So with Christmas only weeks away we have the first of several seasonal films with A Boy called Christmas. ‘The Names Christmas, Nikolas Christmas’ as played by Henry Lawfull, is a ginger mop topped lad living with his father in a snow swirled Scandanavian cabin deep in the forest and missing his late mother. But his destiny is about to change according to Dame Maggie Smith because A Boy called Christmas is framed as a bedtime story she tells to three modern day children also mourning the loss of their mother. Smith is their disliked Aunt Ruth though it’s not really obvious why as she seems to bean enjoyably no nonsense woman trying to get her niece and nephews to embrace the festive season in a bid to overcome their mothers death. Their father Matt (Joel Fry) hasn’t put up any decorations in their house which is conspicuously non- Christmassy compared to the rest of the houses in the street and that can hardly help the kids either.
Aunt Ruth’s story telling scenes flip back to Nikolas who befriends a mouse Miika (the poor Finnish cousin to Mickey?) and when his father takes off with a bunch of locals seeking out a fabled village of elves like some vengeful Scandi version of EDL he is left in the care of a spiteful aunt (Kristen Wiig). Unable to bear her any longer he sets off with his talking mouse voiced by Stephen Merchant to look for his father befriending and taming a reindeer Blitzen…….you can see where all this is going and that A Boy called Christmas is an origin story. Nikolas quickly finds the village of elves living in a sort of Nordic Grinch type Whoville that celebrates Christmas as a joyful festival of love & caring for each rather than some sort of drunken office party with the elves photocopying their backsides. But their celebration is a covert one having been outlawed by Head Elf Sally Hawkins with as much dislike for humans as the humans have for elves. And Nikolas becomes something of a peacemaker when he promises to locate an elf boy recently kidnapped by humans
Adapted from the book by Matt Haig, A Boy called Christmas is directed and co-written by Gil Kenan (who also co-wrote Ghostbusters Afterlife) with an impressive cast that also includes Jim Broadbent and Toby Jones and there are moments that kids will love. A scene with a giant troll is particularly good as is The Truth Pixie, a precocious fairy tossing around improvised explosive devices like a paramilitary Tinkerbell. Yet though it’s apparent who Nikolas Christmas will become its really the contemporary scenes which make this a cosy Christmas comfort film for kids with a heartwarming finale and a mischevious blink and you miss it twist.
We spoke to director Gil Kenan and star Henry Lawfull about the making of the film…….
We spoke to actor Henry Lawfull about his lead role in the film……
Watch the A Boy called Christmas trailer HERE