Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas films to watch while you wrap

'Tis the season to be jolly and Christmas films are part of the cultural celebration of peace and good will and all that stuff. But be wary - there's some shockers out there that will bring out the bah- humbug in anyone!
Our favourite Christmas films are: 

"The Nightmare before Christmas" - a wonderfully subversive tale about the culture clash of Halloween and Christmas and what happens when an ambitious but disillusioned Pumpkin King wants more from life. Amazing old school stop motion animation and Danny Elfman songs.
In "Edward Scissorhands" Burton takes on sixties suburbia with this Frankenstein fish out of water tale. The film has great flair, hilarious design, amazing cast and a bit of magic.
"Meet me in St Louis" for all the reasons I mentioned here and because Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The film isn't set entirely at Christmas - it follows the seasons in a year - but the crisis point of the story happens at Christmas time. It would warm the cockles of any Grinch's heart.

"It's a Wonderful Life"
Individual dreams fight against duty and community wins over capitalism in this fantastic Frank Capra film. James Stewart is magnificent as the duty bound, kind hearted George Bailey, a man in crisis who has quelled his own spirited dreams for the love of his home town and family. What a corker of a film. Donna Reed is glorious as Mary Hatch and the dance scene where the floor opens up is priceless. Okay I admit the whole angel thing is annoying but this is a film about how much one person's life can matter, how a community can fight meanness and about how wonderful a life is.

Others we like are:
For the kids "The Muppet Christmas Carrol" for the film buffs "Shop Around the Corner" and my teenage daughters adds "Serendipity" and "While you were Sleeping" to the list for rom-com lovers. Watch at your own risk.

And what NOT to watch? "Love Actually" tops my list. A ridiculous film which tries to hide it's cringe worthy lack of plot and character development behind an ensemble cast of stars. What I hate most about this film (yes besides the schmaltz, bad soundtrack and cuteness) is that any female character over 30 is either a)cheated on b)overly committed to being a carer and unable to be in a relationship or c)dead! While the men over forty? They end up with women half their age or a supermodel. Get me a bucket!

What are your Christmas film favourites?


  1. Love Actually. It is on tv every year. You forgot the woman who throws herself at her boss, and the one who is adored by her husband's best mate, and is cool with that, and the one who marries a man she can't communicate with, and the American women who love kissing Englishmen.
    The best matched couple meet on a porn film!

    Yes, love all those recommendations. I tear up the mention of 'It's a Wonderful Life'. I also like 'Holiday Inn'.

  2. Oh, and the men repartner in six weeks!

  3. Have you seen the vile remake of Shop Around the Corner with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? Nora Ephron wrote the script. It saddens me that she hasn't written a good film since Heartburn. We also like The Nutcracker. Clara is a great girl heroine.

  4. Haven't seen the remake of Shop Around the Corner but Tom Hanks + Meg Ryan = vile to me! We ended up watching "Howl's moving Castle" on Christmas Eve. Thanks Motherhugger and Melita for the other film suggestions!

  5. We love Howl's Moving Castle. Have I already had the conversation with you about how great the Studio Ghibli films are? Our Neighbour Totaro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo... I love them all.