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This dry, wry, sometimes snarky Christmas tale touches buttons from the ridiculous to the very human, neatly and surely.
Several standard American holiday tropes - Santa getting lost before the holiday, kids asking for their parents back, elves who need humans to save the day - are turned on their heads in inimitable Brit-film style. Jim Broadbent does Santa very well. There's a 'Bad Santa' element, Keystone-esque cops and prison guards, and some hilarious farting reindeer.
The simple human story of father and son bonding, of dad and step-dad and mom making peace with each other, is strong enough to be convincing. And heart-warming.
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