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A Boy Called Christmas - Film Review

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Published November 13th 2021
All in the spirit of Christmas
a boy called christmas film review, movie review, community event, fun things to do, cinema, kids movie, family friendly film, entertainment, a christmas story, actors, performing arts, maggie smith, jim broadbent, entertainment, festive season film
Images StudioCanal & Netflix

A Boy Called Christmas stars Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Michiel Huisman, and Stephen Merchant, with Jim Broadbent and Maggie Smith. The film is 103 mins long and will be in cinemas 25 November 2021.

An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical and endearing story that shows anything can happen.


An origin story, this Christmas, join an epic quest and witness the legend begin. Adapted from Matt Haig's award-winning bestseller of the same name, young Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas by his mother, lives with his woodcutter father. They are very poor with barely a crust to eat, with Nikolas' only prized possession, a doll made by his mother, out of an old turnip. A summons from the King, asking his subjects to go to the very edges of the Kingdom to bring back a spark of magic that gives hope, sets the course for Nikolas' father, working towards the promise of a handsome reward for those who bring it back.

Upon setting off with a group of men just as desperate for the reward, to prove that Elfhelm the fabled village of the elves, of joy and merriment, really does exist, Nikolas is promised his father will return in a few months. He is left behind to be taken care of by his Aunt Carlotta. Thus begins the story of Christmas, told within a story, being told to three young modern-day children.


Young Henry Lawfull is the perfect wide-eyed choice as Nikolas, and he carries his role with aplomb, displaying his innocence and the heartfelt kindness required of his nature. You can feel the weight on his shoulders as he grapples with the harsh elements, and the even harsher darkness of the world and his own losses. You also see the light in his face as he represents hope and the spirit of Christmas giving. This film without a doubt is set to be a Christmas favourite and tradition for years to come.

Star-studded and fantastical as it may be, it is still grounded in a lot of emotions. Much like the best fairytales, it has some darkness as it does light, and the joy feels even better because you've been on the journey of sadness as well. It is a multi-faceted Christmas film full of imagination and bound to melt all hearts.


Maggie Smith, as always, is perfection in the roles she plays. Jumping onto the screen as the elderly and very old aunt the kids don't want around, she manages to be magical and turn it around, without pandering or giving in to cheap tricks, to be liked. You'll see Kristen Wiig in a different light. Dishevelled, dirty and deceptive, she will draw your emotions of distaste for her. Another big hitter, you can't go past the ever almighty Sally Hawkins. Even in a fairytale, she manages to take you places emotionally that'll have you unwittingly shedding tears. Now that's a skill.

Jim Broadbent is a familiar loveable sight as the King, as is Toby Jones, with everyone from Michiel Huisman as Nikolas' father to Zoe Margaret Colletti as The Truth Pixie performing their parts well. Most notable is the one with just a voice - English comedian, writer, director, actor and presenter Stephen James Merchant who lends his voice to Miika the mouse. Stephen's natural razor-sharp wit, intelligence and confidence coming straight out of Miika's little mouth, cements that little mouse as an unforgettable character. I have no doubt every little kid will want a talking mouse on their shoulder for Christmas. This is a movie full of emotions, hope and magic that is a must-watch for everyone, young and old. For the very wee ones in the family, take note that they might be a little scared of the scary child-eating troll.



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Why? A Boy Called Christmas - Film Review
When: In Cinemas 25 November 2021
Where: In Cinemas
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