Still, there are many holiday movies out there to enjoy. One might argue that It’s a Wonderful Life isn’t even the best of Jimmy Stewart’s Christmas-set films, if one prefers Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner. One might also argue that It’s a Wonderful Life isn’t even the best Christmas movie of the 1940s – check out Preston Sturges’ little-known Remember the Night, with Barbara Stanwyck as a shoplifter and Fred MacMurray as the assistant D.A. who takes her home with him for the holidays (Turner Classic Movies will show it December 4 at 8pm, by the way).
Filmmakers continue to produce interesting Christmas movies. Danny Boyle’s Millions (2004) is a sweet tale about two young English brothers who learn a special lesson for the holidays after their secret discovery of a suitcase full of cash. A film we’ve shown on occasion at the Flint Institute of Arts is France’s Joyeux Noel (2005), based on the story from World War I about opposing armies who agree to a Christmas Day truce as a respite from their battlefield horrors.
Not surprisingly, we have a faith-related film on tap at FIA in December, although it’s not precisely a “Christmas movie.” Calvary is an Irish drama about a priest (played by Brendan Gleeson) whose life is threatened during a confession. Can the clergyman continue with his calling? Find out in the museum’s Friends of Modern Art film series on December 12-14.
Launching the month’s schedule on December 5-7 is The Last of Robin Hood, with Kevin Kline as a well-cast Errol Flynn, the debauched actor whose late-life troubles are dramatized in a film that also stars Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning.
We take a break on the final weekend of the month, which means the museum’s final movie of the calendar year plays December 19-21. Finding Vivian Maier is a fascinating documentary about a reclusive nanny whose hidden collection of 100,000 images earned her a reputation as one of the most accomplished urban photographers of her time.
All FIA screenings begin at 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays. Tickets, available at the door, are $6 general admission, $5 for FIA members, and $4 for FOMA members. For more details, visit flintarts.org. ♦