ELL’s pick of the top films for the festive season

The Muppets Christmas Carol. Pic: Eustace Dauger

The Muppets Christmas Carol. Pic: Eustace Dauger

‘Tis the season to lounge around in cosy socks and sweatpants with a steaming mug of hot chocolate (marshmallows and cinnamon on top, of course) and watch endless amounts of Christmassy films! Indulge in the best time of the year with ELL’s Top 10 Christmas Films.

1. The Holiday

Start your Christmas movie marathon with a good old-fashioned rom com. Join Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as they switch homes across the Atlantic Oceans to get away from heartbreak during the festive season. Bonus: perpetually-awkward funny man, Jack Black. Bonus bonus: the impossibly handsome Jude Law.

2. Elf

Will Ferrell dons pointy shoes made for Santa’s 3-foot tall helpers in Elf, the 2003 Christmas comedy. He plays Buddy, an orphan who was unwittingly taken to the North Pole and raised by Papa Elf. Buddy makes his way to New York to look for his real father (who’s on the naughty list) and find out where he truly belongs.

3. Love Actually

Love Actually. Pic: Nehuén Mingote Kisler

Love Actually. Pic: Nehuén Mingote Kisler

This rom-com follows ten people in their quests for love, acceptance, and meaningfulness over the Christmas season. Settle in for a lovely evening of tears and laughter with a massive all-star cast that includes Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson and Claudia Schiffer.

4. Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer: The Movie

If your kids wonder about Rudolph’s backstory, sit down with them and enjoy this classic. As a young reindeer, Rudolph’s abnormally shiny, red nose made him the laughing stock of school, especially by his mean, arrogant cousin, Arrow. Watch as Rudolph finds and proves himself to his peers, his family, his love interest and most of all, to himself.

5. It’s A Wonderful Life

Cuddle up with a classic. Produced and directed by Frank Capra in 1946, It’s A Wonderful Life follows the life of George Bailey, played by James Stewart, a man who gave up his dreams to help others. Bailey’s attempted suicide prompts the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, played by Henry Travers, who shows him all the difference he made in his community of Bedford Falls.

6. Home Alone Series

Home Alone. Pic: s_herman

Home Alone. Pic: s_herman

Watch Macaulay Culkin when he was still a cute, annoying kid getting up to all kinds of shenanigans after being mistakenly left behind by his family when they set off for Paris on a Christmas holiday. The movie received was hugely successful, spawning four sequels and inspiring pranksters everywhere. And we’re pretty sure this is where Ashton Kutcher’s idea for Punk’d came from.

7. The Snowman

The Snowman started as a children’s picture book by English author Raymond Briggs in 1978. The beloved story was adapted into an animated film almost 10 years later, which did so well it was nominated for an Academy Award and has since become an annual event. Time to get the hot chocolate going, it’s going to be sweet evening.

8. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

The sassiest, greenest grouch makes his annual appearance on our TV screens and in our hearts with his hatred for tinsel, baubles, mistletoe and holly – and Whoville. Jim Carrey brings Dr Seuss’ Grinch to life and even though most of us know the story well, it makes our hearts grow bigger (ouch) to watch the Grinch warm up to Christmas.

9. The Muppets Christmas Carol

The Muppets’ take on the Charles Dickens’ classic is great for a family night in. It’s the fourth in a series of live-action musical films featuring the Muppets, with Michael Caine playing Ebenezer Scrooge. Sing along with the Muppets as they try to instil some Christmas spirit into Scrooge’s cold heart and realise there’s more to life than that dollar dollar bill.

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas. Pic: Andy Zeige

The Nightmare Before Christmas. Pic: Andy Zeige

Finally, one of Tim Burton’s better films – The Nightmare Before Christmas! Do we watch it at Halloween? Do we watch it at Christmas? Does it matter? It’s an award-winning film with stop-motion animation that doesn’t fail to wow and features a whole host of strange and wonderful characters, along with great songs. Too much praise? Take it up with Sandy Claws.

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