It being that time of year and all, as if you haven't heard (in fairness, it has been less annoying this year), Christmas is on it's way and with that comes Christmas films. Now, while we of course have our Christmas classics, it's also a period of goodwill, with a 'live and let live' attitude prevailing, and as such bad films and even worse music are excused for their vacuousness because, hey, 'tis the season to be jolly. For Scrooges like me, it's a time when the arts are degraded to a level of cheap, run-of-the-mill nonsense, with some ridiculous sweaters thrown in. However, it's not all doom and gloom, as there are a number of movies out there that serve as a wonderful glow to the grime (hello Chelsea Wolfe!), and on that note, here are my seasonal selections!
To qualify as a Christmas movie:
1. It must have scenes set in and around Christmas: just because The Wizard Of Oz is a well-established classic doesn't make it a Christmas movie.
2. Being me, I want something a bit deranged that perverts the idea of 'Christmas' movie, so I'm looking for something a little bit different!
The 12 Picks Of Christmas
1. Babe - should have won the 68th Academy Award for Best Picture over Braveheart in 1996. Dark and twisted, but also tender and heart-warming. A near-perfect film.
2. Brazil - who can forget the mistaken arrest of Archibald Buttle taking place at Christmas. Terry Gilliam's finest work is also as good an adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 as anyone will ever get.
3. Citizen Kane - not your classic 'Xmas' movie, but a key scene takes place during the holidays. Masterful filmmaking from Orson Welles.
4. Die Hard - the heart-stopping Bruce Willis actioner is set on Christmas Eve. This is how you do action movies!
5. Eastern Promises - a sorely overlooked crime thriller from David Cronenberg, the events of which are set around Christmas, and featuring a phenomenal performance from Viggo Mortensen.
6. Edward Scissorhands - one of the great fairy tales our time, and the finest film in the director-actor collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Magical.
7. Fanny And Alexander - we enter the world of Bergman's epic as we see the Ekdahl family celebrating Christmas in the opening scenes. Ensemble acting and characterisation at its best.
8. Gremlins - no matter how many times I see it, I end up in stitches, Gremlins is anarchic bedlam, and a genuinely insane comedy wrapped up as a Christmas movie. Awesome!
9. Inside - the worst Christmas ever in this 2007 French horror movie, which sees a recently-widowed pregnant young woman have her home invaded on Christmas Eve by a mad lady. Deeply disturbing.
10. Lethal Weapon - the suicidal, borderline psychotic Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is teamed up with age-conscious Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in and around Christmas in this great action flick.
11. The Muppet Christmas Carol - certainly the best 'conventional' Christmas film, with The Muppet's packing a wonderful collection of songs. Features one of Michael Caine's best roles in Scrooge.
12. Rocky - an unknown boxer gets a shot at the Heavyweight Championship on New Years Day 1976 in this amazing film. Won the Academy Award for Best Picture; proof of Sylvester Stallone's talent as an artist.