REVIEW: The Christmas Chronicles (Netflix)
Director: Clay Kaytis
At 10 years old, Kate (Darby Camp) still believes in Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) and this year she needs him more than ever as this will be her family's first Christmas without her dad. Watching the old video tapes of their past holidays, Kate believes he saw a quick glimpse of the real Santa Claus! On Christmas Eve, she enlists the help of her reluctant older brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) to capture Santa Claus on camera! Things didn't go as planned but in Kate's pursuit of Santa Claus, she and her brother stumbles upon a problem that could potentially bring the Christmas spirit down to an all time low!
Produced by Chris Columbus of Home Alone fame, The Christmas Chronicles has all the hallmarks of the classic feel good holiday movie. The movie is successful in bringing in the warmth feelings one expects from such movie. The story isn't innovative at all as it checks out the basic template of a Christmas oriented flick but that's not something to be ashamed about as the movie's heart is in the right place. It tells lessons we already know growing up but still doesn't mean it does not have value anymore in today's world. And especially with the current tense environment and divisiveness in the society, a feel good movie like this is what a lot of people need.
Kurt Russell brings out a committed and charismatic performance as your rugged but still friendly Santa Claus. One could clearly see how the actor is having a lot of fun playing the iconic character. His Santa Claus is not your typical one as he has some rough edges but not to the point that it goes too far from the Santa we know and loved. One key scene involves Santa having a mini concert inside a jail, it sounds weird on paper but the execution was so clever and entertaining. Young actors Camp and Lewis were so good anchoring the movie as well and delivered nicely in the key emotional moments as well. The visual side of the movie is pretty tight as well and I was impressed in particular in the scene where Kate ventures Santa's gift bag and discovers the world of the elves. It was such an ingenious approach that feels that it came straight from a child's vivid imagination.
The Christmas Chronicles is recommended to those want to get in the holiday mood! It's a simple film but it is so full of heart that one would be reminded how truly magical this season can be.
The Christmas Chronicles streams on Netflix November 22
Check out The Christmas Chronicles thread here