Sunday, 7 December 2014

Favourite Christmas Films


It's a Wonderful Life £10 Tesco here
 I've only watched this recently and I can see why this is such a well loved classic. The film is directed by Frank Capra in 1946 so it's in black and white but don't let that put you off! The film begins with Guardian Angel Clarence being summoned to help George Bailey who is close to suicide. All his life George Bailey has wanted to escape his small town to realise his dream of building big buildings and travelling the world. Unfortunately he's had to put his dreams aside for various reasons and a money crisis at his company Building and Loan tips him over the edge as he realises he's worth more dead than alive and wishes he'd never been born. Before he can throw himself off the bridge he spots a man drowning and goes in to save him. This man is Clarence who shows George what life in the small town would be like if he'd never been born. The town is worse off without George's kindness and generosity which previously had changed people's lives. This is a little like Dicken's Scrooge with mean Potter having a negative effect on the town while George learns his value as part of a small community. It's ultimately a feel good film (you have to see it to understand what I mean!)

 The Snowman/ The Snowman and the Snowdog £7 Amazon here
 A childhood classic animation of Raymond Brigg's children's book The Snowman. I remember being so excited when I could play this on the recorder in primary school! The original is sweet and the sequel is just as good. It isn't Christmas without hearing Walking On The Air.

 Singin' In The Rain £5.30 Amazon here
 While not actually set at Christmas this film is often broadcast on tv around Christmastime. Starring Gene Kelly, this musical is slick, funny and fun to watch. It follows the transition from the Silent movies to the talkies, a move that provides the movie studios with a big problem- their female star cannot sing and has a terrible voice. I love the Make Them Laugh scene with the dancing and somersaults (there's a Glee version of this with Mr Shue and Mike doing the acrobatics.) Altogether a wonderful feel good movie.

 Bridget Jones's Diary £2.74 Amazon here
 From catching Mark Darcy's eye across the New Year turkey buffet to kissing on the snowy London street at Christmas (sans trousers/skirt as you do), Rene Zellweger plays Bridget Jones and all her lovable flaws to perfection. Not to mention you have a choice to drool over Colin Firth or Hugh Grant.

 The Holiday £2.75 Amazon here
 You don't have to fancy the pants of Jude Law to like this film: I'm living proof of this (Yes I know I'm odd, but his charms fail to impress me.) I love the idea of a holiday house swap, and this film follows two women at Christmas frustrated with their loves lives, impulsively booking a holiday on a home exchange website. Iris (Kate Winslet) moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda (Cameron Diaz) arrives in the snow-covered English countryside. After arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris's handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) while Iris mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black.) I recently watched Trading Christmas (2012 on Five on demand here) about a holiday home swap gone wrong but while I loved the story I prefer this film because the acting of the male leads is much better.

 The Christmas Secret see Channel 5 on demand here
 This T.V. film stars Bethany Joy Lenz from One Tree Hill and is based on the book by Donna VanLiere. Christine Isley is having a bad week. After stopping to save a women's life she is fired from her job for being late. She is also facing eviction and her ex husband is taking her to court over custody of their children. She has also lost a star shaped locket which she holds precious because it links her to her father who died before she got to know him. The grandson of the lady she saved is trying to track her down to give her thanks but due to circumstances and a few misunderstandings along the way they keep missing each other or never actually get to know each other properly. However Christine may actually have more family around her than she realises.  The film relies heavily on co-incidences that are a little unrealistic even in a small town but I love this film it's very sweet and Bethany Joy Lenz is believable as the single mother and hasn't aged much since her One Hill Tree days.

What are your favourite Holiday/Christmas films, are there any that I should watch? Tell me in the comments below?

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