Happy Christmas

(Joe Swanberg, 2014)

with Robb Stey, Rose Wagner Theatre, 1/20/14



Directors like Joe Swanberg engage in a kind of alchemy; they use common, basic elements to make something precious.  There’s a relaxed, unforced warmth about Happy Christmas; it’s a movie about people who are good-hearted and flawed and maybe not particularly remarkable, and its conflicts arise not from malice or reckless ambition, but from natural tensions and careless mistakes.  With its improvised dialogue and long, unbroken wide shots, Happy Christmas thrives on simplicity, spontaneity, and the charm of its actors.  They’re very charming actors.  It’s a very charming movie – and it’s more than the sum of its parts.

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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