The Films of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come
Written by Charlie O’Loughlin
Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Ho Ho-Hold onto your Santa hats, it’s time for a review of the best Christmas films now, then, and upcoming. With 2020 being, well everything we didn’t want and more- now is the time to see the year off in the best possible way we can, hopefully with a tonne of Christmas films, and a LOT of mulled wine. So put your feet up and forget the ‘umming and ahing’ when deciding what to watch, flicking endlessly through Netflix or Prime to inevitably put KUWTK on for the umpteenth time, and choose one of the Christmas films I’ve lovingly watched and reviewed on your behalf.
The Holiday (2006) Netflix
My FAVOURITE Christmas film of all time. I cannot stress how much I love this film and that I would happily watch it at any point in the year, not just when the jingle bells are out. An amazing soundtrack and the perfect casting choices of Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law ultimately make the perfect Christmas love story. Did I mention I love this film?
Rating: 5 trillion stars
Last Christmas (2019) Amazon Prime
A Christmas film, with Emilia Clarke the Mother of Dragons, set to the soundtrack of George Michael- what could possibly be better? I am not ashamed to say since its release last November that I have watched this film erm, (ahem) a fair few times, and cried each and every viewing. Without ruining the shock ending, all I’ll say is, have the tissues at hand as you’ll definitely need them.
Rating: 5 stars
Mrs Miracle (2009) Amazon
Think the classic cheese of a Hallmark movie, x10- Mrs Miracle is one of those slightly unbelievable Christmas storylines, with the premise that as its set at Christmas everything is and will be okay. Sort of a rip-off Nanny McPhee, nanny ‘Mrs Miracle’ appears, and sets out to fix a broken family in dire need of some Christmas spirit.
Rating: 2 stars
If you haven’t seen the film, then where on earth have you been? Forget your classic nativity with Mary, Joseph, and the donkeys- this nativity has death slides, catchy Christmas ballads AND the Three Wise Men as members of Bethlehem’s hottest boy band. With the hope of Hollywood coming to Coventry, this nativity is set to be the best nativity St Bernadette’s primary has ever seen… but can Mr Maddens get out of his heartbreak and into the Christmas spirit in time?
Rating: 5 Stars “Extra spicy!”
Dash & Lily (2020) Netflix
A major cringe fest… but who doesn’t love cringe, especially at Christmas! Set to the best Christmas soundtrack of old and new, this 8-part series is comprised of 20-minute episodes, perfect for a mini binge fest (and trust me you won’t be able to escape this in anything other than one sitting). Personally, I loved this series, and the addictive element to it. Both alone at Christmas, can self-confessed Christmas obsessed Lily help Dash in love with Christmas again? Written by, and starring the Jonas brothers, this series is fun, romantic and definitely Christmassy.
Rating: 5 stars
Jingle Jangle (2020) Netflix
Brand new and all round magical. Jingle Jangle is already tipped to be a family favourite for years to come. With amazing graphics and a gripping storyline, this film is perfect for everyone… even those who pretend they don’t like Christmas films (I see you!).
Rating: 5 stars
Holidate (2020) Netflix
Imagine having a romantic date for every holiday of the year- Christmas, Halloween, St Patrick’s Day, etc. etc. Well, it’d definitely avoid those awkward questions from prying Grandparents and Aunties on whether you’ve got a boyfriend yet or not or if you’ll die alone. Starring Emma Roberts watch as she tries to find the right person for her, when the one could’ve been there, for literally every holiday, all along.
Rating: 3 Stars
Operation Christmas Drop (2020) Netflix
Initially a little dubious about the synopsis of this film in fear it would be too cheesy, who am I kidding I’d watch anything remotely Christmassy, so this film was just another to tick off my list. With budgets to cut before Christmas, a beachside air base is set to be shut as a result of ‘Operation Christmas Drop’, in which taxpayers’ money is spent on, well what exactly? Whitehouse employee Erica is sent to investigate the operation and ends up having a Christmas she’ll never forget. Can the air base save itself? Perhaps Capt. Andrew Jantz can help with that. Loosely based on the US Air Force’s real-life ‘Operation Christmas Drop’, in which presents, and supplies have been delivered to the islands of Micronesia since 1952, this Christmas rom-com will help remind you of the good in the world.
Rating: 2 stars
YET TO COME
Soul (2020) Disney +
After a rubbish old year, what better to look forward to than a lovely feel-good Pixar movie, especially one starring superstars Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. Soul revolves around the plot line of Joe, an aspiring jazz musician itching to get his break, until he does, and then falls down a manhole. Transported to the ‘other side’ but not quite ready to let go yet, Joe takes on his project of another person’s soul, teaching them the magic of life and all it has to offer. Be prepared for smiles, laughter, humming along to jazz music, and quite possibly a few tears- it is Christmas after all.
Available on December 25th
Rating: Hopefully 5 stars!
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special (2020) AppleTV+
Okay, not a Christmas film as such, but it does include the Queen of Christmas herself, Miss Mariah Carey, so I think I can be excused. Clearly Carey will be performing one of the most recognisable Christmas songs of all time, “All I Want for Christmas”, but there will also be appearances from her memoir, and newest album The Rarities, a mix of her greatest songs. Expect the highest of high notes, some fabulous outfits, and a huge family sing-along.
Available on December 4th
Rating: 3 stars