This movie is incredible. It's broken down into two parts because it's so long (it is pretty difficult to fit that much awesome in just two hours). I've caught parts of it on television before, so I knew that I enjoyed it. I have never seen it all the way through though. I still technically haven't because I had to pause it in order to get any sleep.
The book the movie is based off of is part of Pratchett's Discworld series. I keep hearing really good things about it, and the series has been recommended to me several times by many different people. Hogfather, in particular, is a story about an unusual, monster-beating governess who catches Death taking the place of a very jolly, fat man who gives away presents to children on the eve of Hogswatch. Convinced that something is very wrong, the governess investigates further and uncovers a dastardly plot to assassinate the real Hogfather!
I'm sure you've already made some connections here. Hogswatch is the equivalent of our Christmas, and the Hogfather is like our Santa Claus, only he has tusks and drinks sherry instead of milk. I chose this movie because I happened upon it during my Christmas movie search on Netflix. It's July, so I consider my Christmas mania to be acceptable now.* Unlike in March, when it's just embarrassing.
This movie is a more adult Christmas movie. It isn't because of cursing or sexual activities, but because it delves into the connection between the childhood beliefs in creatures like Santa Claus and our adult belief in justice. Both are abstract things that don't always appear consistent with reality.
My love for this movie is born out of my love for Susan, the governess. I love to see a spirited woman picking up a poker and kicking some monster butt. I like that she doesn't want to lie to her charges, and that she plays along with the excuses for magical things from the logical, somewhat mundane adults. I like that she is also struggling with reconciling some things from her logical side with her knowledge/belief in magic.
And I love Michelle Dockery, the actress who plays her. You may know her as Lady Mary Crawley from Downtown Abbey. She does a fantastic job with this character.
I also love Death in this movie. His dry sense of humor just cracks me up. The person who does his voice is perfect. I love everything his voice chooses to do. I'm not going to lie (and this is a
The best parts of the movie though are the interactions between Susan and Death. It's in these interactions that the deep questions come up. This is one of my favorites:
Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?
A little depressing? Maybe. But I like it. There's a lot of truth in it. And the sentiment is kind of beautiful.
Another reason I love the movie?
There's lots of snow and holiday decorations. Color me obsessed, but I love the holidays.
I hope you have a merry Christmas (in July)!
*Christmas in July is a thing. There are sales and sometimes even television specials. I'll take those as an excuse to get excited for the holidays.