must see holiday movies

December 23rd, 2008

I’m not one for vapid feel good movies. So if you are looking for a list of saccharin movies to get you in a holiday mood, turn back now. This is not it.

If, instead, you are looking for a few movies that remind you what you have to be thankful for or that some joy does come from the depths of sorrow, here you go:

Slumdog Millionaire – In theaters right now. Directed by the same guy who directed Trainspotting. This is a gritty, dark romantic comedy – in the same way Trainspotting was a dark comedy. It follows the appearance of a young Indian man, Jamal Malik, on the Indian version of who wants to be a millionaire. He is very successful – is it luck? is it cheating? is it written? Just stay in your seat, it gets less violent as the movie progresses. And you need to see the end.

City of God – This gritty movie follows the lives of two kids from Rio de Janeiro as one of them grows to become a slum lord and the other a photographer. It is heartbreaking and a little joyful. You’ll be so happy you were born into your life.

Children of Heaven – The only purely feel good movie on my list. There is no grit in this movie about two Persian children in Iranian slums trying to hide the fact that they are sharing one pair of shoes between them. Just sweet.