The Christmas Bow (TV Movie 2020) Poster

(2020 TV Movie)

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Not too highly strung!
adamjohns-4257514 December 2020
This was a lovely film, you could really see the chemistry between the two leads and their passions for what they did.

As an Uncle who adores his Niece and Nephews, I could relate to his pleasure at hanging out with his. It's nice to see it done in a more standard way, rather than it being because the parents have died and the uncle is all they've got. Some of us just love having that time with them regardless. Although my sister has threatened me with the promise that if she dies I get all three, but they're 23, 21 and 15 now, so I think I'll be ok.

It's a nice and uncomplicated film with an easygoing romance and lots of Christmas elements that make it cheerful too.
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It is worth a watch this 2020 Christmas season, especially for fans of Hallmark...
toddsgraham18 November 2020
This is now my 8th Hallmark Christmas movie of the 2020 season. Overall, it is somewhere near the middle of the list thus far. That is, it was a pretty good Hallmark movie. The movie started strong; I enjoyed the first 5 minutes (the younger version of the leads); it was quite cute. Michael Rady is one of my favourite Hallmark leads; he does a great job in such roles. Again, here, he had a strong performance. Lucia Micarelli, on the other hand, had a mixed performance, at least that is what I thought. She had some real weak acting early on in the movie. To be fair, she did have some good moments and her chemistry with Michael was decent. But, overall, regarding her acting, I was not that impressed. Her musical performances, however, were excellent; I enjoyed this element of the film. The supporting cast was, for the most part, strong, though I wasn't a fan of Kate's parent early on. I did enjoy the grandfather and doctor (he was funny). The set and scenery were very polished (i.e., looked good), very festive - I liked the shop, for example. As usual, this Hallmark film was quite festive and provided a nice Christmas atmosphere. It is worth a watch this 2020 Christmas season, especially for fans of Hallmark.
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Wrapped up in a very charming bow
TheLittleSongbird29 March 2022
Nobody should watch Hallmark films with massively high expectations, their Christmas output particularly. If a Hallmark fan or wanting to see as many Christmas films as possible, expectations would understandably be higher. They are very formulaic with most of them being more of the same narratively and structurally, apart from sporadic attempts at changes of pace. There are a fair share of them though that are surprisingly above average and even good amidst the many average and less ones.

The 2020 output from Hallmark did vary in quality but was not near as bad or wildly uneven as it could have been. None of the films from the batch were really terrible, and a small handful of them were actually very good. 'The Christmas Bow' is one of the very good ones and benefits from some truly wonderful violin playing, a particularly beautifully written character and the presence of Michael Rady, one of the best and most consistent regular male leads for Hallmark even in the misfires. 'The Christmas Bow' is a fine example of why Hallmark's Christmas output or even Hallmark in general should not be immediately scorned at.

It drags a little early on where the film takes a little time to get going.

Did think too that Lucia Micarelli didn't fully settle immediately acting wise, she seemed stiff and uncertain at first which indicates inexperience.

However, 'The Christmas Bow' succeeds very well everywhere else. It is visually pleasing and has a professional look, one of the best looking Hallmark Christmas films from that year. The appropriately festive locations especially. The music is beautiful and fits seamlessly, 'The Christmas Bow' is easily one of the best scored Hallmark Christmas films from that year and the violin choices are more than appropriate and placed without problem. The direction is accomodating while not going through the motions. Rady is especially good when it comes to the acting, he doesn't overplay, any mannerisms not overdone, and neither does he hold back too much. A performance of great warmth and subtle charm.

Micarelli is not great to start off with but her acting does improve massively a third of the way in and from that point on she becomes very relatable and charming. Did like her relatable character development with a believable back story, one of the few female lead characters to have one, and her violin playing is world class. Their likeability shines through and their chemistry charms, personally actually thought it was there. The grandfather is touchingly played and the doctor and the cousin bring some welcome amusing comedy that avoid 'The Christmas Bow' from being over-serious.

Moreover, the dialogue is tighter and less stilted than a lot of Hallmark Christmas films and the cheese and sentiment isn't as much. The story raises some important relevant issues in a tactful manner, making the film heartfelt at points (the grandfather story is very tenderly done), it also engaged me and was charming and heart-warming while not taking itself too seriously. Did appreciate too that it was not too slow while still taking its time and that it wasn't thin. The characters came over to me as likeable, especially Rady's and the grandfather's, and any negative character traits didn't come over as over the top like can be the case in Hallmark Christmas films. Actually cared for these characters, not the case with a lot of recently seen Christmas films.

In conclusion, very well done and even very good. One of the best 2020 Hallmark Christmas films easily and one of the few highly recommended. 8/10.
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More great Christmas movie
Jackbv1239 November 2020
This movie is about half romance and half family nostalgia. There are a couple of really touching moments regarding family. The story is fairly fresh, however there isn't a lot of tension, unless you're the violinist worried she'll never get her hand completely back.

The female lead. Lucia Micarelli, only has a few acting credits because she is a very talented violinist. We get to see and hear some amazing stretches of violin. When I came into this movie, I feared the movie would suffer from lack of acting ability by her. Quite the contrary. Micarelli is charming and natural. She carries off her slightly shy but still friendly character quite well. Her chemistry with Michael Rady is quiet but obvious.

As I mentioned, there are family themes running through the movie. Kate remembers her childhood. Her grandfather remembers his late wife. There is a very tender scene with grandpa remembering Kate playing violin for her family including her grandmother. Patrick expresses many thoughts about his mother's welfare even saying that one of his desires in life is to be with her. (In a healthy way.)

Micarelli not only plays numerous times on the violin, but she also sings a song. She has a nice voice even if she doesn't display the range shown by fulltime vocalists. Even so, watching her sing, you can tell that this is a woman in love with music.

We get what we'd expect from a Hallmark movie, with no great surprises.
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This was well done!
jagfannn11 November 2020
I was a little worried that a musician as the female lead would make this a move that's a little hard to watch, but Lucia Micarelli did a wonderful job. If the whole violin thing doesn't work out for her, I believe she's set as an actress.

The casting of Lucia with Michael Rady was a stroke of genius, they were great together, completely believable as one of those couples that are perfect for each other. The attraction between the leads however, was a shy and timid type. I would have enjoyed it if the story would have given their romance a little more growing passion, as they made some pretty significant decisions in their lives for it.

We were treated to several looks at Micarelli's playing and from the very first note you can tell she is magnificent. With looks into both characters sweet and loving families and a little humor from a young cousin, this was a real pleasure to watch.
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The Christmas Bow
JoBloTheMovieCritic29 November 2020
5/10 - romance between a violin player and a PT is perfectly pleasant
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Finally someone who can play an instrument!
hallmarkmov21 May 2021
Every time there is a musical theme or instrument, I always hope they can at least somewhat act like they are playing it - this movie was a great surprise! The lead actress is clearly a violinist, very talented! I hope she's in more movies. Loved the cast and the story. Finally a hallmark movie with an Asian lead, beautiful story, followed the comforting hallmark template, and leaves you with all the Christmas feels.
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ISmellSnow10 November 2020
This movie will probably be in my top 5 of the year. Lucia is so talented and it was a great idea to pair her with Michael. I was laughing, crying, and cheering them on the whole time. Amazing job, Hallmark.
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The best of this year's crop
Tug-327 December 2020
With a lot of time at home during the 2020 holiday season, my wife and I have watched nearly all of this year's Hallmark Christmas movies. In our experience, the ones that involve music can be cringe-inducing, so we were tempted to skip this one.

"The Christmas Bow" ended up being a terrific surprise, thanks mostly to Lucia Micarelli, whose considerable, multifaceted talents are on full display. Her character is given a believable backstory, and she plays her with quiet reserve and empathy. The director gives her some great moments to display her musical talent, and wisely frames the shots to show us that yes, she really is playing that amazing music!

All of the main cast is great in this, playing relatable characters whose motivations make sense. One scene in particular, with the main character's grandmother suffering from dementia, stands out for its sensitivity. It's a scene that ties the plot together and gives it much more weight than the usual Hallmark fare.

With this one, you can just tell that the creative team cared about the story. It almost feels like they wanted to give Lucia Micarelli a film worthy of her talent.
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Not just a cut above, but leaps and bounds above.
rebekahrox12 November 2020
Wow! This one was great! How did that happen? Two attractive and appealing characters played by two attractive and appealing actors who did a wonderful job. The acting, particularly on the part of musician, not actress, Lucia Micarelli, was so so good. I hope she continues to add "actress" to her impressive musical resume. The chemistry between the two leads was strong. I loved that she did not have the cookie cutter "Beauty Queen" looks, but was appealing in her own unique way. She well matched with Michael Rady, who is handsome, but in a "normal guy" kind of way. He's one of my favorites.

The story was excellent and avoided the Hallmark tedious and corny set pieces that their Christmas movies are known for. The introduction of a woman bravely struggling with a largely unknown disease which rendered her dependent on a wheelchair and grandmother with Alzheimer's was laudable and affecting. The fact that they did not milk this for cheap tears is a wonder. Along with Kate's brave fight to regain 100% of her violin skills after her accident it really made this movie both interesting and moving.

And just for the star on top of the Tree, we had the wonderful music. You made a wonderful movie, Hallmark. Was that really so hard?
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Nice surprise
rebecca-gzym12 November 2020
Lucia Micarelli was a beautiful, wonderful surprise! Her acting was natural and she was so easy to watch. Plus her violin playing is stellar of course. She really carried this movie well. It was a typical Hallmark movie plot, and I enjoy poking fun at that fact, but I might actually have a favorite now!
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KUDOS to Hallmark for this movie, Wonderful feel good movie
bmiller5911 December 2020
I've departed from my usual review routine. I'm reviewing The Christmas Bow with 45-minutes left in it. I loved it from the beginning when Lucia was auditioning for a spot in an orchestra. I know what she was going thru, I've auditioned numerous times for a spot much like her.

Not knowing it as I listened to her play the violin, I was amazed at her technique and beautiful sound...thinking she was going thru the movements and someone else playing, then I read about her upbringing in music. BRAVO!

The movie was tender and enjoyable, there was so much chemistry between everyone involved, and we were entertained by a true virtuoso. It was great to see James Saito in a Hallmark move, his additions in movies are always noticeable.

OH YEA, a Hallmark movie filmed in the U.S.A., awesome.
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glenno-4245325 November 2020
There are several really touching moments in this movie. The stars genuinely connect and it certainly helps that the female lead is a real violin virtuoso.

It is a heartwarming movie with likable characters. The second best 2020 Hallmark movie I have seen so far this year. (The best so far is One Royal Holiday.)
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Amazing Musicial Representation
veeberston10 November 2020
I am a musician, and this is the first Hallmark movie to feature absolutely amazing and correct musical representation. Lucia is a beautiful musician, and I'm so happy to see her represented in this movie. The movie is so sad, beautiful, funny, and comforting. I loved the characters and the story line.
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Lovely all around.
savethewatchmaker15 November 2020
This movie kept surprising me with how sweet it was. It starts off as a run-of-the-mill story end ends up chock full of tender moments, family bonding, and a romance full of maturity and development. Good acting is at work here, but the script is doing its job in spades too; several moments can leave you a bit teary-eyed if you let yourself get sucked into the movie. Another reviewer mentions the word "nostalgia," which feels very apt for the movie. It leaves you thinking fondly of Christmasses of the past but also looking forward to how they can impact Christmasses still to come.

Particularly nice in the movie is that every character has a struggle, but at no point does the story feel crowded with too many plot points. The depth of each character adds great levels of realism to the film. At one point while watching, I commented to my friend that it was refreshing to see a mother different from Hallmark's usual brand of bubbly, happily married, magazine-ready mothers. My friend then pointed out that the entire film felt like a turning point for Hallmark (for the better) in that they're stepping out of the mold a little bit of surface level characters and cookie cutter plots (obviously this can't apply to all movies, but baby steps, and these baby steps have to be acknowledged and commended). This movie was festive, but also rooted in realism, which elevated it substantially. The characters are realistic and they're facing realistic problems.

Also a plus is that Lucia Micarelli really is a violinist rather than just an actor pretending to be one. You can see the authenticity in how she plays, the concentration on her face, the expertise in her movements. The portions of the movie where she plays the violin were almost my favorites; just to watch her do so was incredibly enjoyable. It felt as if she was more comfortable in the role of violinist than actress (she struggled to develop good chemistry with not just her love interest, but her family members as well), but it didn't detract significantly from the movie.
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Music is real and believable
timshuwy11 November 2020
Sometimes, movies with or about musicians are hard to watch. The actor or actress is only pretending while the real performer is hidden. This is not the case in this movie. While the movie is not perfect, it has some good moments and is very watchable.
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I really liked this movie
mbiv10 November 2020
If you only get to watch one Hallmark movie this year, this would be a good choice. The characters seem more real than usual, helped in no small part by the fact that the lead actress really IS a world-class violinist who really DID suffer a potentially career-ending hand injury. You can see her on YouTube, she's big-time. The scene with her grandmother singing also really happened to her, with her father. Rady, of course, never disappoints as the slightly wounded good guy. Hallmark is going all in on mixed race couples this year, and the mixed race actress playing a girl in a mixed race relationship who's parents AND grandparents are also mixed race seems a little far-fetched, but that's ok. There are some wonderful moments involving all of them, and their races are entirely irrelevant. All in all, best one of 2020 so far.
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Solid performances and more complex than the usual
tashinaknight3 January 2021
While this is not one of my favorites, and I wouldn't watch it again, this is one of the better effort o the year for Hallmark. The characters were complex and the script was well done. I kept wondering if she was suppose to be adopted since she didn't look remotely to be the same ethnicity as her parents/grandparent. Hallmark has a ways to go on their inevitability for this sort of thing.
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Best Hallmark Christmas movie of 2020 by far!
coachlynn10 November 2020
Wow! I know there are more to come, but I can't imagine any of them being better than this one!!! I have been watching most of the new ones for escapism at this difficult time, but this elevates way beyond that! #1 The music.Lucia Micarelli is a gifted musician, and they actually give her a real chance to shine here #2 The cast: Michael Rady never disappoints, he is way above average for Hallmark leading men (watch his eyes). Lucia is a lovely natural actress, and I totally believed in their relationship. And the rest of the cast is wonderful too. #3 Of course, the plot is predictable, but there are far fewer cutesy touches than usual. A Christmas train instead of a tree lighting ceremony (I am sooo tired of those), a touching moment in the middle that brought me to real tears, a sense of engagement with and caring for the characters, a kiss earlier in the movie where it was appropriate instead of forcing us to wait (artifically) for the obligatory kiss at the end, etc. I am a true movie lover, watch many kinds from the lighter fare to the deepest drama, and I adjust my expectations accordingly. But little adjustment needed here, this film ranks in my top few favorite Hallmark Christmas movies since the Hall of Fame days, and I actually can't wait to see it again! (I have feeling it will be hard for me to go back to the plastic artificiality of the average Hallmark movie now, but I can live with that.)
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The music is nice.
kermis-8754212 September 2021
If you suffer from insomnia, watching this movie might possibly be the cure. It's very quiet and slow moving. Music was nice.
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BEST HALLMARK MOVIE YET! (Next to Princess for Christmas)
LuLuBelleJ15 November 2020
BEST HALLMARK MOVIE YET! (Next to Princess for Christmas) Wow. What can I say, GREAT acting from Michael Rady (one of my favorite additions to Hallmark lineups), and Amazing talent from Lucia Micarelli! As a former violist, it was wonderful to see Lucia's skills shine through, -as opposed to watching someone fake it (painful to see....). I would LOVE to see a SEQUEL to this movie! I don't like when Hallmark tries soooo hard to be racially "inclusive". BOTH Katie's (Lucia's) parents *and grandparents were biracial couples in this, and while I have no problem at all with that, I did think in *this case it was it was overdoing it for the "inclusive" card. Other than that, you had your sappy dialog amongst the cast (with the exception of the two leads), and the Michael and Lucia MORE than made up for it!! NO NEAR-MISS KISS HERE!!!! YAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! Just a sweet, soft, first kiss that was tastefully done, and more than family friendly (if you have kids). For Hallmark, this will now be tied for first place with A Princess for Christmas. (sorry not sorry... I Looooove young Sam Heughan). Keep bringing NEW, FRESH TALENT #Hallmark !! You CAN do it!!!
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Very slow
BA-996428 November 2020
I found this movie to move at a glacier's pace. Hallmark could have done much better with supporting actors as well. Make them more interesting and put some fun into the movie. The young nephew had most of the comedy lines a shame the others could be written some as well.

Wouldn't watch this again
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Loved it
txharrington17 November 2020
Loved the music, story, acting. So sweet and perfectly hallmark!!!!
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So boring. So bad.
christinekilner9 December 2021
Where to start? This has to be the worst Hallmark movie we've ever seen. Every actor lacked any acting ability whatsoever. Even Michael Rady who is usually good... must have not tried at all so the rest wouldn't seem so bad. The lead actress seemed on the verge of sleep in every scene.

The writing was cringy and predictable (even for Hallmark). If we hadn't been too busy laughing at how bad it was, we would have turned the movie off immediately. From talking to photos of his dead wife in an album (do people actually do this in real life, ever?), to talking to her violin, to being ridiculously excited about nothing, this movie kept us entertained, but not in the way they were hoping it would.

I really can't emphasize enough how truly awful this movie was.
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amycpooh-0602729 November 2020
This movie was such a pleasant surprise for the 2020 Hallmark lineup (I've watched this movie 5 times already!). You can definitely see the talent that Lucia has whenever she played the violin - what a special treat to hear her play! And Michael Rady - there is a reason why he is one of my favourite Hallmark leading men. If I could find someone who looked at me like he does to Lucia's character...💖. You can tell both leads have total chemistry , and it's reflective in their performance!

And Gavin - what a sweetheart! You can't help but fall in love with his character! AND, he definitely has the best lines!

A must watch movie for this Christmas season!
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