Traditionally, ASFF goes all festive at this time of year, recommending you head out to catch a Christmas movie screening with a loved one and a cup of eggnog. That, of course, is a little difficult in 2020, with cinemas shutting due to lockdown. Luckily, the television channels are good to go when it comes to Yuletide films to help you get your Christmas on. Here are five to catch over the holiday:
It’s A Wonderful Life (Channel 4, December 24, 2.35pm)
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a chance to see Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as the suicidal George Bailey, whose guardian angel gives him a chance to look at what the world would be like if he hadn’t lived. Made in 1946, it’s an evergreen – even Capra apparently used to screen it every year for his family.
The Grinch (ITV2, December 23, 4.05pm)
No, not the weird version with Jim Carrey. This 2018 animation sees Benedict Cumberbatch voice The Grinch, the green-coloured grump who hates all things Christmas. Adapted from Dr. Seuss’ perennial children’s story How The Grinch Stole Christmas, it even has the mildly bizarre notion of singer Pharrell Williams as the narrator. Rashida Jones also stars.
Santa Claus: The Movie (ITV, December 24, 11am)
A Christmas staple if you grew up in the Eighties, Dudley Moore stars in this jolly tale that sees the legend of Santa Claus put in jeopardy by an unscrupulous toy manufacturer attempting to take over Christmas. David Huddleston plays Santa, while it’s impossible to ignore Burgess Meredith as an ancient elf.
Elf (Sky One, December 24, 6.15pm)
“Santa’s coming! Santa’s coming!” Is there any better way to usher in Christmas than listen to Will Ferrell, as the excitable elf Buddy, shout at top volume? Arguably one of the greatest modern-day Christmas movies, Jon Favreau’s 2003 festive comedy is easily Ferrell’s finest hour (yes, even better than Zoolander and Anchorman).
The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix, available now)
The follow-up to 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles, Chris Columbus directs this sequel starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus and his off-screen wife Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus. Darby Camp also returns as the pre-teen Kate, who is soon embroiled with the Claus’ on another adventure. Malcolm McDowell and Tyrese Gibson co-star.