HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Happy Christmas Festive Cheer
Year: 2014
Director: Joe Swanberg
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg, Jude Swanberg, Chris Swanson, Eldar Kim, Megan Mercier, Chris Renton, Kris Swanberg, Jessica Angelos, Mike Brune, Harry Burton, Tony Castro, Ethan DeCota, Van Eggers, Matt Feasley
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jenny (Anna Kendrick) has recently broken up with her boyfriend and therefore decided to move out of her apartment and head off to Chicago to live with her brother Jeff (Joe Swanberg) for a while - she's not entirely sure how long - until she manages to find a new place. Jeff is married to Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and they have a small son to look after, so probably could do without another person in the house, but they are going to make the best of things regardless. Well, maybe not completely regardless, for there are areas of concern when it comes to Jenny, most blatantly when she goes out with her best friend Carson (Lena Dunham) to a party and gets absolutely blootered...

Happy Christmas, in spite of the title, turned out to be set around the festive season rather than yet another inane holiday flick cashing in on the celebrations without more thought to it other than making sure the gullible watched it under the impression they were somehow contributing to Yuletide rather than drawing in the unwary with lowest common denominator Christmas junk. There was all too much of that around, more as the years passed, much of it in the form of cheap, cynical TV movies, but this was about as far from that, other than the lack of budget, as it was possible to get in tone. It wasn't exactly Bad Santa, yet the mood of the end of the year was casually elicited, perhaps a little too casually.

That mood being the time you spent with your family; this could just as easily have been called Happy Thanksgiving as it was an American indie, and the message of having to tolerate your family with all their flaws and yours forced to be compatible for the duration of the Christmas period. In this case, it was exacerbated all the more since Jenny has more or less imposed herself on Jeff and Kelly, and though they are accomodating there's not always a lack of friction when they all have differing ideas of what they want out of life, the married couple looking to the future of their infant son, and Jenny fending it off for as long as possible: drinking herself into oblivion may not be a habit, but it is something she desires to avoid any iota of responsibility.

As with many a film directed by Joe Swanberg, this was improvised around a script that took the form of a loose outline, and for Anna Kendrick an interesting choice since she was the most famous person in the cast and could have been picking up a huge paycheque to appear as a superhero's girlfriend rather than appearing in a minor independent production that most of those who loved her in Pitch Perfect were not going to be in the slightest bit interested in. It was difficult to see how much she and her fellow actors brought of themselves to their roles, and you imagine there was a temptation not to create a character at all and instead fall back on their own personal quirks and traits - Dunham certainly came across as doing so - though Kendrick, albeit with a tendency to punctuate her sentences with "like" while she thought up her responses, created a credible role for herself.

That was to say, Jenny was a three-dimensional human being understandable even when she was being less than her sweet self and more selfish, as we could identify in the performance where she was sabotaging herself when others refused, however gently, to follow her will. On the other hand, Kendrick wasn't the scene stealer as that award went to Swanberg's tiny son Jude, who was the ideal improviser judging by the way he reacted to the entire situation as if it was all real, which to him it most likely was. Well, apart from one curious aspect, which saw Jenny make the minds of most of those around her turn to the sexual; her hosts' drug dealer Kevin (Mark Webber) is seduced by her in oddly offhand fashion, Kelly's writing career is reignited when Jenny suggests writing erotica for women, and even Jeff shows fresh interest in his unintentionally neglected wife, so there was the observation Jenny provided a positive influence. Yet there was a downside to being a free spirit as the final, painful scenes show, creeping towards redemption but realistic enough not to commit entirely.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1750 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: