Christmas is coming soon: if you don’t want to get lost in old kitsch, tinsel and dusty Christmas films, you should watch newer works from home and abroad. A selection for the Advent season.
There are many films that promote that Christmas spirit. The classics include “Isn’t life beautiful?” from 1946 with James Stewart, “White Christmas” (1954) with Bing Crosby, “The miracle on 8th street” (1987), “The ghosts that I called” (1988), “Beautiful presents” (1989), “Kevin – Alone at Home” (1990), “Santa Clause – A Beautiful Present” (1994) or “A promise is a promise” (1996) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For many viewers, “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” (1973) and “The Little Lord” (1980) are also included. But many of these Christmas films are very old or look old-fashioned. For those who like it more colorful and contemporary, 24 films from the past 20 years are recommended to stream for the 2020 Advent season:
«Holidate» (2020): People are not made to be alone on holidays – that’s the basic assumption of this romantic Netflix comedy with Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey. The film runs through every year of all important holidays from Christmas to Christmas. The main characters date each other as singles in order not to be asked stupid questions about loneliness. And then – who would have guessed it – love comes into play. Turbulent and funny.
«Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square» (2020): In keeping with her Christmas album release “A Holly Dolly Christmas” with the song “Christmas on the Square”, country legend Dolly Parton appears in this new film as an angel who has to educate people about charity, because a cold-hearted property owner (Christine Baranski ) would rather build a shopping mall than protect tenants.
«The Christmas Chronicles» Teil 1 (2018): In the first of these Netflix films, siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) – children of a widowed, hard-working nurse – save Christmas with the help of Santa Claus (Kurt Russell). «The Christmas Chronicles» Teil 2 (2020): In the second part, Kate runs into the evil wizard Belsnickel, who wants to destroy the North Pole and Christmas. In Part 2, directed by “Kevin Home Alone” maker Chris Columbus, Russell’s wife Goldie Hawn has a bigger role as Mrs. Claus than in the first part.
“Jingle Jangle Journey: Adventurous Christmas!” (2020): A Netflix Christmas musical for the whole family based on toy maker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) and his granddaughter with music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Usher and Kiana Ledé.
«The Knight before Christmas» (2019): Fairy tale film about a knight who ends up in the present and meets a teacher who wants to help him. Love comedy with Vanessa Hudgens, an almost inevitable part of Netflix Christmas movies.
«Exchange of princesses» part 1 (2018): In the first of these Netflix films with Vanessa Hudgens in a double role, a baker from Chicago and a future princess from the fictional European state of Belgravia swap roles. «Exchange of princesses» part 2 (2020): In the second part (“Princesses swap: swapped again”), Stacy and Margaret swap back again, but now have to deal with a third party – a triple role for Vanessa Hudgens. It should continue in 2021.
«A Christmas Carol» (2019): Not really a movie, but a three-part BBC miniseries (almost three hours at a time). Guy Pearce plays the curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge in the remake of the well-known ghost story by Charles Dickens. BBC One showed it on December 22, 23 and 24, 2019. In Germany it will run from December 9. at Sky.
«Last Christmas» (2019): The heartbreak comedy with Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding takes place in pre-Christmas London and is enriched with the music of George Michael. In the course of the film, the line of the song “I gave you my heart” from the hit “Last Christmas” takes on a special meaning. The film can be seen on Sky, among others.
“A Christmas Prince” part 1, 2 and 3 (2017, 2018, 2019): Three films like one – kitsch, largely shot in Romania on Netflix, about the US journalist Amber Moore (Rose McIver), who is sent to the (of course fictional) country of Aldovia to talk about Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) to report. Of course the two fall in love. In 2018, Netflix published the sequel “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”, in 2019 “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby”.
“Dear Santa” (2014): French-Belgian comedy about a Parisian boy who mistakes a burglar for Santa Claus (“Le père Noël”) and climbs with him over the rooftops of Paris. Available via Sky.
«Bad Santa» (2003): Among other things, US comedy available through Joyn about a thief (Billy Bob Thornton) who dresses up as Ho-Ho-Ho Santa Claus and steals people in a department store, but this time gets a lesson from a child.
«Klaus» (2019): This Spanish animated film on Netflix is a real gem – in the German version with the voices of celebrities like Ralf Schmitz, Rufus Beck, Josefine Preuss and Uschi Glas. It is about the postman Jesper, who is transferred to the hostile Zwietrachtingen (Smeerensburg) north of the Arctic Circle where he meets the melancholy toy maker Klaus, finds his true destiny and virtually invents Christmas. Enchanting.
«Every year again – Christmas at the Coopers»(2015): Family comedy available at Joyn Plus about keeping problems on the holidays a secret. The film lives mainly from strong actors like Diane Keaton, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried and is told from the point of view of the family dog Rags.
“Everything is love” (2014): Five couples fight their way through the pre-Christmas madness in Frankfurt and find each other in an unusual way at the festival. The episode film in the “Actually … Love” style brings together German film stars such as Nora Tschirner, Heike Makatsch, Tom Beck, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katharina Schüttler, Fahri Yardim and Christian Ulmen. The Schnulze is available at Joyn.
“The Guardians of Light” (2012): In this imaginative animated film, villain Pitch sends people nightmares and wants to take power. The Guardians of Light – a quartet of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Sandman – want to defeat him. Jack Frost (German voice Florian David Fitz) is supposed to help, but first has to learn to believe in yourself. A lot of fun about believing in the wonderful – not just for children. Available as a flat rate at Joyn + and Netflix, among others.
“When Santa Claus fell from the sky” (2011): This German children’s film, available on Netflix in the flat rate and other streaming services for money, is based on the book of the same name by Cornelia Funke. Alexander Scheer plays a cheeky Santa Claus, with Noah Joel Kraus, Mercedes Jadea Diaz, Jessica Schwarz and Volker Lechtenbrink in other roles.
“Disney’s A Christmas Story” (2009): Charles Dickens’ classic (“A Christmas Carol”) as a Disney digital adventure – to be seen on the Disney + streaming service. In 19th century London, Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by the late partner Marley and then three Christmas ghosts in order to become a better person. “The Muppets Christmas Story” from 1992 (also on Disney +) almost seems more successful because with dolls.
«Merry Christmas» (2005): In this film with Diane Kruger,
Benno Fürmann, Dany Boon and Daniel Brühl are at the front in Flanders around Christmas 1914. German, Scottish and French troops try to celebrate the festival in the trenches of the First World War. When they realize that their enemies are celebrating too, they decide on a three-day truce. The common Christmas alarms the army command. The film, which is based on a true story, was nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe, and can be seen, for example, on Amazon Prime’s Sony Channel.
“The polar express” (2004): The computer-animated children’s film by director Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”, “Forrest Gump”) tells the story of a boy who does not believe in Santa Claus and who is taught better with a trip to the North Pole. The children’s book adaptation offers a lot of Tom Hanks in several roles, but for some eyes it is probably too overloaded. The film is available for an extra fee from almost all streaming services.
«Der Grinch» (2000) – There are two well-known film versions of this children’s book story by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) from the 1950s. Although everything looks sugar-sweet, the Green Grinch has reasons for wanting to ruin Christmas. For comedian Jim Carrey, the hairy Grinch is one of his most famous roles. The film is available at a flat rate on Netflix, Sky Go and Amazon Prime.
«Der Grinch» (2018): Two years ago, this cartoon variant appeared with Otto Waalkes as the speaker (originally Benedict Cumberbatch). The Grinch animation film is available from Amazon.
«Indeed … love» (2003): This British ensemble film – original title “Love Actually” – tells several stories from London in the run-up to Christmas. Hugh Grant dances through the house as Prime Minister, Bill Nighy plays a drunk musician. Heike Makatsch is in a supporting role. Also featured are Keira Knightley, Billy Bob Thornton, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Claudia Schiffer, and Rowan Atkinson, known as Mr. Bean. The film is a big hit and is available on Amazon Prime, Joyn, Netflix, TVnow and Sky Go, among others.
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