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Five Great Unconventional Christmas Films

by on 2011/12/01

This December, we’re focusing on unconventional Christmas movies. Of course — barring any unusual holiday trauma — we’ll still do our customary end-of-month roundup of all the highs and lows.

But, the fact is, we’ve already seen a lot of great films that fit this particular bill. Over the past couple of years, significant Christmas elements have appeared in many non-December picks.

While the following list isn’t exhaustive — you can find one that is by selecting the “Christmas” genre — it does represent my personal favourite subset.

Listed in alphabetical order, you can hardly go wrong with any of these choices. There’s something here for all tastes: a moving coming-of-age biography about a Christmas baby, the holiday journey of an estranged father, the real-life struggles of a group of POWs, a witty romantic crime yarn set against a festive backdrop; and the final celebrations of an eclectic group of the doomed.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) on 2011/07/10

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“Experiences like C.R.A.Z.Y. keep me watching and writing reviews. It’s an unconventional epic, but an epic nonetheless, the portrait of an outsider in the pre-It-Gets-Better days. Everybody’s Fine remixed by The Buddha of Suburbia.”


Everybody’s Fine (2009) on 2010/03/24

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“‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ made cinematic, or ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ grows up? Everybody’s Fine is both, and more. It’s not a joyous affair, but neither is it hopeless. However you define family, and whether you inherit it or build your own, you’re bound by what you share together, be that insulation, communication, or both.”

The Great Escape (1963) on 2010/11/21

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“For years, when asked to name my favourite movie, The Great Escape got the nod. To hold a kid’s attention for that span of time — three hours — especially with an “old” movie, recounting an even older story, well, I believe it may qualify as a miracle, Christmas or otherwise. On the other hand, the fact that anyone who gives it a chance will enjoy it is less a miracle than near certainty.”

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) on 2011/03/28

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang relies on what works, but employs fresh twists which succeed far more often than not . . . the best multi-functioning noir I’ve seen so far.”


Last Night (1998) on 2011/07/30

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“Like the hybrid of two other recent features — One Week and Exotica — Last Night shows a beguiling cross-section of society struggling with their mortality. I’ve seen it a few times already, and my affection for it has never dimmed.”


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