In 1941, a young father can't afford to buy his 5-year-old daughter the bicycle she expects Santa Claus to bring her for Christmas.In 1941, a young father can't afford to buy his 5-year-old daughter the bicycle she expects Santa Claus to bring her for Christmas.In 1941, a young father can't afford to buy his 5-year-old daughter the bicycle she expects Santa Claus to bring her for Christmas.
Appallingly worse movie I've seen in a long time.
If this movie is meant to be an example of a fine, family movie extolling good values or virtue, I'm appalled. Today I was privileged to meet with a mother who just lost her second son in the space of a year to a terrible disease, and whose grandson was murdered, yet was a true model of grace, beauty, and strength of character in the way she faced these things. Then I watch this movie, which, in contrast was so shallow in its characters and message. The mother in this movie came off as self-centered, angry, abrupt, aggressive and abrasive, with no real strength of character, very unsupportive of her husband. Even her reaction to the supposed "miracle" showed no hint of redemption of her character. I'm certain she continues to be a terror to her husband. I can't remember the last time I struggled so hard to like a movie. Hen-pecked father with a tyrant wife, with spoiled children. Don't get me wrong, I can see that what we are "supposed" to get out of this movie is that the father is trying to support and uphold a child's simple faith and goes to great lengths to try to make it happen. But I never got a believable sense of a depth of struggle from this child. Instead, I felt I was watching a child from today's spoiled culture, who insists on getting her own way (all she had to do was watch how her mother treats the husband, and she's set for life on a course of manipulation) Set against a backdrop of a country at war with Japan, with hard times to overcome, the family seemed more in keeping with today's Yuppie family's children values (pampered, never satisfied, self-pitying, always expecting to get what they want). I can't imagine a family in the 1940's behaving this way. There wasn't any depth, or feeling of genuine, believable emotion. It was shallow. The acting was mediocre. In regards to the technical aspects of the movie, this was a "B" movie from the opening frame. The camera work reminded me of a home movie, made by an amateur. Many times it just seemed the camera was just set in a room from a distance and turned on, and the whole scene was shot from this one, distant view (which added to the shallow feeling of the film). There was even one scene where it appeared the camera operator didn't realize that the actor had one more line to say, and was moving the camera away, but swung it back to catch him saying his last line. I could forgive the poor technical points of the film if the story had any real depth. I wrote this review because I was, first of all, astounded at how bad a film it was, and secondly, equally astounded that there were reviewers giving this film a glowing review.
- Dec 18, 2006
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