If there's one thing we've learned throughout the years, it's that it just isn't Christmas until we've watched a slew of movies putting us in the mood. Nobody puts us in the mood quite like the Brits do. It makes sense, considering the king of the Christmas story, Charles Dickens, is British too. Don't believe us when we say the British do it better? Take a look:
Not the only Dickens adaptations on this list, this musical adaptation has the distinction of toting a Golden Globe. Albert Finney won the statue for his turn as the titular Ebenezor Scrooge in this film that your kids will probably love.
Love Actually (2003)
Every British actor, almost ever, is in this movie: Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman, The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln, and even The Maze Runner's Thomas Brodie-Sangster. The film follows eight different couples as they all work out their love lives during the Christmas season. It's so good that you'll love it without questioning its morality (we're looking at you, Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln). It's simply not the holiday season until you've watched this movie at least once. We recommend weekly viewings.
The Holly and the Ivy (1952)
This underrated classic, named for the traditional British Christmas carol and adapted from the Wynyard Browne play, has more to offer than meets the eye. A clergyman who neglected his children has his issues come to the surface during Christmas. The film poses questions about life and the meaning of the holiday in a way that's notedly part Chekhov and part comedy of manners.
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
We're not really into the idea of 'spirit animals,' but if we had one, it would take the form of Bridget Jones. Though this movie isn't technically a holiday movie, the film's premise is fixed on Bridget's New Years' resolution, so it'll help you gear up for that. Plus, Colin Firth wears an ugly Christmas sweater AND plays Mark Darcy, in a nod to his Mr. Darcy days of Pride and Prejudice (the film is a modern adaptation of the Austen novel). It's hilarious and will be your best friend anytime you feel lonely this holiday season. Trust us.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Santa's clumsy son tries to save one girl's Christmas after realizing his father failed to deliver her gift. Arthur Claus sets off on his mission with his grandfather, a rebellious elf, and a team of reindeer in this funny and enjoyable movie. It's a Golden Globe nominated fresh take on the holiday premise, thanks to its high-tech Santa Claus.
An enormous bag of money falls into the hands of a little boy just days before England converts to the Euro (what?). The Euro part might sound a bit strange, but the Danny Boyle-directed film works on multiple levels. It's enjoyable for kids and adults alike. It'll leave you feeling great about mankind, and that's in the spirit of Christmas after all, isn't it?
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
If your kids didn't love the Albert Finney Dickens adaptation, there's always this version, with Michael Caine playing Scrooge along with The Muppets. Kermit the Frog plays Scrooge's business partner, Bob Cratchit. It may not be the best version of the story, but it'll make you laugh and it'll warm your heart. It's also a great way to introduce kids to the classic Dickens tale!
The Holiday (2006)
The Holiday is the sort of movie that's so good, it's perfectly acceptable to watch all year long. At least, we do. Kate Winslet's performance as a woman with a mean case of unrequited love gives us all the feels. She switches houses with unlucky-in-love Cameron Diaz, and along come Jack Black and Jude Law to sweep the ladies (and the viewers) off their feet. Pour a glass (or a bottle) of wine, and enjoy this movie, whether it's the holiday season or not.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
The eye-catching engagement ring Ben Affleck bought for Jennifer Lopez has gone up for sale, a year after the couple once known as 'Bennifer' called off their romance.
The 6.1-carat pink diamond ring has been "re-acquired" by Harry Winston, according to Carol Brodie, a spokesperson for the upscale New York City jeweler.
Brodie confirms that the ring is for sale, but the price is available only to "serious buyers."
Lopez reportedly returned the $1.2 million solitaire to Affleck--who bought the ring in 2002--when they split at the beginning of last year.
Lopez went on to marry salsa star Marc Anthony in June, while Affleck is enjoying a romance with his Daredevil co-star Jennifer Garner.
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