One Magic Christmas (1985)
November 18, 2022 4:45 PM - Subscribe

Ginny Grainger, a young mother, rediscovers the joy and beauty of Christmas, thanks to the unshakable faith of her six-year-old daughter, Abbie, and Gideon, Ginny's very own guardian angel.

Joining in Dirty Old Town's weird Christmas movies postings, I wanted to post a favorite of my own: this is one of the strangest holiday movies I've ever seen, with a dark section that rivals--maybe surpasses--the one in It's a Wonderful Life. And yet I love it so.

Starring Mary Steenburgen as Ginny, Harry Dean Stanton as Gideon, Gary Basaraba, Arthur Hill, and a small part featuring a young Sarah Polley.

Available on Disney+ for streaming, and for rental/sale at all the usual places. Should contain ALL the warnings, from (temporary) child harm/death, spouse death, suicidal ideation, gun violence, job loss and evictions, recession/poverty, and just really dark stuff. Almost all of it is undone by the magic of Christmas and angelic Harry Dean Stanton (and if that doesn't lure you in, I don't know what can), but for a while it's tough going.
posted by kitten kaboodle (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love this movie, despite its horrible filmed in Canada in the dead of winter hideous gray color palette with no budget and absolutely bleak section that makes George Bailey's look like a party. I made a friend once at a party because not only had I seen this movie, but I loved it, and the person I was talking to had never met anyone in either camp. Disney didn't fuck around back then--Ginny fucking suffers for her lack of Christmas spirit.

But I just love this movie, it's so strange, and people cannot believe it when I tell them that Harry Dean Stanton plays a guardian angel in a Disney movie and you absolutely believe him in the role. I always show this to people and they think I'm bananas for how much I like it, but I think it's just the fact that it is so effing bleak in that one section, and it's overall so depressing until the end (especially for people who lived during that economic downturn in the '80s), that makes me like it. It just pulls no punches.

But yeah, this is a tough one for a lot of people (I don't know why I can get through this, honestly, considering how close it comes to hitting a number of my triggers), so just...if you want to try it out, use with caution.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 4:55 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


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