The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 21 December 2009

It Feels Like Christmas

Christmas traditions.

The Muppet Christmas Carol. Obviously. Best film version of the story; best film version of any Dickens novel. Not only does it follow the book surprisingly closely, by incorporating the descriptive text into Gonzo’s narration, you get bits of the novel left out of other adaptations. It’s devastatingly moving without ever being sentimental. The songs are glorious. The only flea in the ointment is that it is still impossible to get a DVD of the film, in widescreen, which hasn’t had 'When Love Is Gone' edited out. A crucial part of the story!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Okay, I can’t quite watch this every Christmas, but every other one, alternating with 'Gene Wilder And The Chocolate Factory' and 'The Wizard Of Oz'. ‘Chitty’ is, of course, a canonical James Bond film; produced by Cubby Broccoli, directed by Ken ‘Casino Royale’ Hughes, written by Roald ‘You Only Live Twice’ Dahl and Richard ‘most of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Bond movies’ Maibaum based on the novel by Ian Fleming, it stars Q and the villain is played by Goldfinger. Hell, even the title is a bit like 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang', the song from 'Thunderball'.

The Flint Street Nativity. A wonderful one-off play made by ITV, written by Tim Firth. It’s about a school nativity play, where the kids are played by adult actors, all giving career-best performances. It’s a brilliantly written piece, with so much detail, such well-drawn characters, with stories both heartbreaking and extremely funny and I can’t understand why they don’t repeat it every year. And Frank Skinner’s performance as a football-obsessed young boy played King Herod is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Particularly the bit where he has to climb the steps back up to his throne.

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