2. Elf (2003)
3. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
4. Millions (2004)
5. Nativity (2006)
I seem to have watched more Christmas movies than usual this year. BTW the whole subject area is problematic and I have no time to discuss theology or the baneful influence of the Father Christmas myth. Meanwhile let me say
1. Yesterday it was Arthur Christmas with two of the (older) boys who hadn't seen it either at the cinema. Highly competent it was a fine film though it could have benefited from being 10 or 20 minutes shorter. As is so often done the Christmas myth has been taken up and adapted to produce a heart warming and fun story in impossible cartoon style. If only life was so simple. No high spots in this film but quite a spectacle in some ways.
2. A couple of weeks or so back I watched our Elf DVD with two of the boys. It's often been on in the background but I'd never watched it until then. It's an excellent comedy exploring the oft visited theme of an innocent abroad, an elf in New York on this occasion. Great fun. I love Will Ferrell's reaction when told that his father is on the naughty list. Arthur does show a similar spirit with his "A child's been missed!" but not as funny.3. More recently I joined the boys watching Christmas with the Kranks on DVD. I have a soft spot for this as I read the book first - John Grisham's Skipping Christmas and on that basis we all saw it in the cuinema when it came out. It's okay and very Christmassy with the usual Hollywood optimism thrown in but hardly a great film, I guess. It got panned at the time. I liked Tim Allen's botox scene.
4. Then this afternoon Dylan was looking for a film and found Danny Boyle's film Millions on BBC iplayer. This is technically not a Christmas film but no doubt was on TV for its Christmas content. Coming out of a Roman Catholic milieu and raising various ethical issues it was a great alternative Christmas film and as a comedy is as good as anything in this list. Well worth seeking out. Apparently the screenplay was written in response to an interview remark by Martin Scorsese about reading the lives of the saints. The book "Six O'Clock Saints" from the fifties is very much at the heart of the story. (Perhaps the worst scene in the film features St Peter supposedly giving that old liberal rubbish about the feeding of the 5000 being just a matter of sharing).
5. Nativity has been on TV today. We may have the DVD somewhere. I've never watched it all the way through. It looks like fun.