Pryday #16

Movies are not my thing. Really, not my thing so I think I’ve seen the standard Christmas movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story maybe once or twice in my lifetime. I am not a huge fan of the mush or the overly sentimental either unless it is done just right and I am, like Simon over at Savidge Reads, a bit of a scrooge, especially when it comes to movies and spending pots of money on ridiculous gifts. However, there are two Christmas films that have entered my heart and become a much-looked-forward to treat at this time of the year. One is a classic, black and white, old Hollywood production. The other is a contemporary multi-storyline blockbuster. Both are fantastic!

The Bishop’s Wife (1947). Magical, heartwarming, charming, old-fashioned and beautiful. Cary Grant and Loretta Young are irresistible as the angel Dudley and the neglected bishop’s wife, Julia. David Niven is perfection as the distracted bishop. This is a lovely favorite that I watch every year on Christmas Eve.

Love Actually (2003). Funny, touching, romantic. Many stars appear in this interconnected set of stories. Liam Neeson! Emma Thompson! Hugh Grant! Keira Knightley! Alan Rickman! Colin Firth! So many marvelous actors, yet Bill Nighy steals the show as the aging rock star Billy Mack. I think it is a perfect companion to The Bishop’s Wife – something nice and something naughty.

How about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas film?

12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love both of these but my ultimate Christmas movie is The Shop Around the Corner from 1940, with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It is set in the weeks leading up to Christmas and though the story itself doesn’t have much to do with the holiday, I think it sets the tone for the season perfectly.

    1. I haven’t ever seen The Shop Around the Corner. I’ve heard of it and I’m sure I would like it – my library has a copy and I think I will watch it. Maybe it will become a new favorite?

  2. I adore Love Actually (though I could live without the thread about the two film stand-ins). I think my favorite part in that movie is the children’s Christmas pageant, especially about the First Lobster. “There were TWO lobsters at the birth of baby Jesus??” “Well, duh!!!”

    And I love the part when Colin Firth jumps into the lake. Not quite like Mr. Darcy, but still adorable. OH! and I almost forgot about Rowen Atkinson as the jewelry salesman! Hilarious!

    Too many great bits in that movie. It’s one of my favorites!

    Elf is really good too.

    1. Yay, another Love Actually fan! I love all the scenes you mention – the one with Rowen Atkinson is fantastic.
      And Elf is also good – it might make it onto my list one day!

  3. I love The Bishop’s Wife too, though I am not a fan of Loretta Young, but I’m always happy to see Elsa Lanchester, Monty Woolley, and Gladys Cooper. I think The Man Who Came to Dinner is another great Christmas movie – and definitely *not* sentimental. I’m with Claire on The Shop Around the Corner. And there’s The Thin Man, though maybe people don’t think of it primarily as a Christmas movie. Fortunately all these will be on Turner Classic Movies this month. I’m wittering, because I don’t think I can pick just one.

    1. I’ll have to check out The Man Who Came to Dinner and The Thin Man – I’m always looking for new movies to love since I love so few. Isn’t TMC wonderful? It’s amazing that we have access to so many great classic films.

  4. I really only like the older films and I’m really not even good at recognising modern so-called stars. I’m a Cary Grant, Peck and Bogart sort of girl! Although I do like Love Actually, and Rickman and Firth.

    Christmas – Bah humbug!

  5. My three favorites that I must watch every year are White Christmas, A Christmas Story, and, like you, Love Actually. Someone else mentioned the film stand-in storyline…well, when it first came out, I saw it in the theater with my mom and elderly grandmother. I certainly wasn’t expecting those scenes and I think my grandma was so shocked by them that she didn’t even pay attention to the rest of the movie!

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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