Favourite Films for Christmas
As we're into advent, I thought it was about time for the obligatory Christmas themed post. I haven't watched a Christmas film yet this year, but the below ten films are on my winter watch-list. No, Elf and Home Alone aren't on there. Call me a Grinch if you must - but he's not on there either.
The Nostalgic one: Nativity!
What's it about? A Christmas-hating primary school teacher's boast gets out of hand and soon the whole of Coventry believe that Hollywood are coming to film the school nativity play.
Who's in it? Martin Freeman, Miss Trunchbull, Christina from Ugly Betty and Alan Carr. And lots of very cute and not-actually-annoying kids.
Why do I love it? It's heart-warming and funny, there are great songs and it sends me right back to being in Primary school at Christmas. I was Mary one year, don't you know.
The Musical: White Christmas
What's it about? Two ex-soldiers turned entertainers join forces with a female double act and aim to put on a show for their old general who's business is failing.
Who's in it? Bing Crosby, Danny Kay and Rosemary Clooney.
Why do I love it? It's classic December-evening-in-front-of-the-telly-stuff. Some lovely songs and great dance numbers. And it's funny too.
The Shamelessly Cheesy one: Love Actually
What's it about? Lots of interlinking Christmas-themed stories, mostly romantic, some based around love for family or friends.
Who's in it? Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy...to name just a few.
Why do I love it? It's so Christmassy. Although I don't love all of the stories - too many of them are sad, and some don't work. Colin Firth's plotline is my favourite.
The Childhood Favourite: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
What's it about? It's not exactly a Christmas film, but there are lots of Christmassy bits. This is the first film in the series, where Harry first discovers he's a wizard and starts his first year at Hogwarts.
Who's in it? Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith - you know the drill.
Why do I love it? Because it's so magical. It's a proper family film, it's warm and there's something about the music and the atmosphere and the Englishness that makes it very Christmassy and
The Rom-Com: While you were Sleeping
What's it about? A lonely young woman saves a man's life on Christmas Eve and is embraced by his family who, due to a mis-understanding - believe she is his fiancée.
Who's in it? Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman and Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins as an old woman.
Why do I love it? It's warm and sweet and very romantic, in quite an old-fashioned way. And it's nice to see Bill Pullman play the lead, rather than the boyfriend that gets dumped.
The Guilty Pleasure: Naughty and Nice
What's it about? A young woman named Kris Kringle loses her job and is working as an elf at the mall when she is accidentally sent Santa's 'Naughty or Nice' list.
Who's in it? No one you'll have heard of.
Why I love it? For a trashy hallmark film, the leads are likeable, it's actually a pretty smart script and it makes me laugh. It's worth looking out for, honestly.
The Intellectual one: Joyeux Noel
What's it about? The famous Christmas Truce, during the first year of World War One. Both sides put aside their differences in many places along the trenches, in order to celebrate Christmas.
Who's in it? That blonde woman from Inglourious Basterds - but no one else particularly famous.
Why do I love it? It's stirring, beautiful and sad. It always makes me cry, and it always gets me feeling Christmassy.
The Weepy: Little Women
(Trailer has loads of spoilers, just so you know)
What's it about? Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, it follows four sisters around the time of the American Civil War, through their childhood together, their loves and losses.
Who's in it? Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale. (That's in the good version anyway...)
Why do I love it? The Victorian era always makes things more Christmassy by default. And this is very well cast (except for grown-up Amy) the characters are engaging and there's something emotional and heart-rending about the whole thing. It's the perfect Christmas film when you need a good girly cry.
The Classic: It's a Wonderful Life
What's it about? In a sort of reverse version of A Christmas Carol George Bailey is a flawed but decent, self-sacrificing guy about to do something stupid on Christmas Eve when an angel comes and shows him what a wonderful life he's really had. He shows us too and you can't help but feel for George.
Who's in it? James Stewart and some semi- recogniseable actors and actresses of that period.
Why do I love it? I don't normally like to be preached to but the message of this film gets me. It's a frustrating story at times, but stirring and life-affirming at others. Deservedly a classic and best watched on Christmas Eve.
The Best: The Muppet's Christmas Carol
What's it about? A pretty faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' Christmas Classic (although everyone was human in the original, obviously), the miserly Scrooge is shown the error of his ways by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
Who's in it? Michael Caine, who is wonderful as Scrooge. Plus Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest.
Why do I love it? A Christmas Carol is the archetypal Christmas story, and I love the songs and the atmosphere. And did I mention Michael Caine is wonderful as Scrooge?
What are your favourite Christmas films?