The top picks for enjoying your well-deserved holiday
Isabela Villanoy CONTRIBUTOR
The Christmas break feels so close yet so far away as assignments are piling up and deadlines and exams are fast approaching. As the cold weather matches the stressful ambiance of the university, many of us have probably booked flights home, scheduled trips to someplace warmer, or planned a holiday itinerary in Toronto. Whether you’re spending a cold winter’s day in the city, celebrating Christmas by the beach, or studying for your exams, enjoying a good movie this break will surely add happiness, laughter, and magic to your holiday celebration. Here are my top five movies to watch this winter break!
This classic Christmas comedy will definitely bring back fond childhood memories for those who grew up with this movie. In Home Alone, eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is mistakenly left behind at his house as his family departs for Paris. As he celebrates his solitude by doing all the fun things a child can do in a big house, he later realizes that being home alone and away from his family aren’t the best ways to celebrate the holidays. This movie will not only revive the child in you, but will remind you that the holidays are all about being with your family and loved ones. I chose this film for its simple yet profound message: only through distance will we truly realize the importance of family.
Call Me by Your Name
Based on Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name, Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age story that touches on familial and romantic love through its main protagonists Elio and Oliver. Set in a peaceful and picturesque Italian town, the narrative underscores the natural, pure, and powerful emotions of falling in love for the first time. For those of you spending your break in the cold Canadian winter, this movie will definitely make you feel like you’re relaxing on a lounge chair by the garden of an Italian villa on a hot summer’s day. The cinematography will take you through northern Italy’s lush greenery, scenic beaches, and historic architecture through Elio and Oliver’s bike rides. It is a story that explores romance, as well as the significance of family and friendships in a young person’s journey of self-discovery.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (currently in cinemas)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second movie of the Fantastic Beasts series, revitalizes the magic of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe as it continues the adventures of Newt Scamander and his magical creatures. The film takes us around London and Paris with Newt as he tries to stop Gellert Grindelwald’s dark schemes of dominating the non-magical world. The cinematography and the cast’s performances remind us how exciting and spectacular the world of magic is. In order to fully appreciate the movie, I would recommend watching the first film of the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, if you want to appreciate the Easter eggs in the film and experience the nostalgia of the Harry Potter universe, then it is in your best interest to add the Harry Potter series to your list of movies to binge this winter break. After all, it’s never a bad idea to add a little more magic to your holidays.
For all the foodies and adventurous spirits out there, this movie will be perfect for you. Chef beautifully documents the food-based adventures of a father and a son as they travel across the United States, touting their food truck business. This film will tickle your tastebuds this holiday season through its sensual cooking scenes and mouth-watering food close-ups. Food is such a major part of the holidays, and this film will set the festive vibe and spirit of community that comes with cooking for others. The film highlights the importance of food in bringing people together, in rekindling lost relationships, and in reconnecting with the loved ones we have been distant to — things to keep in mind, especially during the holiday season.
There is no better way to spend a chilly winter day than wrapping yourself into a blanket burrito, enjoying a whole box of pizza all to yourself, and watching this movie in the comfort of your bed. A movie with an amazing soundtrack and singing performances, Begin Again is all about the restorative powers of music during the highest and lowest points of one’s life. The songs are insightfully written and impossible to forget. The film strikes a balance between emotional and funny, while drawing you in with its melodious narrative. As 2018 comes to an end, this film and its music will remind you that it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf and begin again.