Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Oscar Movie Review: "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

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Movie"It's a Wonderful Life"
Year Nominated: 1947
Director: Frank Capra
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

George Bailey (James Stewart) is contemplating suicide on Christmas eve. Clarence (Henry Travers), an angel, is sent to Earth to save George, and for a chance to get his wings. Clarence is shown not only all of George's major accomplishments, but all of his failed dreams, too. In order to save George's life, Clarence shows him what the world would be like if he was never born.

This is the best classic Christmas movie ever. In fact, it's one of the best movies ever. Period. No arguing. It is definitely in my top 10 favorites of all time, for sure.

The casting is perfect and the acting is just superb. The chemistry between James Stewart and Donna Reed is so believable, their love story so true. You feel empathy, as well as sympathy, for George and his plight, a small-town dreamer who succumbs to the pressures of life and is stuck in his hometown without a thing to show for it...or so he thinks! GAH! I cry every damn time I watch this movie. Lionel Barrymore shines as Henry Potter, and "sentimental hogwash" is one of the greatest movie lines of all time. Everyone in this movie is necessary and all of the characters mesh well together in the grand scheme of the movie. The story, while fantastical, is grand and well told. It's a fantastic movie to watch on Christmas Eve.

This is the quintessential "makes you think about your life and how your life affects others" type of movie. It will make you realize how great your life really is, even if you get down and don't think so. Frank Capra's beautiful direction is wonderful and holds up even today almost 70 years later. A MUST SEE, no matter how old you are!

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY EMPHATICALLY YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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