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The countdown to winter break has started, and we’re only a couple more finals away from packing up our bags and heading home without the stresses of work for the month. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Dongzhi, or just the comfort of a restful winter, you’ll probably have a generous amount of time on your hands for a cozy late-night movie screening. If you’re seeking a different sort of winter story, look no further!

“Tangerine” (2015): 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You’ll enjoy this if you have been looking for a raw and honest story offering a refreshing break from the glamor of Hollywood. Set on Christmas Eve on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue, this candid journey shot on three iPhone 5s smartphones tells the story of a transgender sex worker that will make your heart wrench and leave your head spinning.

“Carol” (2015): 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You’ll enjoy this if you have been waiting for a movie showcasing the tenderness and struggles of a queer relationship. This vulnerable film sheds light on the suffocation that society often imposes on forbidden relationships. Beautiful not only in its storyline but in its cinematography, the stunning and clever use of colors will draw you into Carol and Therese’s world of the early 1950s.

“Christmas, Again” (2015): 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You’ll enjoy this if you have ever struggled with holiday loneliness and heartbreak. Beautifully-shot on 16-millimeter film that saturates the picture with holiday colors, this movie follows a Christmas tree salesman who meets a young woman passed out on a bench, telling a poignant and touching story of love and loss.

“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” (2005): 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You’ll enjoy this if you are a fan of the detective fiction genre and are interested in seeing a young Robert Downey Jr. in action. Funny through and through, watch “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” for a thrilling and laugh-filled undercover adventure.

“Tokyo Godfathers” (2003): 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You’ll enjoy this if you would like to step out of mainstream media and take a journey down the anime avenue. Immerse yourself in snowy Tokyo with three peculiar protagonists and a stranded baby without a home and rediscover the beautiful nuances of life.

Do you know the feeling of being at a loss for words after watching an exciting movie? These are the ones you’ll be mulling over. If you’ve exhausted this list, check out our recommendations on cuffing season movies.

Staff writer Jane Mok can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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