It’s a Wonderful Life…

This film truly takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. It’ll make you laugh and it will [almost] bring a tear to your eye. But what I really liked about this film was that it was surprisingly unpredictable. I was absolutely sure that Potter was going to “do the right thing” and give back the money. Even when the whole town converged at the Bailey residence, I was just waiting for the villain to make an appearance and profess to his sins. But, it just never happened. Potter was just bad to the bone – pure evil (“Happy New Year to you…in jail”)! Ebenezer Scrooge should take lessons. The highlight for me though was the enormously outdated special effects. They really added an extra degree of humour to the film – although I have a strange feeling that even back in 1946 it still would have made the kids laugh. Despite the fact that the whole film looked like it was shot in a Hollywood studio, visually the film was quite beautiful. Shooting in Black & White was a great move – even though they had colour at that stage. I loved the old broken down house Mary and George eventually moved into. It kind of reminded me of the Adam’s Family house – so much character, so much history, and so much potential! Something else that stood out for me was the minimal use of music. Unlike a lot of films today – especially Christmas films – were the audience is bombarded with audio content, “It’s a Wonderful Life” only made use of an orchestral score when it really needed to for propelling the story along. Although I must admit, that some of the Foley work really reminded me about the whole “shooting in a studio” thing – which was kind of distracting. This is one of those “feel good” movies, which seems almost typical now days. It’s a magnificent Christmas movie – even though the message behind the screenplay isn’t really about the holiday season at all – although it still has NOTHING on Brian Henson’s 1992 “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. I mean, how can James Stewart possibly compete with Rizzo the Rat (“Mother always taught me…never eat singing food”)! So with that all said and done, I give it an eight…

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