There are many films that promote the Christmas spirit and increase the anticipation for the holidays: The classics include “Isn’t Life Beautiful?” From 1946 with James Stewart, “White Christmas” (1954) with Bing Crosby, “Kevin – Alone zu Haus ”(1990),“ Santa Clause – A beautiful gift ”(1994) or“ A promise is a promise ”(1996) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Holidate” on Netflix
For many Germans, “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” (1973) and “The Little Lord” (1980) are also part of it. But many of these Christmas films are very old or look old-fashioned. For those who like it more colorful and contemporary, 24 films from the past 20 years are recommended to stream for the 2020 Advent season:
01 „Holidate“ (2020):
People aren’t made to be alone on holidays – that’s the basic premise of this romantic Netflix comedy starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey. The film runs through every year of all major holidays from Christmas to Christmas. The main characters date each other as singles in order not to be asked stupid questions about loneliness. And then – who would have guessed it – love comes into play. Turbulent and funny.
02 „Dolly Parton‘s Christmas on the Square“ (2020):
In keeping with her Christmas album release “A Holly Dolly Christmas” with the song “Christmas on the Square”, country legend Dolly Parton appears in this new film as an angel who has to educate people about charity, because a cold-hearted real estate owner (Christine Baranski) prefers one Erect shopping mall to protect tenants.
03 „The Christmas Chronicles“, Teil 1 (2018):
In the first of these Netflix films, siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) – children of a widowed, hard-working nurse – save Christmas with the help of Santa Claus (Kurt Russell).
04 „The Christmas Chronicles“, Teil 2 (2020):
In the second part, Kate runs into the evil wizard Belsnickel, who wants to destroy the North Pole and Christmas. In Part 2, directed by “Kevin Home Alone” director Chris Columbus, Russell’s wife Goldie Hawn has a bigger role as Mrs. Claus than in the first part.
05 “Jingle Jangle Journey: Adventurous Christmas!” (2020):
A Netflix Christmas musical for the whole family based on toy maker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) and his granddaughter with music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Usher and Kiana Ledé.
06 „The Knight before Christmas“ (2019):
Fairy tale film about a knight who ends up in the present and meets a teacher who wants to help him. Love comedy with Vanessa Hudgens, an almost inevitable part of Netflix Christmas movies.
07 “Exchange of Princesses”, Part 1 (2018):
In the first of these Netflix films with Vanessa Hudgens in a double role, a baker from Chicago and a future princess from the fictional European state of Belgravia swap roles.
08 “Exchange of Princesses”, Part 2 (2020):
In the second part (“Princess Swap: Swap Again”), Stacy and Margaret swap back, but now they have to deal with a third party – a triple role for Vanessa Hudgens. It should continue in 2021.
€ 6.99 per month or € 69 for an annual subscription
09 „A Christmas Carol“ (2019):
Not really a movie, but a three-part BBC miniseries (almost three hours in one go). Guy Pearce plays the curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge in the remake of the well-known ghost story by Charles Dickens. BBC One showed it on December 22, 23 and 24, 2019. In Germany it will run from December 9. at Sky.
10 „Last Christmas“ (2019):
The heartbreak comedy with Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding takes place in pre-Christmas London and is enriched with the music of George Michael. In the course of the film, the song line “I gave you my heart” from the hit “Last Christmas” gets a special meaning. The film can be seen on Sky.
11 “About Christmas” (2020):
The three-part Netflix miniseries (together about 135 minutes) with Luke Mockridge in the lead role is loosely based on Christian Huber’s bestseller “7 Kilos in 3 Days”. Basti, who is returning home on public holidays, goes to his family in the Eifel over the holidays. His brother is now in a relationship with Basti’s ex-girlfriend, and everything else is not perfect either.
12 “Dear Santa Claus” (2014):
Franco-Belgian comedy about a Parisian boy who mistakes a burglar for Santa Claus (“Le père Noël”) and climbs with him over the rooftops of Paris. Available via Sky.
13 „Bad Santa“ (2003):
Among other things, US comedy available through Joyn about a thief (Billy Bob Thornton) who dresses up as Ho-Ho-Ho-Santa Claus and steals people in a department store, but this time gets a lesson from a child.
14 „Klaus“ (2019):
This Spanish animated film on Netflix is a real gem – in the German version with the voices of celebrities such as Ralf Schmitz, Rufus Beck, Josefine Preuss and Uschi Glas. It’s about the postman Jesper, who is transferred to the envious Zwietrachtingen (Smeerensburg) north of the Arctic Circle where he meets the melancholy toy maker Klaus, finds his true destiny and virtually invents Christmas. Enchanting.
15 “Every year again – Christmas at the Coopers” (2015):
Family comedy available at Joyn Plus about keeping problems a secret during the holidays. The film lives mainly from strong actors like Diane Keaton, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried and is told from the point of view of the family dog Rags.
16 “Everything is love” (2014):
Five couples fight their way through the pre-Christmas madness in Frankfurt and find each other in an unusual way at the festival. The episode film in the “Actually … Love” style unites German film stars such as Nora Tschirner, Heike Makatsch, Tom Beck, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katharina Schüttler, Fahri Yardim and Christian Ulmen. The Schnulze is available from Joyn.
17 “The Guardians of Light” (2012):
In this imaginative animated film, villain Pitch sends people nightmares and wants to take over. The Guardians of Light – a quartet made up of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Sandman – want to defeat him. Jack Frost (German voice Florian David Fitz) is supposed to help, but first has to learn to believe in yourself. A lot of fun about believing in the wonderful – not just for children. Available as a flat rate at Joyn + and Netflix, among others.
18 “When Santa Claus fell from the sky” (2011):
This German children’s film, available on Netflix in the flat rate and other streaming services for money, is based on the book of the same name by Cornelia Funke. Alexander Scheer plays a cheeky Santa Claus, with Noah Joel Kraus, Mercedes Jadea Diaz, Jessica Schwarz and Volker Lechtenbrink in other roles.
19 “Disney’s A Christmas Story” (2009):
Charles Dickens’ classic (“A Christmas Carol”) as a Disney digital adventure – to be seen on the Disney + streaming service. In 19th century London, Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by the late partner Marley and then three Christmas spirits in order to become a better person. “The Muppets Christmas Story” from 1992 (also on Disney +) seems more successful because it has dolls.
20 „Merry Christmas“ (2005):
This film with Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Dany Boon and Daniel Brühl is about Christmas 1914 at the front in Flanders. German, Scottish and French troops try to celebrate the festival in the trenches of the First World War. When they realize that their enemies are celebrating too, they decide on a three-day truce. The common Christmas alarmed the army command. The film, which is based on a true story, was nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe and can be seen on Amazon Prime’s Sony Channel, for example.
21 “The Polar Express” (2004):
The computer-animated children’s film by director Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”, “Forrest Gump”) tells the story of a boy who does not believe in Santa Claus and is taught better with a trip to the North Pole. The children’s book adaptation offers a lot of Tom Hanks in several roles, but for some eyes it is probably too overloaded. The film is available for an extra fee from almost all streaming services.
22 „Der Grinch“ (2000):
There are two well-known film versions of this children’s book story by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) from the 1950s. Though everything looks sugar-sweet, the Green Grinch has reasons for wanting to ruin Christmas. For comedian Jim Carrey, the hairy Grinch is one of his most famous roles. The film is available from Netflix, Sky and Amazon Prime in the flat rate.
€ 6.99 per month or € 69 for an annual subscription
23 „Der Grinch“ (2018):
This cartoon variant appeared two years ago with Otto Waalkes as the speaker (in the original Benedict Cumberbatch). The Grinch animation film is available from Amazon.
24 “Indeed … Love” (2003):
This British ensemble film – originally called “Love Actually” – tells several stories from London in the run-up to Christmas. Hugh Grant dances through the house as Prime Minister, Bill Nighy plays a drunk musician. Heike Makatsch is in a supporting role. Also featured are Keira Knightley, Billy Bob Thornton, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Claudia Schiffer, and Rowan Atkinson, known as Mr. Bean. The film is a hit and is available on Amazon Prime, Joyn, Netflix, TVnow and Sky, among others.
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