I knew nothing about A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS before the movie started, and did I have a great time! Of course, as soon as the great Maggie Smith is called upon to spin a bedtime story to three children who have lost their mum, I was hooked. What follows is magical, funny, and fabulous.
In her story, Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) is a lad still mourning for his mother and now living with his father in the wintry forest. He is content playing with a doll made from a turnip by his mother, and he believes in the magic of which she often spoke. Thus, when he starts teaching his pet mouse to speak, you know you are in for an feast of deliciousness.
After his father joins a trek to win a prize from the king, Nikolas is alone with a dreaded aunt who has come to watch over him. But his heart yearns for his father, and when he finds a map in the lining of the cap his mother made, he starts a journey that will take him over beautiful landscapes and through many challenges – with more difficulties and death than stories like this normally have.
Based on a much beloved book by Matt Haig, director Gil Kenan and his team have created a world that is perfect for children and adults alike. While the film hangs on the sturdy shoulders of Lawfull, the huge ensemble cast wear fabulous costumes by Ruth Myers, supported by a gorgeous production design by Gary Williamson, cinematography by Zac Nicolson, and a top notch score by Dario Marianelli.
If you already delight in Christmas, this movie is for you. If you demonstrate Scrooge-like tendencies, this movie might be just for you too.