“Oh, life is like that: sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary’s review is spot on: despite being written just three years after the film’s release, he accurately predicts its cult-potential, noting “there’s no reason this unique film should play only in December” — though of course, that’s exactly when most people watch it, again and again and again, as it plays in marathon mode on television throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Its cult status is somewhat legendary, with numerous websites devoted to it — including an online merchandise store. Clearly, this film hits a nerve for many — perhaps because of how many potent childhood milestones and concerns it covers: menacing bullies, dangerous dares, strict but loving parents, and a lack of agency over gaining one’s most coveted wish. Billingsley is perfectly cast in the lead role: he’s nerdy but no pushover, and, as the oldest child, capable of showing maturity most of the time (unlike his younger brother). This film is a treat, and I can’t imagine any film fanatic not enjoying it at least once (if not many more times).
Note: In 2012, A Christmas Story was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: