Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Noir

As we close in on our annual celebration of “the day the angels sang,” I am lining up a bevy of films to keep me from needing insulin injections, as would be the case with consumption of normal cinematic holiday fare.

Here are the Christmas movies I recommend to ward off hyperglycemia:

Though not really a Christmas film, The Victors certainly has the most unforgettable juxtaposition of a grim scene with a traditional carol.  It takes place during World War II and is based on an actual execution of an American deserter.  You can watch the 1963 British anti-war film on YouTube.  You will know what I mean as soon as you hear Frank Sinatra’s voice.

There is a ton on the Internet about this year being the hundredth anniversary of the Christmas Truce of World War I.  A great movie that covers that territory is Joyeux Noel.  Made in 2005, of the three films here, this one is the most heartwarming.  But it does take place during a war that killed millions, so it won’t take you too far from reality.

And then there is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, The Lion in Winter.  A splendid cast, a fabulous script, and a portrayal of a family holiday gathering that will make your family look benign, not matter how dysfunctional you think you are. 

These choices, I admit, are quirky, but you can eat candy with impunity while you watch them.

Happy Christmastide!

Annamaria Alfieri


  1. As the only person in America who does not like "It's A Wonderful Life," I thank you deeply for this list.

    1. Steph, there are at least four of us--including my daughter and son-in-law. Perhaps their four kids too, but I doubt they have let the children see the film. The oldest is 16 so I can't answer for sure about her, but the others are young enough to still be protected against things that might poison their bloodstreams with treacle.

  2. One Christmas I was all set to move beyond "A Christmas Carol" and read Dickens' other Christmas books. Same problem: Treacle everywhere!

  3. Am I the only person in the world who has never seen It's A Wonderful Life?