Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christiana's Christmas Countdown

Well that's the first time my name's come in handy... thanks mum.

Tis the Season to spend the odd lazy afternoon watching all those Christmas films that give you that warm toasty feeling inside. But sometimes the pressure to watch all these films before the big day can be a bit much. So here it begins. My top ten must-see movies for the perennial season. Some choices may be controversial but it's obviously a matter of personal taste. Which I might add, I have plenty of.

So here we go.. Let Christiana's Christmas Movie Countdown begin!

10. Meet me in St. Louis (1944)

Perhaps not an obvious choice as it's not technically a Christmas Movie, Meet Me in St Louis' structure is set around the four seasons of the year. But the highlight is most definitely the Christmas sequence of the film. Meet Me in St. Louis is not only one of my Christmas favourites but is also,in my humble opinion, one of the best musicals of the Classical Hollywood era.

Judy Garland gives a terrific performance alongside the astoundingly talented 7 year old Margaret O'Brien particularly during Garland's show stopping performance of 'Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'Filmed towards the end of the Second World War, this song is beautiful and sad emphasising the anxieties of the time, the loss of loved ones and the importance of family and solidarity. A theme and a mood that encompasses the whole film.

It might not seem like the cheeriest of choices to get you in the festive mood but there's something oddly comforting about this segment of the film that reassures anyone unable to get to grips with the idea that Christmas is always the happiest time of the year. The Nostalgic setting of turn of the 20th Century and the feeling of a simpler and happier time also reiterates the unsettled milieu.

The film is also beautifully and skillfully directed by Vincente Minelli, specifically during scenes with Judy Garland where Minelli's evident love for the lead actress is shown through his attention to detail in the soft-focus, framing and mise en scene of the piece.

Meet Me in St Louis
is probably one to ease you into this seasonal period. If its early December and you're not quite sure whether you're ready for full-on festivities, for comedy, an excellent musical score and brilliant performances all round, you could probably do a lot worse than Meet Me in St. Louis.

Oooh, they just don't make 'em like they used to, do they?!

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