

In "Americano," writer/director Mathieu Demy (son of filmmakers Jacques Demy and Agnes Varda) plays a Frenchman who travels from Paris to Los Angeles to settle his estranged mother's estate and discovers her attachment to a mysterious, south-of-the-border woman (Salma Hayek); featured are progeny of other famous film folk, like Geraldine Chaplin and Chiara Mastroianni.

Sundance Film Festival winner "The Invisible War" is an emotionally powerful investigative documentary that reveals the profound personal and social consequences of the shameful rape epidemic in the U.S. military; it's an alarming fact that a female soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

"Wish Me Away" is an inspiring documentary about Chely Wright, the first major country singer to come out as gay - a brave move since the C&W music world is notoriously homophobic. And in "Elvis & Madonna," Copacabana lesbian photographer Elvis is hired to deliver pizzas on her motorcycle and her first delivery is to the transvestite hairdresser Lady Madonna, who has been beaten and robbed by her lover.

Danish provocateur/director Mads Brugger rips the corroded lid off political corruption and exploitation in the Central African Republic in "The Ambassador," a darkly comic, gonzo journalism stunt.

For toddlers, there's a Chuggington winter wonderland in "Icy Escapades," as trainees undertake brave rescue missions.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Based on a bizarre, real-life classified ad, looking for someone to go back in time, "Safety Not Guaranteed" is a fun-filled, uplifting feel-good journey taken by Seattle magazine staff writers.

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