Movies Seen This Week: Keep the Lights On (2012), Mamma Mia! (2008), Easy Rider (1969), The Producers (1968), Arthur Christmas (2011), The Sapphires (2012), Liberal Arts (2012), Argo (2012), Monsieur Lazhar (2012). If you haven’t already guessed, I didn’t really foray outside of my own apartment this week. Luckily for me, during my days off where I was supposed to be studying for finals week, I instead came across some amazing films. I was allowed my Gene Wilder fill as well as seeing not one, but two musicals this week. I finally caught a predicted Oscar contender and saw The Sapphires, one of my personal favorites this year. Although this week also brought upon some second hand embarrassment in the form of Pierce Bronson singing and Josh Radnor’s sad-sap pathetic reclaiming of academia in Liberal Arts.
However, out of all of the movies, I watched this week, and out of the seven that I liked, it’s the little animated, under-seen film, Arthur Christmas, that’s my pick of the week.
Well, what’s it about?
Arthur is enthusiastic, to put it lightly. He’s also one of two sons of Santa and the more sincere-hearted of the two. The film’s storyline centers on him and the age old question for children yet to be disillusioned, “how does Santa deliver all of those presents in one night?” The answer isn’t the norm (magic), but rather a large, high tech, spaceship-looking device that allows a courtship of elves to shimmy on down spy tech ropes and deliver presents, creating a faster and more efficient way of gift giving. The problem is, it takes much of the heart of the deed away. On one unfortunate night, a present is forgotten, meaning that that so is a child, and desperate to keep that child’s hope and innocence alive, Arthur does what his brother and father will not, and with the help from his grandfather, a wrapping paper enthusiast, and a busted down sleigh, he travels across the world for one child.
Okay, but why should I watch it?
Because it’s adorable, that’s why!
Oh, is that not enough for most people? Okay, well how about this: it’s the perfect movie if you’re in the mood for something festive but sick of re-watching Love, Actually and The Holiday. (I know I know, no one gets tired of those movies.) The voice acting is superb, especially by James McAvoy as Arthur. The animation is wonderful and arguably the best Sony Animation has released. The story is simple yet heartfelt and infused with such dry humor that any adult who believes they’ve outgrown the animated and are there simply for their kids will enjoy the jokes going straight over their children’s heads. It’s sweet, short and simple. It’s ninety minutes of escapism.
Who should watch it?
Families with kids they need to entertain but don’t want to have the Nick Jr. channel stuck on for twelve hours straight. It’s for those of whom who need a film that will allow you to succumb to the spirit of the season. Or, for those other college students like myself, it’s for those who aren’t looking for something heartbreaking or stressful but are instead looking for a film that is joyous, fun to watch, and relieves a portion of the anxiety that finals week can inflict. Writers Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith have written a movie that yes, is animated, but look past that and instead see a genuinely enjoyable film that will garner laughs and will allow the viewer to feel as if their time was well spent.