We have come to the final week of Twelve Days of Christmas Cinema and it went by so fast. I think that Markus and I saved the best movies for last. This week, we watched some of the greatest Christmas films I've ever seen. It was the perfect way to end Twelve Days of Christmas Cinema as well as begin the festivities. I loved watching these films and they were exactly what my holiday deprived heart needed.
1. Home Alone (1990)
I forgot how much I loved this movie. This film came out when I was seven and watching it brought back so many memories. There are so many great things about Home Alone. It's hilarious, it's well-written and most of all, it's touching.
For some reason, before we re-watched Home Alone, I thought I didn't like it. It was a great movie but I didn't watch it multiple times as a kid. I was too enamored with Princess Bride and Edward Scissorhands. This was for the best though, because when I watched it again this week, all these childhood memories came rushing back. I couldn't help but feel empathy for Kevin McAllister. I spent my whole life wishing that I could travel the world. Now that I've finally achieved my goal, I never stopped to think how much I would miss my family. There was a moment where Kevin realizes that he misses his family and that moment really resonated with me. Even though, I'm living out my dream, I still yearn for my family. Despite being a kid's movie, Home Alone is a wonderful film. Even 22 years later, it still makes me want to both laugh and cry.
2. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
This is another quintessential Christmas film that I've never seen. I actually didn't know much about the story before watching it. I only knew the famous last words, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings." I've always thought that this was a bit cheesy and always put me off watching the film. It's just one of those kinds of movies, the sort of movie that everyone knows, but doesn't necessarily like. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy classic films. Many of my favorite movies are from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
There were many things I enjoyed about It's a Wonderful Life. I really enjoyed Jimmy Stewart. Earlier, we watched The Shop Around the Corner and he was fantastic in that as well. I loved that Stewart's character was selfless in this film. He was always giving up his dreams for other people. It was hard for him, but he still did it. He almost made the worst decision of his life, but thankfully, he realized that his life was worth living, even if it wasn't where he thought he would be. Life doesn't always end up the way we think it will, but we still have the possibility of having a wonderful life.
3. Scrooged (1988)
Personally, I feel like this is "the" Christmas movie of all Christmas movies. This is by far the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which is hard for me to say, because I loved a Muppet Christmas Carol. Billy Murray as Scrooge is absolute perfection and Scrooged is a perfect mix of humor and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you watch Christmas movies.
During Creepy Cinema 2012, I said that Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors. I think that he's amazing in almost everything he does and many of the movies he stars in are my favorites. He's such a versatile actor and I believe that a lot of his recent films are his best. Since he has such a large body of work, I mainly watch his recent stuff. I've forgotten what he was like in the 80s. He's definitley progressed as an actor and has made some great film choices. He no longer has to play the goofy, funny guy. He can pick and choose what he wants, which is usually a bit more stoic. He's still funny, but in a different way. Watching him in Scrooged was like visiting an old friend you forgot about. I enjoyed watching that side of him.
4. Joyeux Noel (2005)
I've never heard about this film until I was doing research for this year's list of films. I'm actually quite surprised it went under the radar, since I'm sure that many people also haven't heard of Joyeux Noel. The premise is based on true events, the World War I Christmas Truce and is told from the point of view of the Scottish, French and German soldiers. I knew just from the premise alone that I would be weeping by the end.
I really truly loved this movie. War stories are always a bit hard to watch, but Joyeux Noel was different. Even though it's set during war, it still tells a beautiful and touching story. It really showcases the beauty of humanity and that deep down we all still want the same thing, peace. War can bring out the dark side in people, but it was nice to see that even in the midst of a bloody war, soldiers from different sides could put aside their differences and celebrate Christmas. It's a great film and one that I would recommend for the holiday season.
So my dear readers, that is the end of Twelve Days of Christmas Cinema! I hope you enjoyed reading my reviews of each film. I enjoyed all of these 12 films, they were a great way to end this year and get into the holiday spirit. I hope that all of you have a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!