It's a right royal 'mare, as I was starting to feel very Christmassy. For the first time in years, really. And I do confess to loving Christmas for its hope, its magic and its sparkle
The deaths of my Mutti and Dad. The loss of my Uncle. All the
So today, when I have half risen from my fetid pit, I feel up to exploring my 10 favourite seasonal films, designed to fill us all with magic at this (or any) time of year...
Come on in, put your feet up! I know you've been very busy lately... There'll be time to drag the Yule Log in later, I pwomise.
Number 1: Practical Magic - A favourite pick-me-up at any time of year - Not especially Christmassy, but it does contain many doses of magic - Not for the faint hearted or tiny children, contains some witchery and scary scenes/references to murder and death. But the house is soooo beautiful!
Number 2: While You Were Sleeping - Again, one of my favourite actresses, Sandra Bullock, plays the lead in this lovely little romantic comedy, with Bill Pullman (grrrooowwwwlllll) as the 'hero'. Sad and lonely train ticket-seller, Lucy, saves the life of the glamorous man she's been obsessing about, but doesn't know... She is taken to be his fiancee and warmly accepted into the bosom of his large and loving family while he lies in a coma. (It's really not as dark as it sounds!) As she falls into love with his family, she runs the risk of losing them if she is forced to tell the truth. But his brother is on her trail...
Number 3: Mousehunt - What's not to tell?! These are just about my favourite films, right, so I'm bound to say that this features more of my favourite comedians and actors - This time, Brit Lee Evans, fabulous Nathan Lane and mad as a box of frogs, Christopher Walken. This is a family movie about brothers who inherit a beautiful but decrepit old house that has a previous tenant - A tenacious mouse. The story unfolds as they try to rid the house of the mouse... Mr Walken is the scary rodent exterminator - If you've not seen their comic turns before, this is a real Christmas treat. Favourite line, when they go to Rescue to try to get hold of a vicious cat as mouser, the attendant says about this CGI cat in a box:
"Funny you should ask. I had all but given up on anyone wanting him. We were about
to gas him again"
Nathan says, "Again?"
Number 4: Millions - My earlier review of this wonderful sentimental, crazy-beautiful film by Danny Boyle is here CLICKIE Danny is going to be involved with the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony from Great Britain - Can't wait!
Number 5: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in the Fhina household without the Family Griswold. Griswold is what we seasonally call Grizz! This film may be bad but it is good for a laugh - Say no more!
Number 6: Scrooged - Mad, bad and dangerous to know, Bill Murray is in full flow in this cracker of a bitter-sweet/light/dark movie. Following the original story of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Murray is taken through the car-crash of his life to discover the true meaning of Christmas. There's a wonderfully mad cameo by Carol Kane, and sometimes I feel a little 'stabby' myself:
Stay for the credits, and this sweetie:
Number 7: About A Boy - Based on a best-selling book by Nick Hornby, while perhaps not a typically touching Christmas epic, you can't fail to be moved by this movie and its glittering soundtrack - Hugh Grant 'phones in an archetypal performance as a lazy and cynical trustafarian, earning an easy living from his grandfather's holiday jingle and passing himself off as a single parent, so as to more easily trap single Mums - He is thrown together with the brilliant Nicholas Hoult, a twelve year old boy with a chronically depressed and suicidal mother, who is struggling to cope and trying to work out what it means to fit in... Or not. Together, they learn some valuable life lessons and find themselves.
Number 8: Comfort and Joy - Director, Bill Forsyth, is one of my home-spun favourites and here he manages an intimate and amusing portrayal of familial ties and rivalries: I love Scottish actor, Bill Paterson, playing radio host, Alan 'Dickie' Bird, who finds himself embroiled in Italian ice-cream van wars in Glasgow.
Number 9: The Holiday - I only discovered this little gem last year and I didn't want to enjoy it, but I got sucked right in! I also don't usually like Jude Law, but he is bearable in this film, featuring one of my favourite actresses, Kate Winslet. An English girl and an American media mogul swap houses for the holidays to get away from their tangled love lives, and instead get embroiled in each other's lives, and find new love...
I want to live in the English cottage that Cameron Diaz comes to live in - Don't you?
Number 10: Your Choice? Please let me know in the comments... Yes, I know I've not included some real stars, such as It's A Wonderful Life - Confession Time, again - I've never seen it! But I'm interested in your favourites, I am!
Have a Wonderful Yule Celebration, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah and have fabulous holidays, everyone - May I wish for you this season, all that you could possibly wish for yourself, and most of all - Joy and peace - Mwah! - Gotcha! xxx