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Until recently I had never heard of this little gem of British holiday sentiment. I heard someone call it the "Christmas movie for people who don't like Christmas movies" and the quest to find it was on.
This is the story of a Christmas in which the emotionally wounded family of a Church of England clergyman come home and attempt to have a happy holiday. What happens is not your typical happy tearjerker, nor is it a Christmas nightmare. Its a reasonably realistic, as much as films of the time could be in 75 minutes, look at a family of emotional cripples as they all try to put their lives back on track. The ending while hopeful is far from certain, so much so that I cursed the fact that it didn't go on another five or six hours, my sole complaint about the film.
A word of warning, don't abandon the film until you get to the end. I wasn't enraptured of the film for almost two thirds of its running time. I was interested in what was happening but I didn't know if I liked it, and then suddenly all of the pieces were in place and it became this charming atypical jewel of a movie.
Forget Its a Wonderful Life, watch this instead, its so much more real.
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