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It’s “That Time of Year”

Updated: Jan 13

Contains Spoilers!!!

So, as Olaf says in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, it is “that time of year”. Christmas films are everywhere and the season is in full swing.

Christmas films, though, are not my favourites.

Stay with me here.

I just don’t get on with the cheesiness of them all. I can’t stand the awkward moments or the extremely stupid message of ‘everything works out at Christmas’. Christmas films tend to follow the same pattern of the lead is a Grinch (or a Scrooge), things go wrong, they refuse to accept help, something magical or special happens that makes them rethink what they need to do and then at the end they are a changed person.

I am not, however, saying Christmas films are all rubbish.

This is my list of Top 5 Christmas films.

5 – Love Actually – 2003, Richard Curtis – 6/10

What I think is very clever about Love Actually is the multiple story lines interweaving at different points and all tying up at the end without being too complicated. Each story line has another that it interweaves with mostly, but it has another that ties with it. It is cheesy but it’s funny and enjoyable. It has a great cast, with Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, a very young Thomas Sangster, and the late, great Alan Rickman among others.

4 – The Holiday – 2006, Nancy Meyers – 7/10

The Holiday is in fourth place because it’s got a story about movies. Eli Wallach plays Arthur Abbott, a retired Hollywood writer who acts as the guide for Kate Winslet’s Iris Simpkins trying to get over her on-off boyfriend who is engaged and has cheated on her. It is mirrored with an American woman doing the same but in Surrey. It’s a funny, saucy little piece, with a superb cast feature the aforementioned Winslet and Wallach, Jack Black, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz.

3 – The Grinch – 2018, Scott Mosier, Yarrow Cheney – 7/10

This is the animated version of the story, not the Jim Carey version. The cast is not as big as the others, but it is just so funny. Having said that, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead but I couldn’t have told you that without looking it up! While I found the Jim Carey version was awkward and cringy, this one is very different. The narrator is the only person who speaks in the Dr. Suess rhymes, while Max the dog and Fred the Reindeer steal the show, although the screaming goat certainly makes his mark!

2 – The Muppets Christmas Carol – 1992, Brian Henson – 8/10

What a classic. Michael Caine is brilliant and The Muppets are just amazing. If you don’t love The Muppets, WHY NOT???

It’s a wonderful retelling of the Dickins classic story. The songs are catchy and memorable, all the Muppet characters play their parts wonderfully and there are several references to different things within the Muppet world, like Statler and Waldorf (the Muppet Show hecklers) having a shop named after them, as well as singing fruit and veg.

1 – Klaus – 2019, Sergio Pablos – 9/10

This is a beautiful, funny, and engaging film that tells the origin of the legend of Santa Claus. It’s the story of a Postman who is setting up the Post Office on a rough Scandinavian island with a town that has an ongoing war between the two families that live there. That in itself is hilarious! Then you have the references to Santa being shown, very subtly but enough to be seen. It has the soppy ‘the hero changes’ moments, but it fits and I love the film. The animation is slightly different too, as I’ve not seen a film drawn in quite the same way, and I love that about it.

Christmas films are not a thing I really go for, but I will watch these ones every year, and they’ve all been watched already!

Merry Christmas everyone. Happy holidays to those who don’t celebrate Christmas. Stay safe and have a great time.

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