Movies too good to pass up this holiday season

Movies too good to pass up this holiday season
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

After losing his wife to cancer, Sam Baldwin and his son, Jonah, decide to move from Chicago to Seattle to begin again. Jonah, concerned for his father’s emotional wellbeing, phones a radio station to voice his anxiety about how his father hasn’t found a new wife yet. On her way to meet her fiance’s family for the first time, newly engaged reporter Annie Reed tunes in… and finds herself utterly in love with a man whom she’s never met before. The film revolves around how, despite being engaged, Annie is determined to finally meet this mystery Sam because she believes they have a magical romantic connection.  

In the typical fashion of a ‘90s romantic comedy, “Sleepless in Seattle” is unrealistic. Is its plot reminiscent of a middle schooler’s fever dream about how their older selves would meet their future partner? … Yes. Is there anything that would justify why Annie is so willing to throw away her engagement to her fiance Walter Jackson? No. However the movie doesn’t fail to leave you marveling at how absolutely genius and darling the story is. 

So, yes, you won’t get to see the characters interact face to face for very long or see them create real emotional connections with one another. But you will enjoy finding the multitude of Easter eggs that connect them. From Sam and Annie both saying “magic” at the same time in two different places to Jonah and Sam watching the same New Year’s Eve party on television that Annie herself is attending in New York, this movie isthe ultimate classic of classics and the holiday chick flick of all holiday chick flicks. “Sleepless in Seattle” takes you back to a time not all of us have known, but what all of us deeply yearn for. Disclaimer: you might also fall in love with young Tom Hanks on the way.

At times, it’s absolutely heart wrenching. At others, you’re left with a full heart. But, ultimately, this film leaves you hoping for snow in your cozy pajamas with a warm mug of hot chocolate in hand! 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Based on the books of the same name by British author C. S. Lewis, the 2005 family film “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is full of talking animals, heart-pounding fight scenes and epic battles. The movie begins with the four Pevensie children — Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy — who flee to a mansion in the countryside to escape a warzone. At the mansion, they discover a wardrobe that leads them to the secret world of Narnia, a magical land ruled by the evil White Witch. According to prophecy, the four children will defeat her and restore peace in Narnia, with the wise lion Aslan and his army at their side.

This movie is a classic portal fantasy filled with action and adventure. Its fast  pace hooks you right away. However, the film has its overly unrealistic scenes as well. The two younger Pevensie siblings, Edmund and Lucy, have no sense of stranger danger. Edmund’s naivety often puts his siblings in danger, and Lucy is too trusting. But overall, “Narnia” excels at presenting the Pevensie sibling dynamic naturally, with multiple occasions of classic sibling bickering and relatable moments.

If you’re looking for a suspenseful magical escape rich with heart-warming moments and can handle the occasional bit of second-hand embarrassment, then this might be the start of your next binge-watch. This film is the first out of the three currently released Narnia movies. Greta Gerwig, the director of “Barbie” (2023), is set to direct the next two Narnia films for Netflix.

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

The film starts with Lucy Eleanor Moderatz saving Peter Callaghan — her crush — from an oncoming train. When Peter ends up in a coma, his family and doctors misinterpret Lucy’s words and believe that she’s his fiancee. Drawn in by the warm, loving atmosphere of Peter’s big and crazy family, Lucy chooses not to correct them. Seeing that Lucy is without a mother and her father lives pretty far away from her, it’s not surprising she found comfort and familiarity with Peter’s family. But Peter’s brother, Jack, begins to suspect Lucy’s deception. As he tries to expose her lie, the two of them find themselves falling for each other instead.

This on-screen relationship — despite the unique and questionable situation — is slightly more believable than “Sleepless in Seattle.” You’ll enjoy watching Lucy and Jack’s romance bloom and the amount of lies Lucy intentionally and unintentionally tangles herself up with. The chaotic family dynamic, which is similar to that of “Home Alone,” is sure to leave the audience with those same warm, fuzzy feelings. “While You Were Sleeping” will have you swooning over Bill Pullman’s portrayal of Jack — perfect for hopeless romantics searching for love.

The Nutcracker and the 4 Realms (2018)

With a wide myriad of colors and magical elements that are sure to awe you, the 2018 Christmas movie “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is absolutely breathtaking. Set in London, the movie follows young and bright-minded Clara Stahlbaum after she receives an egg-shaped box one Christmas Eve — the last present that her deceased mother left for her. However, Clara finds herself unable to open the box — the key is missing. Her quest for the key brings her to an entirely different world with four different realms. Clara learns that Mother Ginger, the ruler and regent of the ruined fourth realm, is intent on waging war against the other three realms. In order to stop Mother Ginger, Clara must find the key to the egg-shaped box and discover the message that her mother left for her.

Overall, the setting stands out the most. The scenes are all vibrant and full of detail, filled with elegant outfits and beautiful buildings, which easily draw you in. However, there are some unsettlingly eerie moments in the movie, such as the initial portrayal of Mother Ginger and the fourth realm, which may cause you to wonder if the movie is dipping into the horror genre. And the brief flashback that Clara has of her mom fails to provide anything deeper than an info dump and a few slapdash life lessons.

Regardless, for those seeking something brief and aesthetically pleasing with a coming-of-age theme sprinkled throughout, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” could be your next cozy watch.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ons Chaieb (she/her), Arts & Entertainment Editor
Senior Ons Chaieb is excited to be Nordic’s 2023-24 Arts & Entertainment Section Editor! She’s looking forward to continuing to discuss refreshing topics and honing her writing skills. Outside of Nordic, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift. 
Amy Zhao (she/her), Reporter
Sophomore Amy Zhao is the author of several books and graphic novels, including 16 Psyche and Invasion of the Aliens. She is very excited to be on the Nordic team and is passionate about cultivating creativity, expressing important messages, and sharing helpful tips through her writing. At school, Amy is involved in Honor Society and is the Sophomore Class Representative executive for DECA. When she is not writing, she can be found searching for the best bubble tea on the planet or drowning in her collection of plushies.

Comments (0)

Please leave your name and email when commenting. Harmful or spam comments will be removed. Visit the comments policy tab for more info.
All Nordic News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *