There are two movies that I want to see each Christmas. Scratch that; four. One though I own on DVD so it doesn't matter when I watch it - it's a great movie and sometimes I will watch it throughout the year.
The three movies I long for all year are:
The Last Leaf.
So yes, it's an Easter parable apparently and therefore I really shouldn't be waiting for it at Christmas. I feel slightly stupid now, but you know, I swear that I saw it first at Christmas. Anyway, the story was sooo beautiful. A girl is dying and giving up the fight. She tells her neighbour that when the last leaf falls from the vine outside her window, she will also die. During the night, the neighbour paints a leaf in place of the last one (which had fallen off). So, of course she doesn't die - but he does.
Now I know it's an Easter story, I understand it much more. When I watched it the first time, I was shocked and horrified by the LDS message that came up after it. This was a religious film??? Even my 15 year old self couldn't get past the beauty of the story to hate it. On principle you see - it was religious. Not because it was from the LDS, but because it was from a Christian organisation.
Now, as an adult, I am much more easy-going and, you know what? I thank this movie for making me a more tolerant person - I now enjoy that there are people in the world who follow an organised religion and believe totally in a supreme being. I envy their totality of belief and their ability to follow a thought. I don't, but believe in something - I'm not agnostic either - I know what there is out there, but it is not part of the conventional wisdom.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
This movie I look forward to all year. I finally got to watch it this year and fell asleep! I can't believe I did that. It's an anarchic interpretation, if the muppets could do anything else, of *shock* Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This year it was even more interesting for the time I was awake - I taught the story at GCSE level at the beginning of this year, and, you know what? It made it so much better; Gizmo, playing Dickens, uses words direct from the book and this gave me an added rush.
A Mom for Christmas
Olivia Newton-John as a mannequin that comes to life and becomes someone's Mum? What a corny story. I haven't seen this since I saw it the first time. Released in 1990, I'm guessing I was ten or eleven when I saw it. But I fell in love with it. I've wanted to see it again every year, but now that I'm in my almost-late (what?!?!?) twenties I am scared that the magic I hold in my head from this story would not be there, and it would just be soppy and corny.
A Trilingual war film with Daniel Brühl, Benno Führmann and Guillaume Canet? Hell yeah. Canet I've never seen before or since, but woof! (that was a wolf whistle by the way). It's the story of the Highland Army, the Germans and the French all fighting for a little piece of land in WWI and the ceasefire story we all know - they go to mass together, become friends, play football, eat and celebrate christmas. It also has the aftermath of the army trying to hide this fact. Powerful stuff and really, trilingual? That's my kind of film.
So, essentially, I look forward to Christmas because of the presents and the family (ooops, Freudian slip-should really be in the other order) and Christmas movies. Even if most of them are totally sappy and corny.