Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Top Ten Holiday Movies

I've compiled this list from movies that have stayed with me over the years. This time of year is my favorite.  I love snow drifting softly, holiday songs in the background and the hazy glow of Yule tree lights. Again, this list may be missing your favorites so add them in the comments if you think they shouldn't be missed.

10.  The Man Who Saved Christmas
This is a T.V movie that I watched last year.  Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame stars as a man who runs a toy company in the early 20th century and perseveres through adversity.  The writing is good and the message is one that shows the characters learning from mistakes and evolving.  A positive one and as I remember it it is family friendly but is more for older kids.

9.  The Family Man
Normally I'm not a huge Nicolas Cage fan but I like this movie.  The contrast of this man's experience when he is taken from a corporate highballer to a "family man" is somehow believable in Cage's portrayal.  I am a sucker for the second chance to see how things might have been.  There are several films on this list that fit into that theme.

8.  Elf 
This movie is so funny.  Will Ferrell has this genuine sentiment in his acting that comes across so strongly in this one.  The plot is charming and corny but I love how he believes in all things Christmas.  There is also a great version of Baby it's Cold Outside, one of my favorite holiday songs.

7.  When Harry Met Sally
Now you may be thinking is this really a holiday movie?  And I say why of course it is.   There are several scenes as the years pass of Christmas holidays and New Year's celebrations.  This is one of my top movies of all time.  It has it all, witty humour, romance and a certain '80s flair for fashion.  Getting the xmas tree is a central part of the plot since you see Harry and Sally getting it together and separately and it makes the connection they share obvious and poignant.

6.  A Christmas Carol /Scrooge 1951 version
There are many versions of this film/story.  I think this one is the one I like best and that is because I love the Ghost of Christmas Present's scene.   To me he is like the Green Man, a figure of abundance filled with the essence of living in the moment.  A hearty laugh, feasting, spreading joy and good cheer....what else could you ask for?  This story is a classic for a reason, the original what could be if you don't change your ways tale.

5.  Little Women (Collector's Series) 1994/ Little Women 1949
Here I just have to list two versions of this movie because I love them both and they both have wonderful Christmas scenes.  The 1994 version has a great cast and Susan Sarandon's portrayal of the Mama is very empowering.  The 1949 version with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor is the first version I learned to love as a child.  It has the charm of the 40's style and you can feel the wholesome love the family has.

4.  It's a Wonderful Life 
Do I really need to explain this one?  It's a classic, so American, heartwarming and full of vintage charm.

3.  One Magic Christmas
This is another classic from my childhood.  The story is touching as a mother who has lost her joy of the season from all of the struggles of daily life raising a family learns how fragile each moment is with the help of an angel.  Simple and compelling.

2.  A Muppet Family Christmas
I love this one so much.  All the muppet characters from The Muppet Show to Sesame Street to Fraggle Rock show up in this one.  I haven't watched it with Kyan yet but I hope he loves it as much as I do.  Regardless we're going to be watching it many times as the years progress.

1.  White Christmas
The songs in this movie are the ones that everyone loves.  The story is entertaining and this movie moves at a good pace to keep you interested.  Dancing, Vermont lodges, train travel, Bing Crosby....I could go on but if you haven't seen it check it out.  If this doesn't get you in the mood I don't know what will.  Happy viewing!


TMCPhoto said...

We love snuggling in for a good 1/2 hour of Dr Seuss this time of year. The holidays wouldn't be the same without the Grinch. The live action movie is OK but it lacks the charm and artistry of the combined works of Chuck Jones and the Dr.

I really love that the overall message is that the celebration doesn't come from a store but is about being together.

Steve Finnell said...
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Rue said...

Muppet Family Christmas is a fave of mine too - also the muppet version of A Christmas Carol. Nice picks!