My Pick Of Movies On TV This Christmas

I've been browsing through the huge array of films in the Christmas Radio Times. Here are my favourites over the holiday period.

Mark Kermode's film blog.

Related Posts on Kermode Uncut

Films on TV this Christmas 2011

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by Husein Juzar

    on 27 Dec 2012 08:32

    Amazing and interesting video's I have never seen before.

    Showcase your talents Online, Upload videos online

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by Aaryk Noctivagus

    on 23 Dec 2012 18:02

    I adore Toby Jones and I think he is good in everything. I will be watching on Boxing Day, but I am troubled by 'The Girl'... troubled that it may focus on revisionist sensationalism rather than being more balanced drama. I have doubts about the source material (which is not mainly Tippi Hedren as far as I know but Donald Spoto), and those other than Ms. Hedren who knew the director have a very different take on the events. The first AD on 'The Birds' Hilton Green is on record about this film, saying, among other things: "I take offence at the portrayal of Hitchcock. I was with him a long time, and I was very close to Hitch and I never ever saw him as the way they portrayed him. When he came on the set, and blurted out and raised his voice, that never happened." (Quoted from the 'Save Hitchcock' website). I'd link to that website here, but I do not know if links are permitted - it seems a lot of Hitchcock's remaining associates and leading ladies are questioning the revising of Hitchcock's character, and Spoto is not an unquestioned source elsewhere - certain of Spoto's details are corrected authoritatively in the wonderful biography on Hitchcock by Patrick McGilligan. So confidence is not high for me regarding 'The Girl'.

    'Save Hitchcock' among the many quotes makes many good points. If I might quote the end of their article, "According to the BBC drama, Hitchcock punished Tippi for rejecting an alleged kiss in the car, by harming her with broken glass during filming of the telephone booth scene and enjoyed torturing her in the famous attic scene by throwing live birds at her. When questioned wardrobe supervisor Rita Riggs, who was interviewed for the TV drama, dismissed these claims, 'I really don't buy that and I'm sorry the BBC has taken that line. I was on set all the time. . .And I have nothing but kind words to say about Mr. Hitchcock.' Virginia Darcy, Tippi's hairdresser, who wasn't interviewed for the drama, agrees. 'That was the prop man's fault because he didn't have unbreakable glass. Mr. Hitchcock didn't have anything to do with it. Why would he endanger his lead actress on a $3million film so that she's deformed for the rest of the movie?'"

    I hope that those who, like me, will be watching 'The Girl' on TV, might not unquestioningly swallow all they see on screen. I know biopics are not documentaries and entertainment always twists history for its own dramatic reasons, but this does fuel the... *he makes these sort of films so he must be this sort of guy* fantasy that follows living actors and directors as much as it does dead ones. The fact of the matter is that telling stories about criminals and psychopaths does not mean the story-teller HAS to be one himself.

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by I_am_I

    on 20 Dec 2012 21:35

    Mark the best Carry On film was 'Carry on Screaming'. Curvy Fenella Fielding on fire - "Do you mind if I smoke?" Priceless.

    As for 'Lord of the Rings', funnily enough I'm two-thirds of the way through the trilogy for the umpteenth time on DVD (I don't bother watching films on TV at any time of year, because they are frequently censored and they have annoying ads throughout). The LOTR trilogy really is a cinematic gem. And no, 2hrs 50mins isn't too long. When people moan about a film's length, what they really mean is they weren't interested in the story or the characters. If you are genuinely engaged by a film, its plot, its characters, then its length really is irrelevant, no matter how long it is.

    Oh, and I recently watched 'Die Hard' again on DVD (wouldn't 'Die Hard Again' make a good sequel title?). Still works on so many levels. It's actually a satire: it satirises the police, the FBI (the two agents both called Johnson - "It's Agent Johnson...no, the other one"); it satirises the terrorists; it satirises the hero in fact; it satirises the media (the fantastically odious reporter - "Did you get that?" he says to the camera as he's punched on the nose by Holly McClane at the end). It's a stunning piece of work. What I don't understand is John McClane is the original anti-hero. He's just at the wrong place at the wrong time. So how can you be an anti-hero and in the wrong place at the wrong time in 3 more films? The sequels are redundant; I never liked them.

    Anyhoo, happy holidays...or not, if you're so inclined.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by jonimakesails

    on 20 Dec 2012 21:10

    Great to see you giving Duncan Jones' Moon a mention. I can't think of another film I've loved more in the last few years.
    Since first watching Moon I've been recommending it to virtually everyone I know, meet or happen to pass in the street.
    Describing the plot can be a little difficult, usually consisting of little more than the
    following.
    "Well there's this guy and he's mining stuff on the moon. Then a thing happens but sorry I can't tell you anything more without spoilers."
    Proper sci-fi with a great story that deals in ideas instead of explosions and uses of real models and sets instead of the ubiquitous CGI.
    For me models still bring the authenticity of weight and volume to the screen that CGI despite advances still doesn't quite manage tricking the brain into believing.

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by BoitnottMK

    on 20 Dec 2012 19:53

    Dr. Kermode,

    Here in the States, I am sure the movie selection will be different and mostly filled with terrible Hallmark movies and terrible Christmas movies from other channels as well (Four Christmases was on the other night, and was unspeakably bad.). In related news, have you seen they are releasing a sequel of A Christmas Story? If you get a chance, look it up and resist every urge to throw up shortly after.

    I am disappointed that I wont get the great impression of Hitchcock you were referring to. I heard the Hopkins one was disappointing. I read that it focused way too much on Hitchcocks marriage and not enough on the movie Psycho.

    Finally, glad to hear for your love of the movie "Moon." Probably one of my favorite movies in recent memory. Wonderfully simple and right at the 1:30 mark that most movies should follow. The whimsical, chilling, and slightly depressing atmosphere of the movie was very entertaining and engaging. Glad to hear you speak of it in such high regard.

    Happy Holidays, and I am looking forward to the official Top and Bottom Ten of the year.

    - Michael in the US

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by Chris_Page

    on 20 Dec 2012 15:40

    I'll definitely have to see Moon, The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (I've been bereft since The Killing finished), Nativity! and The Girl.

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by John Tomkins

    on 20 Dec 2012 13:56

    What no 'Great Escape'...?

    Oh well - never mind, I see FILM4 has a late nigh screening of 'Sexy Beast' on the 31st - talk about having a Happy 'sweary' New Year.

    My best thought and wishes for Christmas & the New Year to Jason Isaacs (and of course you & yours Mark)

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by PJ Hughes

    on 20 Dec 2012 13:04

    Slightly off topic, but just wondering: What's happened to the Film Club?

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by London_Imp

    on 20 Dec 2012 12:37

    Just to note that Kermode Film Club favourite, Slade in Flame is on BBC 4 tomorrow night at 10.50pm as part of Slade Night! Get Down and Get With It!

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by Kevin Crighton

    on 20 Dec 2012 08:48

    Mark, regarding Twilight. I did give it a try. On my birthday. I hated it that much, I've stopped celebrating my birthday. The pain of the memory is too great.,

    Merry Christmas.

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