There are Christmas-themed movies that have become classics and have continued to be shown over the decades. Among them can be mentioned Home Alone (Home Alone) , Elf (Goblin) or Love Actually (Real love) . What’s interesting, however, is that Christmas movies are often seen by critics as mediocre cinematic productions. The famous New York Times critic once wrote an article lamenting that Christmas movies are rushing to theaters every year, but most of them are of average quality. What is the reason for this?
Little talk about christmas movies
Christmas movies began to become popular during Hollywood’s heyday, around the 1940s. This is when cinematic works were born and took the upper hand in entertainment. At the same time, the world war was happening, leading to the need for the audience to have warm, upbeat films to help them overcome the uncertain, bleak historical period. This was the period of cinematic works like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street . From these early steps, filmmakers discovered the huge benefits of holiday cinema .
The common feature of Christmas movies is the focus on telling stories of family love and reunion. It is not difficult to understand, this is the most important holiday of the year for Christians – and also becomes an extended holiday for Western countries. Like the Lunar New Year with Asians, this is an opportunity for family members, no matter how difficult, to try to find a way to get close to their loved ones. The filmmakers took advantage of this human frailty to the fullest extent, leading to a series of Christmas movies becoming monotonous and cliché.
It is also because it has to serve the audience during a special emotional period that it is difficult for a film on this subject to dare to offer a new perspective or narrative. As “seasonal” investment projects, Christmas movies need to have a safe, crowd-pleasing and non-controversial story. Therefore, these cinematic works are not necessarily bad, but there are very few cases where breaking out of the safe zone has become an unwritten law.
The third reason why Christmas movies are not of high quality is because of the time pressure to make it in time for the golden release period. Every year, not only movie studios but also TV studios and live movie systems are determined not to miss the opportunity to produce one or more works for the holiday. This competitive atmosphere is no different from the jubilation in the consumer goods industry. It is known that there are products that can only be sold during this period only, and it is best to produce quickly, cheaply, and sell a lot.
However, it would be unfair to cinema if we assumed that all the movies that come out during Christmas are “instant noodle” works. At the heart of cinema is, in the end, valuable stories, memorable characters, and compelling storytelling. Christmas movies, in a way, always ensure that the audience leaves the theater with a happy smile, and the filmmakers know how to create a story imbued with humanity but not boring and easygoing, are the ones who will leave their names behind in history.
This Christmas, if you feel the best way is to avoid the crowded streets at the end of the year, sit down with your family, prepare a big box of popcorn and enjoy the cinema. What you need to remember is to consider pre-selecting a good movie list . Instead of getting frustrated by the easy stuff, you can check out some of ELLE ‘s suggestions for classic Christmas movies from each decade:
RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER (1964)
Even if you’ve never seen the movie, the song about the red-nosed deer Rudolph has probably appeared in your life a few times. Warm, sweet – illustrations that have become the norm of the times, Maury Laws and Larry Roemer’s film is a story about difference and love for all.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1967)
Based on the work of famous children’s writer Dr. Seuss, the film tells the journey to find love of the Grinch – a fictional creature who was born with a tiny heart and hates the whole world. Recently, the film was remade with a 3D animated version. You can watch both new and old movies to clearly see the change in cinema technology.
A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
Bob Clark has made a classic film, bringing the audience back to childhood, at the age of one and two ghosts with the biggest dream of a Christmas present. Although it was not appreciated when it was first released, it became the most broadcast movie every Christmas because everyone saw a part of it in it.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)
This animated film is considered a special piece not only because of its attempt to explain how modern technology has changed the way the Santa family operates the special holiday, but also because the story has brought audiences Back to the important question: What is a true good person? This is also one of the few Christmas movies of the 2000s that made a strong impression on viewers.
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990)
Director Tim Burton is the name that guarantees his films will be like no other. The film tells the story of a guy born with scissors-shaped hands and an outstanding talent in hairstyling that is a prime example of Tim Burton’s style. This is a Christmas movie with not a lot of Christmas elements, but it will certainly be a movie that will make you admire.
Will Ferrell, with his charming acting style, has conquered global audiences with a film about a boy living in a community of elves in the Arctic. Until one day, when he couldn’t deny his difference from everyone else and determined to find his family again. Funny, touching and with an emphasis on optimism despite circumstances, Elf has become one of the most watched movies every Christmas.
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