We’re going to switch things up a little this week since basically everything on TV is on hiatus for the holidays. Movies, however, we have in abundance. This week, I asked the What’cha Reading crew two questions: what holiday movies are must-sees for you and your family during the holidays, and what new movies are you looking forward to seeing over the next week or so?
A Christmas Story is my family’s sole Christmas tradition. When I was growing up, we didn’t do traditional things like decorating the tree on a set day or having a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Instead, in the days before TBS aired it 24 hours a day on Christmas, we would pop the tape in the VCR and recite every single line along with the characters. I am proud to have passed this tradition down to my stepkids.
Love, Actually has been required Christmas Eve viewing in my house since I first got it on DVD, back when the stepkids were young enough that I made them cover their eyes when Martin Freeman and Joanna Page had their nude scenes. I know Nancy and Avery watch it every Christmas as well. Let’s face it, nothing says happy holidays like Billy Mack singing “Christmas Is All Around.”
Home Alone and its sequels have been on rotation in the Suffel house, presumably so the kids can learn to defeat burglars when their parents forget them at home. I’m pretty sure Chuck will deny that line of reasoning, but it seems pretty clear to me.
Bell Book and Candle (and its distressing lack of commas, Oxford or other) is one of Nancy’s favorite movies to watch this time of year—don’t give me that look, even though it’s about a witch it takes place during Christmas. It’s perfect holiday viewing for all the Wiccans and old-movie fans in your life.
Topping the list for me is Inside the Mind of Leonardo in 3D, which opened on 12/19. I saw this at a screening in October, loved it, and have been looking forward to its release ever since. Let’s be honest, I’m going to watch this one multiple times…to find out why, you can read my review here.
Night at the Museum 3 also opened 12/19. I love this series, but I’m probably going to bawl like a baby the minute Robin Williams hits the screen as Teddy Roosevelt, since this was his final movie. Still going, though.
Annie (another 12/19 release) was one of my favorites growing up for the simple reason that a ginger was the protagonist—growing up ginger sucks and we take our role models where we can find them. I own both the original version featuring Tim Curry and Carol Burnett and the Disney remake with Victor Garber, Audra McDonald, and Alan Cumming, and I cannot wait to take my goddaughter to see this one. I’ve loved Quvenzhané Wallis since I saw her in Beasts of the Southern Wild, and I can’t wait to see her as Annie.
Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods opens on Christmas Day with everyone and their brother starring in it. While Into the Woods isn’t my favorite Sondheim musical (that would be Assassins), any Sondheim is good Sondheim, particularly when it features Johnny Depp—I loved his turn in Sweeney Todd a few years ago, and have high hopes for him in the role of the Wolf.
Unbroken, the other film I’ve been dying to see, also opens Christmas Day. Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit) wrote the book that this film is based on, one that I read and loved. It’s one of those stories that seems too epic to be true, but Louis Zamperini really did live it all, and I can’t wait to see his life story played out on the big screen. I’m only sorry that he didn’t live long enough to see its release.
So, what are you going to be watching over the holidays? Let us know in the comments!