Hi everybody. I will begin with a simple and obvious statement of indubitable fact, Christmas is awesome. It really is, if you do not like something about the holiday season, check yourself because you're probably not human. One of the biggest traditions most people carry on through every Christmas is the annual watching of Christmas films. Most of them you all know, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Rankin/Bass films (Rudolph, Santa Claus is Comin to Town, etc.), The first (AND ONLY THE FIRST) Santa Claus film, their household names. But, I would like to provide you with 3 Christmas films you probably have not seen year after year at Christmas Time that you should absolutely check out.
1.) Joyeaux Noel (2005)
I here this film is already getting a sizable following since it's 2005 release, so that's an immediate plus. But for those unfamiliar, this is a French Film, written and directed by Christian Carion about the famous Christmas Eve Ceasefire of 1914. It's about the night the French, Scottish, and German troops put aside war and celebrated a holiday they all loved not as instruments of war but as the men they were before the fighting started. After a beautifully shot Christmas Eve, we see the aftermath of the festivities and the conflict these soldiers went through in order to prevent themselves from being forced to shoot the men they called their friends just nights before. It's a beautiful film about human kindness and the best that Christmas brings out in everyone, and it's stellar acting, gorgeous production design and camerawork, as well as brilliant direction propel it to be the first Christmas classic to come from across The Atlantic. The beauty of the film is it kind of makes you wonder if humans can be this good to each other one day a year, why the hell conflicts exist at all.
2.) Arthur Christmas (2011)
Joyeux Noel would not be the first future Christmas Classic from Europe thanks to this film. This one's a little bit more popular than the others, since it's the only one with a fairly recent wide release in America. This film stars James McAvoy as Santa's klutzy son Arthur, who's tasked with using all of the forces at The North Pole's disposal to deliver a present to a young girl that had been misplaced. Simple enough premise. So, apart from the animation, what makes it good? The performances, my goodness the performances. McAvoy, like in all of his films, is off the charts good. Jim Broadbent as Santa the 20th is freaking adorable. Bill Nighy is a drop dead hilarious Grandpa Santa. And Hugh Laurie killed as Arthur's militaristic brother Steve. I didn't even mention Imelda Staunton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, and even Michael Palin from Monty Python. The cast is superb, I love the animation, and YOU will love this movie.
3.) A Christmas Carol (1938)
Now I know what you're thinking, "I've seen Christmas Carol a million times! Why the heck do i need to watch it again?" My response is only two words, Reginald Owen.
For those who aren't familiar with his name, you may recognize him as the Banks' nutcase neighbor Admiral Boom. If you thought he was ridiculously British in that, you're in for a treat. He embodies the miserly, proper, and stubborn character of Scrooge like no one else ever has (in my humble opinion). That alone, is worth watching this version of Scrooge's Cracked Out Christmas Capers.
So that about does it for me for right now. If i don't write again until after 12.25, have a wonderful season. Good to be back at movie pilot, and Happy Holidays to you all :)