Films are a great way to spend time at Christmas – your family, who only six hours earlier were desperate to see you, have now run out of things to say, you’ve eaten so many pies you can’t stand up, and you’re also exhausted after a year of a coronavirus. It’s time to sit on the sofa and start watching.
But not only that, films and TV series are also an excellent way to improve your listening skills and your vocabulary – with or without subtitles. Watching with subtitles allows you to see how words are spelt, which can help you remember them. But if your level is more advanced, why not try without subtitles? Keep a piece of paper with you so you can write down any new words!
So – which films to watch?
No. 5 – Scrooged
If anyone can be a loveable cynic, it’s Bill Murray. A re-imagining of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooged sees TV executive Bill Murray work everyone through their Christmas holiday and give themcheap company towels as gifts. He insults, abuses and generally hates everyone in the most hilarious and nasty way, until three ghosts teach him how to be a good human being. Heart-warming without the kitsch.
No. 4 – The Muppet Christmas Carol
Another version of the Dickens classic, this time with – yes, that’s right – muppets. Michael Caine is the kranky and greedy Scrooge who learns how to become a loveable and loving human being after being frightened by some puppets who are ghosts. A great film for kids and parents alike.
No. 3 – Gremlins
The perfect antidote to festival schmaltz –watch a cute, furry little creature bought in a Chinese market give birth to horrible, scaly monsters who try to kill an entire family on Christmas Day. Funny, scary and totally inappropriate, this film had offended parents dragging their children out of the cinema when it was first released. And the film also inspired the rock bandMogwai.
No. 2 – Die Hard
Sometimes called The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told, Die Hard shows Bruce Willis when he still had hair, trapped inside a skyscraper on Christmas Eve. Willis is at a party held by his ex-wife’s employer, hoping he can get back with her.But things go wrong when a group of scary German criminals pretending to be terrorists take over the building. Bruce is the only one who save us. Christmas Eve or not, this may be the greatest action film in history. Yippee KI AY.
No. 1 – Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day – well, maybe it’s not set at Christmas, but it does have snow, and Christmas can certainly sometimes feel like Groundhog Day. So here it is. An almost perfect movie starring Bill Murray as a cynical weatherman who gets his wish of only staying in Punxsutawneyfor 24 hours –he just didn’t expect them to be the same 24 hours repeated again and again until he learns, like Scrooge, to become a good human being. It’s very funny, and might make you feel like you’ve had a brandy, or need one.
Honourable MentionsHome Alone 2 (with Donald Trump); It’s A Wonderful Life; Little Women; Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark; The Nightmare Before Christmas;Bad Santa.