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The 10 best Christmas films... ever

12th December 2012

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Everyone’s doing a list. Now we are too. And ours is the best – fact.

The Grinch
A nonsense tale of the Whos of Whoville, who are terrorised by a Christmas hating Grinch (played by Jim Carey with his usual dose of wackiness), who is eventually taught the true spirit of Christmas by a little Who called Cindy Lou (who you may recognise as an absurdly young Taylor Momsen).

The Doctor Zeus story (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) is beloved the world over, but the film does get mixed reactions. But I judge anyone who doesn’t get watery eyed when the Grinch’s heart grows three times bigger.

Miracle on 34th Street
Santa Claus comes to New York City in this story of Christmas faith and love. Kris Kringle, a Department store Santa, is arrested for assault and deemed insane when he insists he is the real Santa Claus. Will he be able to persuade the cynical residents of New York, whilst giving a little girl all she wants for Christmas – a house, a brother and a dad?

I think it’s ok to prefer the old or new version. The old has that classic, original quality. But the new has Richard Attenborough. Tough choice.

Home Alone
When Kevin McCallister is accidentally left behind by his vacationing family at Christmas, hilarity ensues as he continually thwarts two inept burglars with a selection of booby traps so brilliant, they had to come from the mind of an eight-year-old boy.

This is the kind of film you loved as a kid and unashamedly still watch now you’re a student, revelling in the kid paradise that is being home alone.

Buddy the elf isn’t an elf – he’s a human raised as an elf. He ventures to New York City to try and find his real father, and though he is at first shunned by the metropolitan society, everyone eventually learns that Buddy’s endless positivity and happy attitude are just what the city needs at Christmas.

Will Ferrell is positively adorable as Buddy the elf and totally captures our hearts as he skips around New York City, seeing the good in everything and bringing out the child in us all. Plus I am seriously tempted to try his candy spaghetti creation...

Holiday Inn
A classic holiday film, but definitely centred around Christmas, Holiday Inn is the musical story of two couples entwined in love, whilst performing at the Holiday Inn – a hotel only open during the holidays, running some of the greatest entertainment a hotel has ever seen.

If some of you haven’t seen this, go and rent it now! It’s brilliant, and is the birthplace of one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time – Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. With Bing’s singing and Fred Astaire’s dancing, you will definitely fall in love with this timeless Christmas essential.

Love Actually
A 2003 British film, from the brilliant mind of Richard Curtis, tells ten interlinking stories about love and loss at Christmas.

Love Actually is like a box of Cadbury Milk Tray – everyone will find something in it they like. Bill Nighy and Kris Marshall provide light-hearted comedy; Rom Com legends Colin Firth and Hugh Grant provide the heart, and one of the most poignant scenes in Rom Com history is provided by the brilliant Emma Thompson. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love them all.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton gives Christmas his own unique twist in this 1993 cult classic. Jack Skellington, Mayor of Halloween Town, feels like something is missing in his life. And when he accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town he thinks he’s discovered what that something is... Christmas!

If you haven’t seen this, you will have almost certainly seen some sort of merchandise with Jack’s face on. In recent years, this unique Christmas film has been given cult status and I would definitely advise you to see what all the fuss is about.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’s masterpiece a Christmas Carol is given a Muppet-makeover in this 1992 remake by Brian Henson. Michael Caine heads the cast as the forbidding Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who help him see the error of his ways and understand the true meaning of Christmas.

A Christmas Carol is the classic Christmas story, and the Muppets take it and totally make it their own. The songs, the dances, the jokes all combine to make this the most popular retelling of the timeless tale – “Bah Humbug.”

The Snowman
Adapted from Raymond Briggs’s children’s book, the Snowman tells the story of a small boy who builds a snowman who comes to life and takes him on a magical journey to meet Father Christmas. The 26 minute short film is set entirely to music, including the now famous choral piece “We’re Walking in the Air”.

It may not technically count as a film, but it’s still one of the greatest Christmas programmes ever. And you can squeeze it in whilst the table’s being set for Christmas dinner. Just don’t try and sing along; you will not be able to match Peter Auty’s pitch and will probably end up smashing all the Christmas glasses trying.

It’s a Wonderful Life
The heart-wrenching tale of a man who, on the verge of suicide, is visited by an unusual angel who shows him what the world would be like had he never existed.

It’s a Wonderful Life has to be the greatest Christmas film of all time. It has that old movie appeal but is also timeless, beloved by all generations. It doesn’t focus on gaudy lights or New York department stores, but takes the life of one extraordinary (and very likeable – played perfectly by James Stewart) man who learns that the only thing that matters, especially at Christmas time, is the love of family and friends.


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