The Scarlett Guide To… The Very Best Christmas Films
Each and every one of these films are a must-see during the week before Christmas if you want to get into that festive spirit. Each one will give you that same warm, fuzzy feeling that a pint of mulled wine does – but instead of going on about how Christmassy they make me feel, here are just a few things that my top five Christmas films taught me along the way.
5) Father Christmas…
For me, this is one of the best purely for nostalgic reasons – and a particularly interesting insight into Father Christmas’s love of alcohol, gambling, and the word “Blooming“. Written by Raymond Briggs a few years after his first hit “The Snowman”, this also gives crucial evidence that the boy manages to re-make his friendly snowman (2 mins 25) – thus easing the excruciating emotional pain that Raymond Briggs forced on children across the globe by killing off our magical hero so heartlessly the first time. While we’re on the subject, I didn’t realise the little boy from The Snowman was, in fact, David Bowie…
4) It’s a Wonderful Life…
In this film the main character, George Bailey, is visited by his guardian angel Clarence to get a short view of how shit the world would be if he had never been born.
(I really don’t want to use this space to get into who’s idea is was to name the angel Clarence, but seriously… Clarence?? ‘Clarence the Angel’. Fucking hell.)
It’s such a heart warming story, but it’s one of those that gets me thinking about my own life, and on the back of a restless sleep I said to my boyfriend this morning,
“I’ve been thinking about It’s A Wonderful Life, and I know it’s meant to make me feel dead good about myself, but I don’t think I’ve had nearly as much of a positive impact on the lives of others as George Bailey did… what do you think?”
*Long pause* “You probably haven’t…”
Not REALLY the answer I was hoping to get from the person I’ve been seeing for FIVE YEARS, but before I had a chance to throw my phone at his head he continued,
“…but there’s always your blog I suppose.”
“My blog? Seriously, that’s what you’re going with? My blog is the only positive impact I’ve ever had on another human being’s life? I’m not sure how reminding women that fucking a bull isn’t a socially accpeptable practice can really be classed as ‘beneficial’ to society…”
Then, with all seriousness and without a moments hesitation he said:
“Well, George Bailey was sceptical too, but I’ll bet you that if some angel took you off to see what it would be like if you had never been born there’s a good chance you’d find yourself in a fucked up world being run by Minotaurs. Sort of like Planet of the Apes, but with bulls, you know..?”
Glad I can be of service.
Anyway, if nothing else this film has taught me that, in 1947 it was common practice for businessmen to fill their offices with friendly wildlife – as is very clearly highlighted when Uncle Billy is stressing about losing the money, completely unaware that a raven* is flying around his office and a squirrel is crawling up his arm.
This was always my favourite film as a kid, but of course you tend to get a new perspective on things as you get older. SPOILER ALERT: This is essentially a film about an elderly gentleman with serious mental health issues who believes without a shadow of a doubt that he is the real Father Christmas – and in turn is taken pity on by a New York courtroom. Although not commonly known, the sequel to this film is “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest” and if you look carefully you can see “Chris Cringle” rocking violently in the background. Of course, looking past all this – who doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy when those bags of letters to Santa are dragged in front of the judge?
2) Home Alone 1 / Home Alone 2 (not three, it’s shit.)
The sad thing about this film is that there is absolutely no way that it would be commissioned for production now, because apparently these days the government has decided that our youth can’t differentiate between fantasy and real life. In saying that, on re-watching them as an adult it’s clear that the main character is a sadistic and highly troubled young boy who, rather than ringing the police immediately for assistance decided to conduct a selection of painful, and lengthy torture methods on a couple of petty thieves. In addition to that, it also teaches young children a confusing message about mortality, for example when one of the thieves is hit IN THE FACE with five different bricks thrown from a great height in rapid succession. Just watch this compilation and see how many times you shout “He’s Dead” at the computer screen.
1) The Muppets Christmas Carol…
If there was ever a film that teaches you that muppet pigs, speaking vegetables and human beings can live together in harmony this is it.
So let me leave you with probably the most heartwarming Christmas song of all-time… ‘Tis The Season – Tiny Tim
*DID YOU KNOW: Jimmy The Raven appeared in every single one of Frank Capra’s films since 1939