10 Appropriately Festive Films To Stream This Christmas

10 Appropriately Festive Films To Stream This Christmas

    By Jess Commons Posted on 3 Dec 2015

    A good Christmas movie should be like a good jumper: warm, cosy and there for you winter after winter. We’re firmly of the opinion that the festive season is not the time for sitting through the latest crop of prestige TV shows and attempting to form half-baked hot takes; it’s far better suited for comfort-watching your favourite seasonal films for the thousandth time and not feeling remotely guilty about doing so.

    With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the cheery Christmas viewing material that we’ll doubtless end up playing on repeat from now until December 31st. From the classics to the ultimate Netflix so-bad-it’s-good guilty pleasure, via Noughties staples like The Holiday and, yes, Love Actually, there’s hopefully something to suit everyone from the cynic to the Christmas cheerleader…


    Love Actually

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    Love Actually

    Yes, it has its flaws (if you haven’t read this brilliant critique by Lindy West, where have you been all this time?) but to us, Love Actually is perfect – to steal a phrase from Andrew Lincoln’s Mark. With its interlinked holiday romances (and heartbreaks, too), Richard Curtis’s 2003 effort plays out like a who’s who of British acting talent, from Liam Neeson as a recent widower attempting to bond with his young step-son to Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister we deserve to an unbearably poignant Emma Thompson. Available to rent on Amazon

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    Bridget Jones' Diary

    Is Bridget Jones’ Diary a Christmas movie? Given that the film’s opening scenes capture that strange, lethargic lull between Christmas and New Year - the strained familial obligations, the frantic resolution-making, the endless turkey curry – like little else, and Colin Firth wears some spectacularly ugly Christmas jumpers, it’s a definite ‘yes’ from us. Plus, it’s always a joy to revisit the first instalment in this rom-com trilogy, which manages to be both heart-warming and bitingly hilarious. Streaming on Amazon Prime

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    Credit: Netflix

    A Christmas Prince

    If you fed an algorithm the plots of The Prince and Me, The Princess Diaries and Never Been Kissed, chucked in Meghan Markle’s Wikipedia page and added a sprinkling of fake snow, you’d end up with A Christmas Prince, Netflix’s so-bad-its-good sleeper hit. American journalist Amber is dispatched to the European nation of Aldovia to dig up dirt on Prince Richard, but when a case of mistaken identity sees her go undercover as a royal nanny, her journalistic ethics are compromised as she ends up falling for the subject of her story… It’s awful, but addictive. Streaming on Netflix

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    The Holiday

    Countless close-ups of festive food, acres of tasteful cosy cashmere and superfluous property porn: The Holiday is Christmas, Nancy Meyers style. The veteran rom-com director’s yuletide offering sees Cameron Diaz’s frazzled Hollywood exec Amanda swap homes with Kate Winslet’s weepy wedding journalist Iris, a move that inadvertently catalyses holiday romances for them both: Amanda falls for Jude Law’s Graham (we had to Google that - he just doesn’t seem like much of a Graham) while house-sitting an outrageously picturesque Surrey cottage, while Iris meets Jack Black’s cheerful musician type out in LA. Aesthetically pleasing festive schmaltz, in the best possible sense. Streaming on Amazon Prime

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    Home Alone

    Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals! December is the perfect time to revisit the health and safety nightmare that is Home Alone (not that you’d be able to avoid it anyway, what with terrestrial TV programmers tending to stick it on repeat throughout the festive season). When Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin is accidentally left behind by his family as they head off to Paris for the holidays, he gets to live out every kid’s dream and have the run of the house – until two hapless burglars decide to stage a home invasion, that is. Available to rent on Amazon

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    Credit: Shutterstock

    The Snowman

    This lo-fi Christmas classic is just half an hour in duration (we swear it seemed longer when we first watched it…) but that doesn’t make The Snowman any less magical. Told through the fuzzy pencil illustrations of author Raymond Briggs, it’s the timeless tale of a boy whose friendly snow creation comes to life on Christmas Eve, beautifully sound-tracked by composer Howard Blake. However many times you’ve watched it – and however old you are – it’s heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. Available to rent on Amazon

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    Credit: Shutterstock

    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang are let loose on Dickens’ classic Christmas tale to memorable effect in The Muppet Christmas Carol, complete with their usual anarchic comedy stylings, a soundtrack of cheery songs and Michael Caine as the miserly Scrooge himself. Who could fail to learn the true meaning of Christmas with this motley crew to teach them? Streaming on NOW TV

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    Credit: Shutterstock

    It's A Wonderful Life

    A regular occupier of the top slot on many a ‘Best Ever Christmas Movies’ list, It’s A Wonderful Life is perhaps the ultimate Christmas classic. Frank Capra’s 1946 drama doesn’t exactly have the most festive of beginnings. George Bailey (played by James Stewart) is on the verge of committing suicide on Christmas Eve, until he’s visited by his guardian angel, who shows him just how his life has changed that of those around him for the better. Wear waterproof mascara. Streaming on NOW TV

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    Will Ferrell’s larger-than-life comedy persona lends itself perfectly to Elf. He plays Buddy, an orphan who has been brought up among the elves at Santa’s North Pole workshop. When he finally learns of his human parentage, he travels to New York in search of his family. Cue plenty of festive fish-out-of-water humour.Streaming on Amazon Prime

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    Miracle on 34th Street

    Whether you opt for the 1947 version starring Natalie Wood or the 1994 re-make starring Mara Wilson (aka Matilda), Miracle on 34th Street should be a staple of your festive viewing schedule. It all centres around a department store Santa (played in the original by Edmund Gwenn and in the re-make by Richard Attenborough) who claims he is the real deal, but must stand trial in order to prove his case. Streaming on Netflix

    Feeling more like Scrooge than Santa? Try our guide to Christmas films for people who hate Christmas films, or alternative Christmas films to try when you just can’t handle Love Actually again (we understand - there are only so many times one can hear Hugh Grant’s speech about David Beckham’s left foot…) Or perhaps we can persuade you that Christmas films were much better in the ’90s?

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