10 Films to Watch this Christmas

In case you were just cozying up in a bed of cushions underneath your recently decorated Christmas tree (unless you’re one of those weird indivuduals that had it up since late September), the thought of watching something Christmassy might have crossed your mind. More than once. Look no further than our list here, whic probably includes some titles that you’d expect from a Christmas listing – it’s unavoidable – but also some films that might be less obvious. One rule that we implemented is straying away from all the ‘Santa [insert title continuation here]’ so called seasonal comedies, which are just as funny as unwrapping presents sealed with a ton of duct tape. Not fun at all, that is.

1. Life of Brian (1979)

This is, at least for me, the ultimate Christmas movie, and it has become a prized tradition in my family to watch it around this time of the year. It’s brilliant, because it’s Monty Python, after all. It has a lot to do with Jesus (well, Brian really) and Christianity – much more so than your average Santa film. Watch it, watch it, watch it!

2. Frozen (2013)

I thought this is such an obvious recommendation, so I thought about excluding it, but in the end I couldn’t really let it go. It has a lot of snow and frozen landscapes, memorable tunes and is, in all fairness, one helluva animation. It got so much publicity recently that you might already be sick of it, but one more go can’t hurt, can it?

3. Die Hard (1988)

If you want to spice up your lazy Christmas day with a bit of dynamism and action, Bruce Willis has the solution for you. Back in times when you could smoke on airplanes and non-PC jokes were still accepted – those were the days! – and, most importantly, back when Mr Willis was a bit more picky about what projects he got to feature in. Good, solid Christmassy fun!

4. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Nowadays, Rudolph’s red nose is a much appreciated symbol by Christmas celebrations worldwide. In this 1964 film, however, Rudolph is ousted from his reindeer pack because of his unusually coloured nostrils, and teams up with a number of equally odd friends in order to look for a place where they belong. A wonderful animation that really stands out in the sea of ever-similar such productions.

5. Home Alone (1990)

There are a lot of obvious recommendations on my list – I’ve already apologised for this, did I not? Regardless, I shall apologise yet again. This is perhaps the film that you just finished watching before browsing for more recommendations, and yet here it is again. Had it not been here, you would probably have complained about its ridiculous omission. Can’t please everybody nowadays, not even on Christmas.

6. Ghostbusters II (1989)

1989 was a great year in mankind’s history. The fall of numerous communist dictatorships happened around this time, while the year also spelled the beginning of the end for the USSR. Last, but not least, it brought about the second coming of the Ghostbusters. Not as refined or memorable as the first one, the sequel revolves around a spike in paranormal activity that comes just around Christmas time.

7. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

You won’t really find the spirit of Christmas in this thriller, which happened to be Stanley Kubrick’s final film, released in the year of his death. It’s a wonderfully crafted gem that takes place in the holiday period – but one which you definitely should’t watch with the kids.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

How did the Grinch steal Christmas? If you know, you’ve already watched this Jim Carrey classic before. If you don’t know, you should watch it. That’s all I’ll say.

9. In Bruges (2008)

In this wonderful Martin McDonagh film, Colin Farrel’s character has very strong feelings about spending the holidays season in Bruges, Belgium. He hates it. A couple of murders and being on the run from some hitmen also plays a part in all the negativity, however. I certainly wouldn’t mind spending Christmas in Bruges. Actually, here’s a better recommendation: instead of watching this film, simply book a ticket for Bruges. You’ll thank me later.

10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

I’m saving one of the best for last – and you can’t really argue with that, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ sits on the #24 spot in IMDb’s highest rated films of all time. Christmassy in both setting and themes, the film directed by legendary Sicilian director Frank Capra is a great pick for a family night around the holidays.

Article written by Julian Leu for The Monthly Film Festival

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25.12.2017
 

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