Film Review – A Boy Called Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas (PG)

Directed by: Gil Kenan

Starring: Henry Lawfull, Maggie Smith, Toby Jones

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Father Christmas gets a cute and magical backstory at the cinema just in time for the festive season in this adaptation of a book of the same name written by Matt Haig.

Once upon a time in Finland, a King (Jim Broadbent) seeks a group of volunteers to go in search of a village of magical Elves called Elfhelm in hopes of restoring hope to the villagers.

Lumberjack and widowed father Joel (Michiel Huisman) volunteers, leaving his 12-year-old son Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) with his crabby Aunt Carlotta (Kristen Wiig), who torments the young chap and eventually turfs him out of his own cottage.

Nikolas goes in search of his father and discovers Elfhelm, but not all the Elves are welcoming. The person who objects most to his presence is Mother Something (Sally Hawkins), still jaded and distrustful after past interactions with humans that were not so pleasant.

This Christmas film tackles some darker themes while capturing the magic and spirit of Christmas. While these darker moments are brief, presumably to not traumatise the youngest members of the audience, it does offer a point of difference from the other treacly festive films we get.

Hope is still a pleasant and very strong theme running throughout, and the story comes together quite nicely as the more traditional elements of Christmas we now recognise begin to fall into place.

Director Gil Kenan is able to capture a delightful and playful tone with his vision and colourful cast, though he is unable to maintain is for the entire running time, with the spark occasionally dimming ever so slightly.

Time will tell if this becomes a go-to Christmas classic like Home Alone but for now it is a light and lovely film for the whole family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: