~ It’s A Wonderful Life is the Blind Spot entry for December. Full listing here ~
Frank Capra’s Christmas classic is probably the least Christmas, Christmas movie that ever did live. But for it’s good spirited nature, heart warming story and colourful characters It’s A Wonderful Life truly is a wonderfully humbling tale.
Beginning our story way up in the stars one Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class is being prepared for a mission to save the discouraged George Bailey from taking his own life on Christmas Eve. The film progresses through various flashbacks and important moments in George’s life, showing complete generosity, intuitive kindness, and sacrafice.
When his younger brother falls through the ice at age 12 George selflessly dives in after him, permanently damaging his hearing in one ear. And so George’s life goes on in the same vain, constantly putting himself in the firing line for others and constantly putting his dreams on hold.
He doesn’t get to go travelling, he doesn’t go to college, he doesn’t live the life he intended and discouragement sets in when his brother and friends go on to great success. But good ol’ George just can’t turn his back on Bedford Falls and continues his fight against the power hungry Henry Potter, the richest man in town.
George begrudgingly accepts that this fight is more important than any of his dreams. For all his wants and aspirations George concedes his dreams but settles down with Mary Hatch and phwooey they just don’t make ’em like Donna Reed anymore. But it’s not until Clarence is forced to interfere that George realises how wonderful his life truly is.
Billy, George’s incompetent but good natured Uncle loses $8,000 on Christmas Eve and puts his entire family and business at risk. With the threat of jail looming over him George finally snaps, scares his family, gets drunk, crashes his car and contemplates suicide. But this is where our wily hero, Clarence, Angel 2nd Class, drops in to save him.
It’s A Wonderful Life is not just a classic for it’s heart warming honey and lemon storyline, of which Stewart and Reed share in fantastic screen chemistry. But for it’s era it is a true marvel of dramatic fantasy storytelling that pleases on all levels, whilst retaining that same Golden Age shimmer of Hollywood prosperity.
I can now officially tick this Timeless Christmas Classic off my list of films to see and draw a close to my 2015 Blind Spot. The life of a cinephile truly is wonderful.
* * * *
For the full listing of my 2015 Blind Spot follow the link at the top. For more Blind Spot entries stay tuned for my top five and come back in January 2016 for the start of my second Blind Spot series.