With only two weeks to go until the big day, I thought I’d throw my two cents in to the gigantic internet bucket full of articles exclaiming which of the endless reels of Christmas themed films are the best. I’ll admit that around the holidays I tend to watch the familiar comforts of The Sound Of Music or Mary Poppins, but I have tried to include pictures that at least reference Christmas in their content. So without further ado, and in no particular order:
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
A film so clever that it cleans up during not one but two holiday seasons. The marriage between Halloween and Christmas has never felt so natural as it does in Tim Burton masterpiece, and the song ‘What’s This?’ perfectly captures the excitement felt by many youngsters on their first memorable Christmas morning.
2. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
My favourite of all the Muppet movies. All of the hilarity and slapstick fun that one expects from Jim Henson’s puppet friends, but what makes A Muppet Christmas Carol so special it its ability to retain the strong moral message of Dickens’ original work without making the picture too heavy for children.
3. Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Though Meet Me In St. Louis is a classic that spans a year in the life of Judy Garland’s Esther Smith and her family, her rendition of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ became an instant seasonal favourite and remains one of the most popular Christmas songs to this day.
4. 8 Women (2002)
A French black comedy that revolves around a ‘whodunnit’ murder and the ensuing chaos that stems from it when a group eight women gather at a remote location for a family Christmas. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more glorious ensemble of European actresses in a single film. Endless fun.
5. Home Alone (1990)
The film that made an entire generation of children dream for a day, just a single day, of freedom from their parents so they could attempt to do even 5% of the outrageous and amazing things that Macaulay Culkin got to do in Home Alone. In return, a generation of parents were left to creep around their own houses, checking for booby traps in every corner.
6. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
One of the greatest films of all time, let alone the Christmas genre. James Stewart plays George Bailey, a man on the brink of suicide on Christmas Eve when a guardian angel is sent to him and shows him what life would be like had he never have been born. A lesson in morality and certain to bring a tear to your eye.
7. Jingle All The Way (1996)
Not a classic by any means, but going to the cinema to see Jingle All The Way as an excited seven year old is one of my favourite Christmas memories. It takes the familiar scenario of being the only parent who hasn’t bought the ‘must have’ toy of the year, and turns every single level up to eleven. Great fun.
8. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)
Admittedly not as acclaimed as the 1947 original, my relationship with the 1994 remake of Miracle On 34th Street is simply down to the matter of timing. As a five year old not yet educated in the ways of classic film, black and white wasn’t on my list of things to be interested in, therefore Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson got my vote instead. Still a great Christmas movie nonetheless!
9. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
An enchanting and unconventional Christmas tale. Three homeless people discover an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve and endeavour to reunite it with its parents. I can be almost certain in proclaiming that this is the only Christmas film you will ever see that includes a middle aged alcoholic and a trans woman among the cast of leading characters. A must see!
10. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Set amidst all the beauty and schmaltz of the Christmas period, Sandra Bullock stars as a lonely but loveable woman who becomes infatuated with the man of her dreams. The only problem is that he is in a coma, has never actually met her, and she is becoming increasingly involved with his brother. Somewhat twisted for this type of fluffy romantic comedy, but it works!