Miracle on 34th Street
A Les Mayfield film starring Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. A Christmas movie which actually sets out to achieve the true sprite of Christmas. It tests the belief people have in Santa Claus, who is he is, his importance to children at Christmas, and above all the character as a whole.
So I'll keep this review short, as I don't wish to drag on because with this film it's not the matter of dragging along. I love this film, I really do. I love the affection it has on people who watch it, and feel that the Santa Claus character and Richard Attenborough's performance touch their hearts. I'm not surprised, Richard Attenborough is phenomenally good, he's cheerful, funny, happy, jolly, serious and sad in moments of despair, just a genuine no nonsense, down the line, truthful performance to which no one can ask more from an experienced actor like him.
The comment that I made in my introduction when I said 'This film captures a true sprite of Christmas'. I'd like to refer back to that. What I mean by saying that is, I think this film gets people in a christmasy sort of mood, and gets the audience thinking about Christmas, and how it's such a festive time.
But not only that, the effect it has on the characters. A young girl called Susan who at the start doesn't want to believe in Santa, Dorey Walker - a working woman and someone who takes pride in her work, Brian Bedford - a man in love, The executive's who don't believe in Santa - how they want to ruin Kris Kringle and their arrogance and ambition.
This film is a mixture of things, but a mixture of things mixed together very well, and orderly.
Here's a trailer.
It's intreeging, the effect this film has on it's audience. Almost incredible. I say almost because it is so near perfect. I think what's so good about Richard Attenborough's performance as a whole is he keeps us guessing, is he the real Santa Claus? is he just a harmless old man who has a love for Christmas? who knows, he does such a good impression of 'maybe, maybe not' that it is just too hard to tell for definite.
But what makes this film work for me is, how well thought out and pieced together the story. I'd say particularly with the ending. There is a brilliantly directed scene with Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson where Kris Kringle asks Susan what she wants for Christmas, and she says 'A House, a Brother and a Dad'. From that scene onwards, for me personally that makes me want to go on watching, just to see if she does get what she asked for, in the end it all links up, and makes perfect sense, so there's no need to worry in terms of this story having any loose ends or plot holes.
It's just your typical out going, Christmas movie which warms the hearts of who ever watches it.
I'll give this film a 9/10.
NEXT ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST : 'Elf' - with the one and only Will Ferrell. I will post that review on Tuesday the 10th of December 2013.