Written by Kirk BairdThe Christmas season is all about traditions, especially when it comes to holiday films. In addition to those annual viewings of classics including It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story, here are five other holiday treats worth the time.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945): In this warm holiday tale, Barbara Stanwyck is a food writer sorely lacking culinary and housekeeping skills whose deception may be exposed when her boss and a returning World War II soldier invite themselves to her home for a Christmas Day feast.
Nutcracker with Rudolf Nureyev (1968): This filmed performance features perhaps the greatest male ballet dancer in peak form in a celebrated interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterpiece and holiday mainstay.
The Ref (1994): Denis Leary plays a cat burglar who breaks into a home on Christmas Eve and then must play mediator to a warring couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) and their family in this painfully funny R-rated dark comedy.
Un Conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale) (2008): Catherine Deneuve stars in this acerbic French comedy-drama about a highly dysfunctional and feuding family that gathers at the parents’ house for Christmas and learns the strong-willed matriarch has leukemia.
Arthur Christmas (2011): Santa’s clumsy son Arthur alternately ruins and then saves Christmas in this wondrous holiday classic. While audiences missed the film in theaters, Arthur Christmas deserves to be a staple of the season for years to come.