by Libby Hellmann
OK. I confess. I’m going rogue. I was going to post a blog on corruption and oppression (I just saw Changeling, and I’m researching a possible new book that takes place in revolutionary Iran.)But let’s face it: no one – including me -- wants to get too heavy this time of year.
Many of you have already chimed in on Kevin’s post with the books we ought to get our kids for the holidays. This post isn’t nearly as noble. And much more superficial. Still… in the interest of inspiring whatever holiday spirit you can muster, forgetting about terrorist attacks as well as the economy, and earning a few brownie points from Netflix, let’s talk movies.
What holiday movies make your all-time top 5? Is it A Wonderful Life (which, just to bring it somewhat back on topic, Carolyn Wheat dissects quite admirably in her book Killer Fiction) and you will undoubtedly see listed 10 times on local stations this season?
What about Miracle on 34th Street… the original or the remake? Oy – now that I’m thinking about it -- it is pretty cloying.
So, what about one of the versions of Amahl and the Night Visitors? I seem to remember a TV production I’d watch every year as a kid. Anyone else remember that? I recall it being mysterious and exotic. Of course, I was only about ten at the time.
And of course, I like Home Alone, which was filmed right around the corner in Winnetka.
I’m not all that fond of the Scrooge films, or the Charlie Browns, or the Grinches--
too sappy and predictable. But I didn’t mind Family Stone. Or the TV productions of the Nutcracker. Especially the one with Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland.
But my all time favorite holiday movie has to be Love Actually. How can you not like Hugh Grant dancing to “Jump,” Alan Rickman playing a wayward husband, Colin Firth falling in love, or the Beach Boys’ finale of God Only Knows with all those split screens? In fact, if this doesn’t put you into “the mood,” I give up.
Your turn. What Holiday movies do you recommend? Let’s hear them. Btw, if anyone has any Hanukkah movies (is there really such an animal?), that would work too.
PS I forgot to mention that my wonderful publisher, BLEAK HOUSE BOOKS, is offering free books to all of you this holiday season. Yup. Free. All you pay is shipping and handling, and you can get novels by Reed Farrel Coleman, Eric Stone, Victoria Houston, Craig McDonald, Mary Logue,and even me.
To find out more, click here. This is the real deal!