Channel 4 has released its Christmas schedule amongst the film choice,s is a mix some all-time classics along with some newer indie films. Check them out below:
The Snowman, Channel 4
Channel 4’s most celebrated animation is this classic story from Raymond Briggs. It’s Christmas Eve and a little boy decides to make a snowman. During the night, the snowman comes to life and whisks the boy off to the North Pole for a meeting with a Very Important Person.
The Snowman and The Snowdog
A charming animated sequel to Raymond Briggs’s classic The Snowman. When a young boy, Billy, and his mother move house, he discovers a box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shrivelled tangerine – it’s a snowman-making kit! When it begins to snow the child builds a Snowman and, with some spare snow, a Snowdog. That night, at the stroke of midnight, the Snowman and the Snowdog magically come to life! Billy awakes and joins them on an amazing adventure, flying over London and onwards to the North Pole, where they join Snowmen and Snowwomen from around the world. The boy and his new companions meet an assortment of colourful characters, and even get the opportunity to meet Father Christmas himself, before returning home, where a wonderful surprise awaits Billy…
The Muppets Christmas Carol
The Muppets take on Dickens’ festive classic, directed by Brian Henson, starring a remarkably game Michael Caine as Scrooge, with Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as his wife and Gonzo as Charles Dickens himself, acting as the narrator (with the help of Rizzo the rat). All elements of the story are faithfully adhered to, albeit it interspersed with songs, and the conclusion is as heart-warming as in Dickens’ original.
Deck the Halls
Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito star in John in Whitesell’s festive comedy. For years, Steve Finch (Broderick) has celebrated Christmas with co-ordinated festive family sweater-wearing, carol singing and a tasteful tree out front. His new neighbour, Buddy Hall (DeVito), festoons his home with so many lights that his ambition is to be visible from outer space. As hostilities escalate, the neighbours go head to head with runaway sleighs, incontinent festive animals and a speed-skating challenge, as their wives (Kristin Davis and Kristin Chenoweth) look on in despair.
Bill Murray stars in Richard Donner’s comedic take on the Dickens classic as Frank Cross, a misanthropic, penny-pinching TV executive whose career rests on producing a ratings-busting version of A Christmas Carol (with US gymnast Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim).
It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s evergreen comedy drama stars James Stewart as George Bailey, an ambitious young man condemned by circumstance to stay in smalltown Bedford Falls, where he marries his childhood sweetheart (Donna Reid) and runs a small bank with his forgetful uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell). But, on Christmas Eve, Uncle Billy makes a mistake that leaves George facing disgrace and prison, and deciding to end it all. Enter bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who shows him how the town and his friends and family would have fared if he had never existed. Can Clarence convince George that his is a wonderful life, and earn his own wings?
The Nativity Story
Catherine Hardwicke’s account of the birth of Christ stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and Oscar Isaac as Joseph. From the appearance of the angel Gabriel (Alexander Siddig), through Joseph’s acceptance that she is indeed carrying the Son of God, to their trip to Bethlehem, the film is always respectful, with strong performances from the two leads who portray very real human emotions rather than those of saints.
Home Alone 3
Raja Gosnell directs this third film in the successful comedy series, written by John Hughes, who directed the first two. Alex D Linz plays Alex Pruitt, stranded at home with chickenpox. His dad is away on business and his mum is out all day. By a series of coincidences, a top secret US Air Force microchip comes into his possession – and four crooks are out to steal it to sell it to the enemy.
In this festive family favourite Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) are army buddies from World War II who have become a very successful song and dance team. They meet up with Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera Ellen) at a nightclub in Florida and the foursome travel to Vermont to visit Bob and Phil’s WII commanding officer, General Waverly, who now runs a rustic old inn. Discovering that the general is in dire financial straits, the four entertainers secretly make plans to bail him out with a big musical show, enlisting the aid of Bob and Phil’s army buddies. (1954)
Tom Hanks received a best actor Oscar nomination for his role in Penny Marshall’s comedy drama. Josh Baskin (David Moscow) is on the cusp of adolescence and eager to grow up. One day, he makes a wish at a fortune-telling machine and the next morning he wakes up as an adult (played by Hanks). His childish ways win him a job with MacMillan Toys, where his colleague Susan (Elizabeth Perkins) can’t understand why he doesn’t respond to her advances. But after a while Josh realises he misses home and the joys that growing up will hold, and he sets out to find the fortune-telling machine, hoping to change things back to how they were before.
The Inbetweeners Movie
Series creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, together with director Ben Palmer, bring their bawdy E4 hit, The Inbetweeners, to the big screen. Like the TV series, the movie stars Simon Bird (Will), Joe Thomas (Simon), Blake Harrison (Neil) and James Buckley (Jay). The lads have now finished sixth form and have decided to celebrate with a holiday in Malia on the island of Crete. They naturally see this as the perfect opportunity to grab as much sun, sea and sex as possible. Unfortunately their insecurities and dire approaches to any woman unfortunate enough to cross their path means it looks as though, apart from Neil, they’ll have to content themselves with drinking and clubbing instead.
A Field in England – Wednesday 18th December, 12:20am
Michael Smiley and Reece Shearsmith star in this psychedelic trip into magic and madness from Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers). During the English Civil War, a small group of deserters, including the lacemaker and alchemist’s assistant, Whitehead (Shearsmith) flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field. They are captured by two men: O’Neil (Smiley) and Cutler (Ryan Pope). O’Neil, an alchemist himself, forces the group to aid him in search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provided their first meal, the group quickly descend into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia; as it becomes clear that the treasure might be something other than gold.
Never Let Me Go
Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) and writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later) team up to adapt Remains of the Day author Kazuo Ishiguro‘s introspective sci-fi novel about a group of unsuspecting boarding-school students. Sheltered teens Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) are hungry to explore the real world outside of the parameters of their childhood, but their dreams of freedom are soon stifled when they learn the truth about themselves. In addition to confronting their own mortality, all three must come to terms with a lifetime of emotions and unfulfilled longings while pondering their true purpose for being.