‘Last Christmas’ was billed, for some reason, as a ‘rom-com’. I suppose I don’t go to enough movies to have known what in hell that was at first. Let me be clear, this movie is not a ‘romantic comedy’ it is a FANTASY! It is supposed to be quirky, loopy and at times quite absurd. I’m not talking about Tolkien here or Game of Thrones, High-Fantasy, but real live, though rare, Not-High Fantasy. The kind written by Neil Gaiman, Phillip Pullman and yours truly (forgive me for including myself in the company of the Crown Prince and the King). I mean, c’mon! Take ‘A Christmas Carol’ with three ghosts and a guy who goes from ‘Bah, Humbug’ to the very spirit ( the fourth spirit and perhaps the most important) of the Christmas season itself!
All that being said, I am writing a short movie review. I think I’ve only done one in this Blog on the film ‘Wonder Woman’ . Linda and I are infrequent movie goers. About every six months a rash of films pops up that we must see then we go dormant. We are now in an active phase. And readers of this Blog know I write on topical themes related to the craft of writing or specifically about subjects of interest in my stories. A review is simply an essay and all genres are important for aspiring authors to explore. So here goes:
I wanted to see ‘Last Christmas’ because I became terribly invested in the character of Daenerys Targaryen in ‘Game of Thrones’ and a fan of Emilia Clarke. I’ve Blogged about what a travesty was perpetrated on her character in ‘Shame of Thrones: Character Assasination’. Her arc is an example of writing at its worst. Nuff said. But I was interested in seeing if she had other dimensions as an actress. Some thespians have one dimension. John Wayne was always John Wayne no matter whom he played. Some are type-cast and trapped, as George Reeves, ‘Superman’, may have been.
Well, Emilia Clarke gave me all I had hoped for and more. She was quirky, funny and lovable. And Yikes! She has some voice. It’s worth seeing the movie if you were a GOT addict just to marvel at the dexterity she exhibits with her craft.
Some thought the plot twist absurd. Again, it’s a FANTASY kids! It was beyond clever and even a touch heartbreaking. Or perhaps heartfelt and touching. This coming from a guy who, like his main character Jaq in the Ur Legend series, can only find a path to his heart through his brain.
Emma Thompson was panned for her accent. She was a Yugoslavian for Christ’s sake not Beatrice in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’! Would the same criticism be made of Meryl Streep? The fact that Ms. Thompson co-wrote, produced, directed and acted in ‘Last Christmas’ is a marvel. She is a marvel.
The movie has Quirky characters like Michelle Yeoh’s hilarious Asian ‘Santa’ and her boyfriend, ‘Boy’. Most of all there is redemption. Katarina is able to shed the shell of self absorption brought about by a traumatic medical episode and find happiness in helping others. Of course, for those of you who know my stories, Second Chances are a big deal.
So go see ‘Last Christmas’ this Christmas. Screw the critics and have some FUN!