A Christmas Story (1983)

Title:  A Christmas Story

Year: 1983

Genre: Comedy | Family |

Runtime: 93 min

Director: Bob Clark

Starring: Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon


7.9/10

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie Parker attempts to convince his parents, teacher, and Santa Claus that a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

A TIMELESS CLASSIC

Classic movies become a classic for a reason. Few goods from the 2010s have reached that milestone for better or worse. A Christmas Story, based on the novel In God We Trust, All Others Pay by Jean Shepard. Just like the novel, it has humor. It has a sense of making the 1940s come to life in a certain familiar way. It’s all about Ralphie’s point of view. There’s almost more voice-over telling his thoughts, daydreaming, and plans that shape the kid’s identity. His little brother doesn’t do much but is still around. His father forces the mother often to compromise. There’s a nuance in how this stern father communicates and how he progresses and sort of softens. Ralph changes his view about his mother.

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We follow Ralph in his daily life with the school, bullies, and family. There are not much of surprises along the way however, there’s some familiarity despite the decade it takes place in, especially the contrast to modern society. Ralph is an ordinary boy who doesn’t seem to get by well in school or at home. His family situation seems occasionally intense. There are some scenes that are exaggerated all for the purpose of humor and other that are unforgettable moments that have been imitated later on.

This twisted little comedy-family film Peter Billingsley in the lead, Melinda Dillon as the mother, and Darren McGavin as the old man. The grumpy father is somehow dynamic once his beloved lamp arrives. There’s someone and other scenes that brings beautiful performances and that correspond with the character of Ralphie.

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The editing is playful with daydreaming and the whole film has a good, even pace. Even if there are a lot of voice-overs capturing the main character’s inner thoughts, it did well enough, to make it watchable and it becomes even more entertaining. Few Christmas movies have succeeded like this and that’s just why it’s a timeless classic.

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