A young reindeer who suffers from vertigo learns to overcome his fear, takes flying lessons from a clumsy flying squirrel and heads to the North pole to save a troubled Santa and his fleet of flying reindeer.
Hundreds of years ago in Lapland, a little boy named Nikolas loses his family in an accident. The villagers decide to look after the orphaned boy together. Once a year - at Christmas - Nikolas moves to a new home. To show his gratitude, Nikolas decides to make toys for the children of the families as good-bye presents. Over the years, Nikolas's former adoptive families become many, and soon almost every house has presents on its doorstep on Christmas morning. At thirteen, Nikolas is sent to live and work with Iisakki, a grumpy old carpenter, who forbids Nikolas to continue making presents for Christmas. Gradually, however, Nikolas wins Iisakki's trust. Together they begin to look after the Christmas traditional that Nikolas has begun. When the aged Iisakki has to leave Nikolas and move away, the tradition of Christmas presents is once again at risk. Thankfully, Nikolas comes up with a solution that brings children joy every Christmas, even continuing to today.Written by
Beautiful. If I were forced to choose a single word to describe Wuolijoki's Christmas Story, that is what it would be. Beautiful.
Christmas Story is, for me, one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Others have already summarized the plot extremely well, so I won't waste your time describing the story line. What you should know is this:
Positives: Stunning cinematography. You will be hard pressed to find a more luminous and atmospheric film. The otherworldly, fairy-tale, winters of Finland are captured with a richness reminiscent of the resplendent winter scenes in Polanski's Fearless Vampire Killers. (In spite of the dubbing) The performances are world class, but the beautiful and talented Laura Birn truly shines in her role as Aada.
Negatives: The presentation offered no option for subtitles/original language. The dubbing is distracting and I think ultimately works to pull the viewer out of the otherwise magical experience. Film is shaped by many elements, and the auditory component is arguably more important than the visual. I think the film would regain some lost magic if our ears were offered the indulgence of enjoying the film in its original language.
Although American audiences may not respond well to the film's tiptoed pace and lack of shallow Hollywood glitter, given the opportunity to enjoy some depth in their film viewing experience, Wuolijoki's Christmas Story will open many unsuspecting eyes to what holiday themed film-making should be.
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