Films watched and reviewed in December 2021

Festive favourites reigned supreme in December, as they normally do at this time of the year. In among the fake snow and sugary-sweet children there were a few non-holiday films: Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015) was a wonderful watch and a role played to perfection by Sally Field.

I also rewatched Mean Girls (2004), which remains highly watchable with its clever one-liners and relatable storyline, regardless of where you went to school.

FIRST WATCHES

Single All the Way (2021) – It’s formulaic but still feel-good and fun, and an LGBTQ+ Christmas film is very welcome. ★★★½
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) – Whimsical fun, and heavily inspired by Alice in Wonderland. ★★★
Click and Collect (2018) – Very fun, and while on the whole predictable, there are some scenes that will surprise you. ★★★★
Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015) – Sally Field is perfection. A spot-on casting choice. ★★★★
Father Christmas is Back (2021) – Everyone was miscast in this. Even the children. ★½
Last Christmas (2019) – There is a fair amount to enjoy with Last Christmas, but there’s also quite a lot that doesn’t land well. Golding makes a joyful, attractive supporting actor, and the story is one of hope and great personal growth. However, Clarke’s lead is just not likeable, even after all the personal growth. ★★½
Just Friends (2005) – Comes across quite dated now, but there are still some good laughs. ★★★
Top Hat (1935) – There are some lovely, witty exchanges and their dancing is perfectly balanced with Rogers’s perfect poise and Astaire’s spot-on lines. The plot follows a classic case of misunderstanding and is nothing particular special. The rating belongs to the dancing. ★★★½
Holiday Affair (1949) – I had a lot of fun with this sweet Christmas film starring Janet Leigh as a widow with a young son being wooed by two very different men. ★★★★
Office Christmas Party (2016) – There are several laugh-out-loud moments, but on the whole I found it a tad obnoxious and OTT. But hey, perhaps that’s because none of my work parties have been like this! ★★
Ode to Joy (2019)Ode to Joy is quite a refreshing romcom, although at the same time feels quite familiar. Martin Freeman does a great job. ★★★½
Krampus (2015) – I wasn’t sure what to expect of Krampus, as horror isn’t usually the genre I associate Christmas films with, but I had a lot of fun with this. ★★★★
Grumpy Christmas (2021)Grumpy Christmas provides a fun glimpse into a Mexican Christmas, but it feels very budget and the padre that the film focuses on is quite uncharismatic. ★★½
The Santa Clause (1994) – This is a Nineties film through and through, which is no bad thing. However, it doesn’t have as much charm as contemporaries such as Jingle All the Way. ★★★
Call Me Claus (2001) – The casting (Whoopi Goldberg and Nigel Hawthorne – plus Taylor Negron) is spot on, but it lacks magic. ★★★
Tokyo Godfathers (2003) – I wasn’t sure what to expect with Tokyo Godfathers based purely on the overview description, but wow, what a trip it is! ★★★½
Encanto (2021) – Colourful and imaginative, but there aren’t any standout songs and it drags after a while. ★★★½

REWATCHES

Deck the Halls (2006) – This is a light-hearted, fun film that feels very Nineties in its casting and delivery. ★★★½
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) – The fifth instalment in the film series is where things start to become political. As we head deeper into the darker parts of the wizarding world, the trio of leads continue to deliver. ★★★★
Mean Girls (2004) – One of the best High School films with witty one-liners, a relatable storyline and excellent casting. ★★★★
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)Spider-Man: Homecoming is a very fun film and Michael Keaton’s Vulture makes an excellent adversary, the effects of The Avengers continuing to make themselves known in Vulture’s motivations. ★★★★
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – Holland is clearly comfortable in his role and has a lot of fun while Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is an excellent addition to the story. ★★★★
Love Actually (2003) – This is still a Christmas favourite to rewatch – and there is a lot to enjoy, particularly with the Joanna Page/Martin Freeman double act and Colin First’s French romance – but wow, there are a lot of references to weight. ★★★★
Frozen (2013)Frozen continues to delight on repeated watches, largely down to the charismatic vocal performances, beautiful animation and catchy songs.. ★★★★
Frozen II (2019) – While I enjoy both, I prefer this film over its predecessor thanks to the epic ‘Into the Unknown’, the stunning animation and Olaf’s more sophisticated humour. ★★★★
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – Although Christmas doesn’t actually make an appearance until over an hour in, It’s a Wonderful Life is a charming, heart-warming film that is understandably a seasonal favourite. ★★★★
Paddington (2014) – A charming, heart-warming film with a top notch cast and buckets of humour. ★★★★★
Paddington 2 (2017) – A worthy follow up to its predecessor, Paddington 2 is packed full of the same whimsy, humour and charm. ★★★★

Total: 28

Since 01/01/21

First watches: 152
Rewatches: 56
Shorts: 10
Total: 218

One thought on “Films watched and reviewed in December 2021

Add yours

  1. You watched a ton of stuff, wow! It’s A Wonderful Life is a great one to watch every Christmas and I LOVE Paddington 2, such a perfect movie.

    Happy New Year, Claire!

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