‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring…
Except for you, who’s dismantling the towers of DVDs and VCRs in the video cupboard, trying to find your copy of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. December is an ideal time to get your recluse on and watch an array of Christmas movies with a fluffy cat on your left and a chicken tikka masala on your right. But which movie to watch?
Why all of them, of course. We can’t obviously mention every single one of them under the sun, but here are a few staples to help you commence your marathon.
People never tire of stating how much they hate this film. Liars, the lot of them. What is there not to love about Love Actually? It’s the film where everybody in British cinema shows up, portraying average people. It’s the film where Professor Trelawney and Severus Snape are married, Mr Darcy speaks Portuguese, Davy Jones is a sleazy rock star, Mr Bean’s wrapping jewellery (in the style of Mr Bean), and Bilbo Baggins is a porn star. Shame about Keira Knightley showing up, though. Who the hell invited her?
It’ll be particularly interesting to re-watch it this year, considering that life’s just imitated art a few months ago with the election of Justin Trudeau. The likeness is scarily uncanny. Canada decided one fine evening to re-watch Love Actually and thought it’d be a good idea to have Hugh Grant in charge. Canada, be consistent. Make PM Trudeau dance to Jump.
Home Alone 1 & 2
This franchise is one of the best things about growing up in the 90s. It’s been 25 years since the first instalment was released, and many of us are not ashamed to admit to watching this during the summer holidays. We get to see a time before mobile phones could solve the entire plot in 5 minutes, and Macaulay Culkin before he lost all sense of direction.
You’ll never be able to order a pizza delivery the same way after watching that pizza boy scene, and that’s just the first film. The second, in my opinion, surpasses its predecessor. From the poignant feels you get from that shot of the Twin Towers (yes, that is heart wrenching), to the moment where they realise they’ve forgotten Kevin again, this sequel is a gem. Also, Harry and Marv aren’t the only baddies that show up in Home Alone 2. Donald Trump makes a cameo, featuring his own hotel. Do your Kevin face the minute you see it. By the by, who else agrees that the ending of Skyfall is Daniel Craig living out his Home Alone fantasy?
Also, this is possibly one of the most priceless scenes in cinematic history.
A Christmas Carol (1970)
You can’t have Christmas without a generous dollop of Dickens. Charles Dickens practically invented Christmas. God bless him, everyone. There are many other versions of this timeless classic, including a Muppet version, so the choice is really yours. However, I highly recommend Albert Finney’s 1970 interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge, not just because the part is so well played by the legend, but also because the music composed by Leslie Bricusse is truly magical.
A word of warning, though. Alec Guinness’ entrance as Jacob Marley still makes me s*** my pants years on. The Ghost of Christmas Future is equally terrifying. Aside from that, Scrooge just channels all your true feelings about the cons of Christmas. To quote the miser, ‘I hate people.’
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is another musical that I suggest for the festive season. Incidentally, this film can also double up as a Halloween staple, so that’s another excuse for you to enjoy the stunning animation and fantastic music by Danny Elfman. This movie is as Tim Burton-y as it can get. Also, Sally is voiced by Catherine O’Hara AKA Kevin McAllister’s mum. Some actors just only ever show up at Christmas time.
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol and Blackadder Back and Forth
If you’ve never watched Blackadder, now is the time to redeem yourself. Now is the time to experience English humour at its best, whilst brushing up on your history in the funniest way possible. For continuity’s sake, I advise you to watch the previous seasons to get a better feel of the context. However, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol and Blackadder Back and Forth are excellent tasters of the series.
Admittedly, they’re only short TV specials, but they’re still exquisite masterpieces. It’s Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson and Rik Mayall all in one production. Hilarity does ensue.
What will you be watching this Christmas?
Let us know in the comment section below!