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Top 5 Christmas Films of the 21st Century

Counting down our Top 5 Christmas films since the year 2000

For some people, a Christmas movie is a bundle of joy, watched annually to get in to the festive spirit. For others they're a cringeworthy offering that somehow get a pass just because it's Christmas. The last century graced us with some great festive films: Home Alone, The Muppets Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life and more. But we wanted to discuss which the best Christmas films are that have been released in the past 22 years. So, on this months episode of The Focus Film Podcast, Ellis & Gareth were joined by writer Paul Williams to pick a ranked list of the Best Christmas Films of the 21st Century. - click here to listen to the discussion


5. Elf

Directed by Jon Favreau

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."

Feeling like a film that's always been around, Elf finds warmth and humour in every snow-covered crevice of its snappy run time. Will Ferrell brings all of his chaotic energy to the role and the film is all the better for it. A montage sequence sees Buddy the Elf eat gum off of railings, spin around revolving doors, and get hit by a taxi; the physical comedy in those moments are sure to make any family household laugh out loud.


4. The Holiday

Directed by Nancy Meyers

"I need some peace and quiet...or whatever it is people go away for!"

The Holiday is a warm, cheesy delight with four stellar performances leading the way. When you have a classic rom-com formula and add in a Diaz, a Winslet, a Law and a Black its a recipe for complete success. It leans in to its tongue-in-cheek nature pretty effortlessly and has a strong message too, letting its characters find what they've been searching for.

The standout performance goes to Mr Napkin Head. That guy is hilarious!


3. Nativity!

Directed by Debbie Isitt

"It could help you mend your heart!"

There's something so genuine and brilliant about Nativity! that keeps it fresh every time you watch it. Of course the best moment is the final performance, but there are lines throughout that make for some genius dialogue. With an Outnumbered approach to filming, the spontaneity and improvisation taken from the kids turns this into the delight that it is. Plus, some excellent acting moments from a heartbroken Mr Maddens, played brilliantly as ever by Martin Freeman.


2. Klaus

Directed by Sergio Pablos

"A true selfless act always sparks another."

Our newest entry on the list is for the 2019 film Klaus, which provides us with an origin story like no other. Netflix has produced some great animated work in recent years, whether it be The Mitchells vs The Machines or Arcane, but this definitely lives among those greats too. What makes it so special is that it doesn't try to be anything it isn't. It's a pristine presentation of inventive artwork with an incredible cast to boot. Masterful!


1. Love Actually

Directed by Richard Curtis

"There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus."

We think this might be the Christmas film on the most annual watchlists. Despite coming under fire in recent years for its lack of diversity, it tells countless love stories with ease and its dedication to Christmas charm cannot be doubted.

Whether it's Hugh Grant busting a move, Emma Thompson acting better than any other or Bill Nighy singing a festive cover, there's something for everyone in Love Actually.


Worthy Contenders

Films that came close, but for whatever reason, didn't quite make the cut

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Ellis' choice

It's a crowd-splitter but it's creepy nature somehow makes it all the more festive.

The Polar Express - Gareth's choice

This is roller coaster experience of a film, made even better in 3D!

Daddy's Home 2 - Paul's choice

A rogue mention from our guest this week, but he "actually really liked it".

Love Actually available now on Amazon Prime Video

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