It’s a Wonderful Life – Review

9 Dec


Frank Capra’s timeless tale is for many the ultimate Christmas film. The always-affable Jimmy Stewart is George Bailey, a compassionate but frustrated businessman in small-town America. Bailey’s helped by angel Clarence (Henry Travers) as he contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve, who shows him what life would be like if he never existed over one snowy night.

Both Capra and Stewart both consider if their favourite film; it truly is a genuine classic, it improves with both age and familiarity and brings joy to all those who experience it. The original black & white version, the only way to watch it, conjures up the lustre of old Hollywood and fables of old. The word ‘magical’ is often bandied about in film criticism but It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the early pictures that deserves every letter of the word. It tackles humour, sentimentality and warming charm perfectly; it takes you through the emotional scale and is incredibly watchable. The performances are marvellous, Stewart taking the reins as the relatable small-town man with big dreams, Donna Reed – in her first major role – as the ideal American wife and Travers as the always-kind Angel 2nd Class.

Everything fits, everything works; it all comes to together so succinctly and perfectly that it is hard to aim any criticism in the direction of Capra’s masterpiece. Few films are flawless, however there always exceptions to the rule.

Heartwarmingly beautiful, It’s a Wonderful Life is the perfect Christmas film. 



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