Cert: PG Runtime: 130 mins Director: Frank Capra Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell and Henry Travers
Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends
It’s the season and one film has dominated my brain this year is It’s A Wonderful Life! For me it’s the essence of the season and a must watch. So what is the film about? One fateful Christmas Eve, George (James Stewart) receives a visit from Clarence, a celestial messenger, who prevents him from jumping into a freezing river. The pair travel together through moments in George’s life to show him what the world would be like if he had never existed. There’s no need to take it apart scene by scene or examine its plot, its themes or do a character study of George Bailey. No need to attach more meaning than was intended, to imagine symbols where they don’t exist, or to ignore the ones that do. No need at all.
For if you are one of the many, the growing many who cannot watch this film without tasting tears, tears of joy, tears of sadness, then you know exactly what I am talking about – that further discussion would only serve to diminish the film’s beauty.There are few films that are in this category, that hit notes as true as this. “Casablanca” is one, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is another, where everything comes together, where magic is not only seen in one scene, but in every scene, every line, every look and moment in the film. Pure magic. That’s what this is, folks. Pure magic. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. And the less talk about it the better. We talk too much nowadays, anyway. Just watch it and let it move you to joy, to tears, and tears of joy.