Oh dear, dear, dear. I was getting ready to watch “A Boy Called Christmas” and decided to first read a handful of early user reviews that were posted. I wish I hadn’t. While I always try to respect the opinions of most reviewers, positive or negative, there are a few that routinely post careless, negative comments, without much thought towards how it may impact not only the film’s success, but also how it may affect the human beings in front of the camera (and behind it) who brought it to life for our entertainment.
In the case of this film, one reviewer literally eviscerated Henry Lawfull, a rookie actor with few credits to his name. Although his legal age isn’t available, he’s likely in his early teens. In any case, don’t think for a moment that some of the more cruelly targeted jabs and nasty comments don’t hurt him. They do.
I remember reading similarly rude and callous comments that had been prematurely and carelessly thrown at the young actors Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd after filming was completed for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999). Portman of course went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Black Swan (2011) and later garnered multiple Oscar nominations. Sadly, Lloyd left the industry shortly afterwards, hurt, and disillusioned. We’ll never know if Lloyd could have recovered from those early malicious barbs as well as Portman.
I’m even more amused with one reviewer who expressed his complete annoyance with “the mouse.” That’s right. A clever, cute, cuddly, and somewhat humorous CGI mouse! OMG where is this heading when even a mouse can garner bad reviews? Heaven help us.
We’ll, I’ll get to the film itself now having summoned the courage to finally watch it. A Boy Called Christmas is a lush and visually stunning production fit for adults and probably children 11-12 or older. There’s both a delicate yet harsh feel to the film. Some scenes are wonderfully sweet, only to be followed by a gritty one. Gee, what a concept when art does indeed imitate real life!
Any film with Maggie Smith is a better film with her in it. Sally Hawkins is mind blowing. She’s an actor’s actor, and her chameleon-like ability to adapt to such diverse characters is stunning. It’s also very refreshing to see Kristin Wigg in a more meaty, antagonistic role, and clearly a giant leap from Bridesmaids (2011).
As always, no spoilers here, but I will reveal that the movie is based on Matt Haig’s 2015 book of the same name.
Review by Sunsphxsuns