Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Movie Review: "Lost Christmas" (2011)

Director: John Hay
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

After a young orphan boy loses his dog, he gets help from a mysterious man who is there to help right wrongs and find things that have been lost or stolen.

Lost Christmas 2011 movie still Eddie Izzard Larry Mills
"Everybody's lost something." (Image Source)
Look, we're not going to lie, we're scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to finding Christmas movies to watch. We're in our sixth year of reviewing 12 Christmas movies annually, and with most of the good ones already reviewed, we're left to our own devices scrounging the internet for content to put a holiday smile on our (and your!) faces. When we saw the poster for "Lost Christmas," which you can plainly see above, it depicts a smirking young boy with his cute fluffy dog in a snow globe with comedian Eddie Izzard by his side. Magical, yuletide, simple. We figured we would be in for some light holiday fun with this film. It just goes to show that you can't judge a movie by its poster because we were so very, very wrong. "Lost Christmas" is directed by John Hay, who is known for making films like "There's Only One Jimmy Grimble," "The Steal," and "The Truth About Love." Hay also helped write the screenplay along with David Logan. The film begins with a kid named 'Goose' (Larry Mills) waking up one Christmas morning to the sound of a puppy barking. Turns out, his mom and dad got him a dog for Christmas! Wow! What fun! A few seconds later, Goose's dad gets called into work, but Goose doesn't want him to leave, so he hides his dad's keys thinking it will make him stay home. Instead, his mom decides to drive his dad to work, and wouldn't you know it, Goose's selfish action causes both his parents to die in a horrific car wreck on the way there. Merry Christmas!!!!! One year later, Goose now lives with his grandma (Sorcha Cusack), who is suffering from dementia so badly that she tries to bake their Christmas turkey in a washing machine and thinks that a nearby Christmas card is the bread for her sandwich because dementia is hilarious comedy gold, right?!!!???!!! Let's let her take care of a child!! *sarcasm* Goose has begun committing petty crimes where he steals objects to sell to his 'Uncle' Frank (Jason Flemyng), who has also fallen on hard times and has become a fencer of stolen goods. When Goose loses the dog that his parents gave him the year they died, a mysterious man (Eddie Izzard) shows up to help him right some wrongs and find things that have been lost or stolen.
Lost Christmas 2011 movie still Eddie Izzard Larry Mills Jason Flemyng
"If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." (Image Source)
Nothing says 'Christmas' like dead parents, dead kids, dead husbands, divorce, destitution, and dementia, all of the things prominently found in "Lost Christmas." Needless to say, this movie is depressing as hell. It tries hard to tug on your heartstrings and tries to manipulate the audience into feeling something, anything, by throwing every sad scenario they can think of at them for its entire runtime. It has a sort of twisted "It's a Wonderful Life" vibe (which, come on, isn't a picnic of a movie in and of itself), but instead, it's a terrible interconnected life for Goose and Gran and Uncle Frank. Of course, the filmmaker hopes a happy, magical five-minute course-correcting ending will fix the 84 minutes of dower sadness we were forced to sit through to get there, but we're here to tell you, it doesn't. We love Eddie Izzard, but what the hell was he thinking taking a role like this? He plays a character who is completely muted emotionally and walks around in an almost haze-like state, causing his entire performance to be one-note and dreadfully boring. There are times when Larry Mills also comes off as little monotonic in his delivery and his performance feels stiff as a whole. That being said, Jason Flemyng does manage to do a good job with what he has to work with, which isn't much.
Lost Christmas 2011 movie still Geoffrey Palmer
"Sometimes you have to destroy for you to begin again." (Image Source)
Not all Christmas movies have to be joyful and content, that's not what we're saying at all, but we do want the endless amounts of sadness and heartbreak to eventually turn around and capture the spirit of the season and send a message that can embody the holiday. The main message we got from "Lost Christmas" is that if you hide your dad's keys, your parents will die in a horrible wreck because of your selfish insolence, and in turn, set off a terrible series of events that will cause unimaginable loss and misery to not just you and those you know and love, but to complete strangers who were also impacted by your carelessness. No matter how often people say it isn't your fault, you will know deep down that it is because if you didn't take those damn keys, none of it would have happened and everyone's life would be better. There are no do-overs in real life, ladies and gentlemen. We can suspend our disbelief for fantasy holiday films most of the time, but in this much more aberrant "It's a Wonderful Life," it feels disingenuous and isn't fun for anyone no matter what your age. Kids will surely be bummed out by this, and adults will hate themselves for making their kids watch such a depressing slog. Not even the cute, fluffy dog can save "Lost Christmas" from just being lost.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.2/10
RT Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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1 comment:

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