It's the last month of the hell year we call 2020, and we’re looking forward to the holiday season. Here are our favourite Christmas films for you to enjoy.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor
Arthur Christmas is a criminally underrated animated Christmas movie with a star-studded voice cast. James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton, combined with a witty script and an answer to the age-old question: how does Father Christmas deliver all those presents in one night?
In this film, Father Christmas uses a giant spaceship and an army of elves to complete his annual task, but when his second son, Arthur (MacAvoy) discovers that they’ve failed to deliver one of the presents, he embarks on a journey to save a little girl’s Christmas. He is joined by his grandfather, one of the elves and eight overly enthusiastic reindeer.
There’s a bit something for everyone in this film. Childish fun is combined with the time-old message of the importance of kindness and family at Christmas.
Katya Spiers, Digital Editor
Scrolling through Netflix’s ‘Holiday Favourites’ selection is a dire affair. But amidst the array of bland remakes and overblown originals is Klaus (2019), a unique animation that’s brimming with nostalgic Christmas magic.
It’s the story of Jesper (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), a gawky student scraping his way through the Postman Academy, who is sent to the town of Smeerensburg on a seemingly impossible mission to establish a flourishing postal service. But Jesper’s laziness quickly makes way for innovation, and an unlikely partnership with resident toymaker Klaus (J. K. Simmons) sets the scene for a Christmas origins story like no other. With beautiful vintage Disney-style animation and enough festive spirit to warm the heart of even the most sorrowful of Scrooges, Klaus deserves a prime spot on any Christmas watchlist.
A Serious Man (2009)
Sam Vickers, Deputy Editor
Around December time, it’s easy to get swept up in the Christmas spirit (justifiably, I think) but it’s also important to remember other cultures celebrating in December, specifically Chanukah. Unfortunately, the Maccabees don’t seem to have quite the same allure as the Baby Christ and so Chanukah themed films are typically pretty poor quality.
Instead, I suggest immersing oneself in a bit of Jewish culture, the Coen Brothers’ classic, A Serious Man (2009).
Exploring the complex moral questions of Judaism as a Jewish father seeks the advice of three rabbis, the film is a sublime blend of drama and black comedy. With a standout performance from the lead, Michael Stuhlbarg, the film’s 106-minute run time is a well-paced romp that centres around his Jewish faith and his son’s imminent bar mitzvah.
Die Hard (1988)
Layla Nathan, Sub-Editor
Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie? Well, yes.
Set on Christmas Eve, NYPD officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) heads to his office Christmas party and tries to salvage romance with his ex-wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia). It even features classic Xmas tunes like ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘Ode to Joy’!
It's all sounding like a very classic Christmas movie, right? Maybe there are more machine guns and explosions involved than the average Hallmark film. And perhaps active hostage situations don’t necessarily invoke Christmas cheer for you. But nothing brings the family all together like shouting ‘yippie ki-yay motherf****er’ in unison.
Featured: Home Box Office, Inc., IMDb
What are some of your favourite holiday films?