A Boy Called Christmas
As the festive season approaches, the desire to watch Christmas movies with the family grows exponentially. It would be difficult to get any closer to the heart of the topic than A Boy Called Christmas, a reimagining of Santa Claus’s origins. The film is based on the bestselling book by Matt Haig, and it relates the childhood of Nikolas, a boy destined to bring magic wherever he goes.
The narrative begins in the present day in a North London home where a widowed father (Joel Fry) has to leave his three young children with his aunt Ruth (Maggie Smith) on Christmas Eve. The children are less than thrilled at the prospect of spending the evening with her, and, due to the recent loss of their mother, they feel no excitement about the festivities. When aunt Ruth begins to narrate the story of Father Christmas, however, a spark of hope reignites in the eyes and the hearts of the siblings.
The story moves to a snow-covered cabin in Finland, where young Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) lives with his widowed lumberjack father, Joel (Michiel Huisman). There seems to be no way of improving their modest lives until the king (Jim Broadbent) promises a reward to anyone who can bring hope to the dejected town. Joel sets off on a quest to the Far North to see if proving the existence of a mythical village named Elfhelm, where elves are believed to reside, could help him secure the king’s prize. Nikolas makes an important discovery in his father’s absence and decides to follow him, which leads him to dangerous and enchanted places.
A strong cast (including Sally Hawkins as Mother Something and Steve Merchant voicing the pet mouse, Miika) and a group of excellent child actors bring the heartwarming story to life. Aside from entertaining youngsters with a magical quest, A Boy Called Christmas incorporates valuable messages about grief and loss and the acceptance of these. It also looks at social issues such as prejudice and discrimination by having humans and elves treat each other with suspicion at best, and often with hostility.
Beautifully shot and aesthetically charming, the movie may not be the most original or captivating of its kind, but it’s a perfect Christmas film, and definitely has enough delightful elements to deserve a place in the list of festive films to be enjoyed in the run up to the holidays.
A Boy Called Christmas is released digitally on demand on 26th November 2021.
Watch the trailer for A Boy Called Christmas here: