THE 2023 SELECTIONS
"My family and I watch White Christmas every year during the holiday season. Despite the name, most of the movie has virtually nothing to do with Christmas. But in the final scene when Bing Crosby croons the Irving Berlin-penned lyrics, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” dressed in a red suit trimmed with white fur, it’s hard not to get in the holiday spirit. An outstanding cast of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen packs the two hour movie with plenty of musical numbers, big dance sequences, and compelling love stories. By the time the movie’s credits roll, you’ll be dreaming of a white Christmas too (even if you watch it in July)."
"By no means am I recommending this “remake” because it’s a good movie. No, Glen Morgan’s unhinged, batshit crazy slasher movie is one of those so-bad-it’s-good efforts that can’t help but be fascinatingly watchable due to all the narrative and technical decisions it inexplicably makes.
The cast is stacked (Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert, Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the characters are unlikeable, and the lore of its villain is vile, but I dare you to not have a good time with this foul festive treat."
"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is an animated broadcast television movie that premiered on the WB in 2000. It ran once or twice every year for quite a few years, and it also happens to be a 51 minute long fever dream.
Based on the classic 1979 Christmas song of the same name by Elmo & Patsy, the movie follows a boy named Jake who embarks on a mission with his grandpa (played by Elmo Shropshire himself) to find his missing grandma. Unfortunately, there are signs of foul play at the scene of the disappearance. Jake and his grandfather become convinced that grandma was hit by Santa's sleigh, and begin their quest towards retribution. If it sounds like I’m playing it up, you’re not even ready for the subplots that flesh out this socially charged thriller of a kids Christmas cartoon. I watch this one every year, and if you're lucky enough to find a copy, or have it taped on a VHS from the TV, you'll be in for a ride."
"Based on the heartbreakingly-real, unofficial truce that occurred on the Western Front in 1914, Joyeux Noel is a true Christmas movie that combines sadness and woe with cheer, and goodwill to men. Not wanting to deal with bloody politics and forced religious views for at least one day, the conscripted French, Scottish, and German troops all paused on Christmas Day to celebrate life, peace, and friendship. For many, the Christmas holidays are a sorrowful season. Joyeux Noel is proof that even in the direst of times, joy can arrive most wonderfully."
"A wise man once said this about Knives Out: "A movie as good as its sweaters (the sweaters are excellent)". And you know what? I wholeheartedly agree. To add to that, I feel like this gives off the perfect Thanksgiving vibe. Set in the fall, making use of autumn colors even in the interior locations, a large family getting together with food (and the occasional vomit) involved, lots of knives you could imagine being used to cut a turkey, and, to top it off, the political arguments. It's just Thanksgiving in real life!"
"I couldn't care less about the debate of if Die Hard or The Nightmare Before Christmas are actually Christmas movies, BUT I will die on the hill that Gremlins is a Christmas movie. Sure, it's a little scary, but in a fun way! The snow-covered little town is just chock full with Christmas cheer, there's toys galore for Gizmo to play with, and a lot of Christmas songs to boot. Gizmo wears a Santa hat too! C'mon, it's a Christmas movie!"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a film all about finding someone to confide in when you are all alone. It's a film about a lot, and it's not a fun for the family film, but for those who are alone, it's a bittersweet reminder that you aren't ever truly alone."
"I love Christmas movies. White Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, Gremlins — I love all of it. But my all-time favorite Christmas movie is probably It’s a Wonderful Life. I love everything about that movie. I love the performances, the writing, the pacing, and the cinematography. But what I love most is how it all makes me feel: hopeful; optimistic. That movie distills the essence of the perfect, idealistic message of Christmas better than anything else I know. Every year, I watch it on Christmas Eve, and I sob like a baby when George Bailey realizes how much he means to the people and the town of Bedford Falls, and how much they truly love and care for him."
"Christmas leaves me feeling all kinds of nostalgic, even for times I never experienced. That’s why it’s one of the only times of year I actively seek out classics like The Shop Around The Corner to scratch that melancholic itch the holidays tends to conjure up. James Stewart is so charming, and Margaret Sullavan so quick-witted and sharp-tongued. You really can’t go wrong with a 1940s meet-cute that eventually went on to inspire 1997’s You’ve Got Mail! It’s sure to leave even the biggest grinch feeling warm and fuzzy."
"Is it a cheesy and somewhat cliché Christmas movie, comparable to a Hallmark film? Absolutely. BUT! Does it also showcase a central romance with LGBTQ+ characters, AND include Jennifer Coolidge? Absolutely yes! In my book, that's a win! I enjoy indulging in cheesy holiday movies, and it's particularly uplifting to find one that incorporates queer characters."
"Office Christmas Party is an outrageous celebration of what makes for a wild adult comedy centered around a joyful time of the year. It’s incredibly dumb, yet surprisingly sweet but its ridiculousness makes for all the more to cheer for this holiday season. A talented cast makes up the workforce: Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn and so, so many more! Feasting on the singular night before Christmas, Office Christmas Party is a drug-filled, drunk escape into an anti-corporate measure that’ll have you rooting for this night of fun to never end."
"From the gorgeous George Michael soundtrack to the dazzling Emilia Clarke, mother of dragons, in the title role, this film has my heart utterly and completely. It’s so much more than just a Christmas movie or a romance – plus it has enough cynicism and poor choices to keep the interest of even the Scrooges among us. Just watch it. I can’t say any more without fear of spoiling something. It has an amazing cast, a fabulous London setting and a perfect twist that you won’t see coming. I can’t wait to watch it again this season!"
"Tom Hanks & Leonardo DiCaprio shine in this perfectly executed cat and mouse game based on the story of real life teen con artist Frank William Abagnale Jr. This Spielberg guy has moxie, I tell ya! He’s goin’ places!
This movie is enjoyable anytime of the year, but it feels even more appropriate during the holiday season. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) and Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) ironically keep each other company from afar on multiple Yuletide occasions. The Christmas music serves a purpose to the story and Frank’s Christmas memories and traditions of his family are a recurring themes throughout. Listening to Christopher Walken describe how two trapped mice heroically churned cream into butter is a gift everyone should get to unwrap this year."