Fodder’s Christmas movie marathon

December 20, 2021

Christmas is definitely the most wonderful time of the year! I feel completely robbed each year because we don’t have snow in Melbourne (we can have four seasons in one day but still no snow!! Rude!). Anyway, let’s all return to some beautiful Christmas classics (and newbies) to enjoy this holiday season.

Klaus (2019)

Available on Netflix

Written by Zoe Jayne

Each Christmas leaves me a little more cynical. The moment I realised Santa wasn’t real it was a downhill slope, and each year I tried a little less to hold onto the *Christmas spirit* every movie and TV special likes to talk about. I began believing the cynic’s hype—that it was just an idea manufactured by advertising companies to get us to spread our money as a way of spreading happiness (emphasis on the sarcasm). 

But last year I watched Klaus for the first time, and I realised it might not be such a lie. This new Christmas classic follows a postman named Jesper, who is sent to work in a frozen town full of residents who hate each other. There he meets a lonely toymaker with a heart of gold named Klaus, and together they try to bring some joy to the children in the town. 

Perhaps most of what we understand of Christmas is just dressed-up capitalism with some red and green sparkles thrown on top, but that doesn’t mean genuine love and kindness isn’t at the heart of it. If you find yourself more of a Christmas grinch than an elf, check out Klaus, and see if it can’t convert you, even just a tiny bit. The animation alone is enough reason to give it a chance.

The Holiday (2006)

Available on Stan

Written by Emma Xerri

At around this time every year I return to The Holiday once, twice, maybe three times, to relive the warmth and love it brings me. I fantasise about spending Christmas in a cosy cottage in the Cotswolds, and I dream that Jude Law’s character will unexpectedly show up on my doorstep to talk to me about literature—after all, his character is the reason I’m majoring in English… 

This movie has everything you want in a Christmas film: female leads hung up on terrible ex-boyfriends, sensitive male leads, the ‘friends to lovers’ trope, main characters who are all in amazing (somewhat unrealistic) careers and of course, the beautiful setting of England in the holidays.

So, Santa, for Christmas this year, I’d like Jude Law and Jack Black wrapped up in a bow under the tree please.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Available on AppleTV

Written by Rhea Chatterji

The ‘season of good cheer’ is soon to draw near, but if it’s difficult to shake those seasonal blues, A Charlie Brown Christmas is for you.

Explore the true meaning of the holiday, obscured under the cloak of commercialism. Beneath the lights, gifts and baubles, there’s an earnest and powerful reminder to remain hopeful and optimistic because everything inevitably works itself out.

In this 30-minute special, the ever-melancholy Charlie Brown bemoans the Christmas season, feeling at odds with the festivities around him. Pangs of loneliness are heightened at this time of year, but there’s an element of reassurance for the audience in knowing that we’re not alone in this state of despondency. A little boy shows us that love and perseverance are all you need to grasp the true spirit of Christmas. So, if you’re snuggling up with a cup of cocoa by yourself or watching with friends, this comedic, feel-good tale will resonate with all.

Tangerine (2015)

Available on AppleTV and to rent on YouTube

Written by Daniel Snowden

Tangerine (2015) is not your typical gingerbread and holly themed cookie-cutter Christmas movie. Written and directed by Sean Baker (StarletThe Florida Project), Tangerine follows a day in the life of a transgender sex-worker in L.A. who is trying to track down her unfaithful boyfriend. Tangerine combines a great ensemble cast with a simple plot, which both gleefully and grittily unravels into chaos, hilarity, discomfort, and surprising heart. Seemingly, this is only a Christmas movie because it takes place on Christmas Eve. There is no snow or jolliness, and Christmas lights are replaced with neon signs, police sirens and a ‘tangerine-yellow’ filtering to every daylight shot. And yet, at Tangerine’s core is a palpable and entirely unique narrative about loneliness and connection—the tried-and-true themes of any good Christmas movie. Plus, Tangerine was shot entirely on an iPhone 5, and still looks gorgeous! So, if you’re looking for a more niche and atypical Christmas movie to break away from the monotony these holidays, give Tangerine a watch. 

Last Holiday (2006)

Available on AppleTV and to rent on YouTube

Written by Sarah Jackson

Looking for a Christmassy romance but are a bit sick of Love Actually? Maybe Last Holiday is the one for you. Hard working Georgia Bird (Queen Latifah) dreams of becoming a chef and marrying her crush (LL Cool J). But just when things start coming together, she is told that she has an inoperable brain tumor. Georgia cashes in her savings and goes on one last holiday. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and then pledge to live every day like it is your last.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Available to rent on YouTube

Written by Sarah Jackson

An old one I know, but this has been a Christmas must-watch in my household since its release. It’s funny, crass, Christmassy, and sadly relatable (think dad jokes, dry Christmas turkey and grandma gifts). Clark Griswold is trying to host the perfect Christmas for his teenage children, arguing in-laws and his wife’s white trash cousin Eddy. Everything that could possibly go wrong, spectacularly goes wrong. There are too many quotable moments (“have you checked the shitters?”) and it is worth the watch just to hear Mavis Staples sing the theme song.

Krampus (2015)

Available to rent on YouTube

Written by Sarah Jackson

Enough already with the sentimental Christmas schmaltz. Let’s get something creepy on the box. Ever wondered what happens to the naughty children and those sour pusses who hate Christmas? Meet Krampus, the horned demon from Alpine folklore. Max Engles believes in Santa and is full of Christmas spirit, but aside from Aunt Dorothy, the rest of the family are totally jaded and resent the whole festive season. After teasing Max and taking the joy out of the celebrations, the Engles family find themselves terrorised by the elemental demon. Will they live to celebrate another Christmas? If you’re not a fan of Christmas, then Krampus is coming for you and won’t give up. Super gory scares for the festive season. 

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Available on Stan

Written by Christina Savopoulos

Every December my Christmas movie list only extends, even the cheesy Netflix Christmas movies can get me into the Christmas spirit! But the one movie that has remained at the top of the list is Christmas with the Kranks. 

Nora and Luther Krank’s daughter is travelling for the holiday, so it is their first Christmas without her. Usually, they’re icons in their neighbourhood—hosting an extravagant Christmas Eve party, giving the best presents, and decorating their house. However, when they decide to skip Christmas and go on a cruise instead, their nosy and righteous neighbours take it upon themselves to stop them. Jamie Lee Curtis may be the ‘queen of horror’, but she dominates Christmas in this film. And of course, between this film and the Santa Clause movies, Tim Allen *is* Christmas. There are so many hilarious moments in Christmas with the Kranks, so if you haven’t seen it, give yourself a gift this Christmas by watching this classic!

Honourable Mentions:

Elf (2003) – Available on Netflix

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – Available on Disney+

Home Alone (1990) – Available on Disney+

Enjoy these films before December is over! Although, I always encourage watching Christmas movies all year round. Merry Christmas!