Arthur Christmas (2011)

The cover art for the 2011 movie Arthur Christmas, directed by Sarah Hall.
The cover art for the 2011 movie Arthur Christmas, directed by Sarah Smith.
About the movie
  • Director: Sarah Smith
  • Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent
  • Yes or no?: Yes
  • Links: on Letterboxd, IMDb page
Other reviews:

Awesome surprise. I hadn’t heard of this movie until about five minutes before hitting Play, and had no idea even then what it was going to be. It was great! The cast is filled with great voices and the movie has really great jokes.

I can’t claim any real foreknowledge of the Father Christmas tradition in Britain. The idea that it’s the “personification of Christmas” seems simple, but I’ll go with it. The movie’s plot is telegraphed pretty early, and the end result is pretty easily figured out, but that’s also not the point of a movie like this. The point is to enjoy the ride and be happy at the end. I both enjoyed it and was really happy. I think I cried twice.

Despite the large, very successful cast, I was only familiar with the work of the actors barely. It is a group of people whose names I know well, but have probably not seen in anything I’ve cared much about. It’s a matter of crossing paths, I suppose. Funny enough, I was able to almost immediately pick out James Broadbent’s voice, and I barely know his work. However, his Santa was awfully similar in tone to Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge. Outside of him, I didn’t now who the voices were, and I loved that.

The other notable performance is a clearly made-to-be-this-guy character, and that’s Bill Nighy’s Grandsanta. Damn was the writing for this character great. And the timing was spot on. Just takes with nonstop jokes, never missing a beat, mixing it up with exposition and comedy. He was awesome.

I think this should be a movie everyone sees for the holidays just once, but it’s good enough to be an annual treat for just about everyone who can handle a Christmas movie.

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December 22, 2023
Tags: bill nighy | sarah smith | hugh laurie | jim broadbent | holiday movie | arthur christmas | james mcavoy
Categories: Reviews