HCF’s Xmas Movie Advent Calendar #13: HOW THE GRINCH SAVED CHRISTMAS

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On a tiny snowflake floating through the air, exists the town of Who-ville, home of the Whos.  The town is joyously preparing for the coming of Christmas, except for depressed little Cindy Lou, who is curious about the Grinch, a green monstrous character who lives up in Mt Crumpit and hates Christmas.  The Grinch arrives to cause havoc but then saves Cindy from an accidental death.  Cindy discovers that the Grinch as a child actually loved Christmas, but due to his looks and crush on Margeret, who is now married to the Mayor, was bullied and retreated to Mt Crumpit to hate Christmas forever.   As Christmas approaches, the Mayor announces the upcoming Who-bilation, where the town nominates a Cheer Meister. While the Mayor looks forward to another unanimous vote for himself, Cindy requests that they nominate the Grinch, feeling he deserves it the most………

Based on the book by Dr Seuss, this is a slightly surreal, off-kilter fable that is basically yet another variation on Scrooge, and it seems to me that the original story may have influenced The Nightmare Before Christmas.  The whole film has a Tim Burton feel to it, only more colourful, though it was actually directed by Ron Howard, a really unusual film for him to do.  Visually the film is stunning, looking like someone has emptied the contents of a giant toy box all over the screen.  It really draws you into a fantasy world which is in some way a reflection of our own, with Who-ville at Christmas time a wonderfully garish exaggeration of Christmas excess.  Of course whether you enjoy How The Grinch Saved Christmas really depends on how you feel about Jim Carrey.  I personally love him, and he is perfect for the role of the Grinch, the manic but lonely monster, but if he gets on your nerves then I suggest you avoid this movie, because around a third of it consists of Carrey doing his schtick.  To me, these scenes are made especially funny by the Grinch’s dog Max, who has the ‘straight man’ role, just calmly sitting there despite what the Grinch throws at him.  Nicely attacking the rampant commercialism of Christmas and displaying a slightly twisted, almost Roald Dahl-ish imagination at time, the story does end up going down very familiar paths, while some things like a love story [one of several things added to the tale] and a few adult gags are rather awkwardly worked in.  The narration by Athony Hopkins, in rhyming couplets like the  book, works very well though; this coming from someone who really dislikes narration in movies.  This is great fun for most of the time, and rather stranger than you might expect.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Dr Lenera
About Dr Lenera 2729 Articles
I'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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