Friday, 23 December 2016

Five Days of Christmas Films | It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life is a weird Christmas film. I mean sure, the film starts and ends on Christmas Eve, but in all its an extremely dark film. It could be placed at any time of year and still be the same thing; a film following the trials and tribulations of a suicidal George Bailey (James Stewart). 

This - and Die Hard - are the only two films on this list that I didn't grow up with. I'm glad I didn't with this one, because man it's heavy. It's a Wonderful Life follows George's decision to commit suicide as he has always put others in the way of himself, and believes that because he feels that he's achieved nothing - i.e. not reaching his dreams - his family and the town of Bedford Falls would be better off without him. 

Prayers for George reach heaven, and an angel named Clarence Odbody is assigned to save George in order to earn his wings. Before Clarence can show George what Bedford Falls would have been without him, Clarence is shown flashbacks of George's life from 1919 to the present in order to help George. 

As depressing as its concept is - a man feeling so lonely when everyone has needed and still needs him that he believes killing himself will aid everyone - it's utterly heartwarming to watch. From the alluring love story between George and Mary (Donna Reed) to the all the lives that George ultimately touches whilst growing up. When I first watched two years ago on Christmas Eve, it made Christmas the next day just a little brighter than it already was. You appreciate not only your family, but what you are to your family. 

It's a Wonderful Life is such a classic, timeless piece of cinema. I'm glad that it makes the rounds every Christmas, even though it's a film that is needed throughout the year. 

As previously mentioned, the film lends itself to one of the most beautiful love stories in cinema, including one of my favourite sequences between a fictional couple, ever. Someone find me a George, please. 


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