As we come into the holiday season of Christmas, the following eleven movies are my favorite, and in my opinion, the best Christmas movies ever made. These are my personal choices and do not reflect any other persons opinion or selection. There are other favorite films of the season that for some would be in their list if they had one.
The descriptions of the movies come from the site: http://www.gamesradar.com/50-best-christmas-movies/ and are the reviews of Simon Kinnear. The reviews for the movie “One Magic Christmas” and “It Happened on 5th Avenue” are mine and anything in red print also are my words. They are not listed in any order.
Love Actually (2003):
The Film: Love it or loathe it, Richard Curtis’ selection box rom-com might be the most Christmassy movie of modern times.
Most Christmassy Moment: Take your pick. All permutations are here, from grand romantic gestures (cue card-laden Andrew Lincoln in the snow) to quiet family bonds (Laura Linney and her mentally ill brother), to the raucous singletons’ Christmas of Bill Nighy and Gregor Fisher spending the big day together getting drunk and watching porn.
(A favorite movie of mine regardless of the Christmas theme, this movie is a mess to some. Yet I always love what this director puts into his movies and the theme of love here has never been put on the screen better in the past twenty-five years)
The Film: Danny Boyle’s modern-day parable revolves around two brothers who discover a bag of bank notes that are about to become worthless at the end of the year – do they spend, spend, spend or give the cash to charity?
Most Christmassy Moment: When the robbers ransack the family home for the money (which they’d originally stolen), dad Ronald (James Nesbitt) decides the best way to stop them getting it is a spending splurge on Christmas pressies.
(Another Top ten movie in any genre, Millions is a classic by Danny Boyle. Wonderful in every aspect)
Joyeux Noël (2005):
The Film: The story behind one of the famous legends of World War One, as soldiers from opposing trenches agree to a Christmas Day truce to bury their dead and play football.
Most Christmassy Moment: The ceasefire begins after German private Sprink (Benno Fürmann) sings Silent Night and is accompanied by a Scottish bagpipe player from across No Man’s Land.
(What is says about war, nationalism, love, Jesus Christ, and finally, the similarity of all believers of the world is an important message. Also one of the finest war films ever made)
The Shop Around The Corner (1940):
The Film: It’s the busiest time of the year at a Budapest gift shop, and tensions are high between co-workers Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan). Little do they realise that they are also secret pen-pals who have fallen in love via pen and paper.
Most Christmassy Moment: The two finally declare their love on Christmas Eve
(Another Jimmy Stewart classic and a movie of attraction by words. Classical and much better than it’s remakes “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “You Got Mail”. That says a lot.)
A Christmas Story (1983):
The Film: Watching Bob Clark’s bittersweet rite-of-passage movie about a boy’s obsession with getting a B.B. Gun for Christmas is an annual event in America, but strangely it’s never taken off in Britain despite its wry realism.
Most Christmassy Moment: Despite nearly blinding himself with the gun, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) contentedly goes to bed with his prize present by his side.
(You’ll shoot your eye out-nuff said)
Home Alone (1990):
The Film: The McCallister family Christmas holiday checklist: tickets – check. Presents – check. Children – oh, bugger. Don’t worry, folks. Abandoned Kevin (Macauley Culkin) is too busy reinventing Christmas as a child’s playground of bed jumping and burglar bashing.
Most Christmassy Moment: The Kenosha Kickers, led by jovial Gus Polinski (John Candy) offer Kevin’s mom Kate (Catherine O’Hara) a lift home on Christmas Eve so she can be with her son on the big day.
(The funniest Christmas move (with respect to The Christmas Story), the little man showed why he could act and the director showed why he made the most popular movies in his short time. Hughes was a genius and Culkin was as good a child actor as Temple, Rooney and that little boy in the Champ.)
The Film: Frank Capra’s fable of redemption, parallel universes and small-town life has been canonized as a feel good classic. But its tale of a suicidal man (James Stewart) saved only by divine intervention is also darker than most remember, making it perfect seasonal fare whatever your view of life.
Most Christmassy Moment: George Bailey returns home on Christmas Eve to find that friends and family have bailed out the “greatest man” in town, while Clarence the second-class angel finally gets his wings
(The best film of the 40’s and that is saying much. Jimmy Stewart was never better and the movie brings us back to what the meaning of life is all about. If you don’t believe in this movie you don’t believe in goodness and God.)
Miracle On 34th Street (1947):
The Film: Susan Walker (Natalie Wood) is convinced that Macy’s department store Santa Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwen) is the real thing. The authorities aren’t so sure, and start court proceedings to have him locked up.
Most Christmassy Moment: Susan is sure her hunch about Kringle is right when he effortlessly slips into Dutch while speaking to a Jewish refugee girl.
(A classic that has to be included in any Top Ten of the best Christmas movies. Watch it every Holiday season. Can’t beat this Santa.)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989):
The Film: How many ways can things go wrong for Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) when he decides to concoct the perfect family Christmas? Lots.
Most Christmassy Moment: Clark gets the best Christmas show on the street, by virtue of a methane explosion propelling his decorations into the sky.
(Wonderful even though Chase can’t act. Funny is not the word. Side splitting humor with some of the greatest Christmas movie characters ever)
The Film: An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about.
Most Christmassy Moment: The trip to the North Pole and the most realistic Santa ever put on film.
(You either love it or hate it. Harry Dean Stanton is in top form as is Mary Steenburgen.)
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
The Film: A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.
Most Christmassy Moment: When Mike tells Mary remind him to nail up the board in the back fence because next winter McKeever will be coming in through the front door.
(Wealth is not what it is all about. Acceptance is)