From Nick Drake to Jane Fonda, erectile dysfunction to small town shenanigans, welcome to Part 11 of my Christmas film recommendations list.
A gorgeous romance that starts and ends with Christmas and revolves around the very seasonal themes of magic and chance. And it has John Cusack who’s nearly always eminently watchable.
While I may only want Nick Drake in small doses, his “Northern Sky” is very welcome on that ice rink.
I’ve written before about my penchant for motley crews in books and It Happened on 5th Avenue offers up a cinematic version. This film centres on a squatter occupying a mansion and who, across the course of the narrative, invites ever more guests to assemble a sprawling makeshift family for Christmas. Funny and very sweet.
An odd little film – and Jane Fonda’s fifth acting credit – centring on two young, married couples struggling with issues like attraction and erectile dysfunction on the days leading up to Christmas. A particularly interesting insight into the sexual mores of the 1950s and 60s.
Truth be told, there are far too many films about city-slicker-sans-spirit ladies finding love in a small town where Christmas is taken a little too seriously. This version, with Bonnie Sommerville at the helm, is a very sweet and predictable take on the tale, but lovely nonetheless.
No trailer, but for the moment you can watch online.
55. Noel (2004)
A flashy film with Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams and Alan Arkin, about loneliness and seasonal depression, with lots of interlinking stories. I’ve seen it a couple of times now and it stands up as a moving, beautifully shot Christmas film.
Tune in tomorrow for another five recommentations.
Authors: Lauren Rosewarne, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne