Strathclyde Telegraph

Ultimate Christmas Film For Overcoming A Bah-Humbug.

By Nicola McFadyen

I am not a hugely Christmassy person, and I have never made a secret of this. However, there is nothing that makes me feel more festive, than a good Christmas film. I do however hold one of the most unpopular opinions in the history of Christmas- I hate Elf. My Mum loves it, my Dad loves it, my sister loves it, and I can’t watch more than the first five minutes of it without being filled with a feeling of uncontrollable rage.

It would be a crime for me to mention one of my favourite Christmas films and not the other, as they form part of a series of films, and these are the Nativity films. The first one, is simply entitled “Nativity!” and features Martin Freeman in the role of long suffering teacher Paul Maddens, who once held dreams of being an actor. He is now charged with putting on the school nativity play every year- the only problem being, he hates Christmas, after his girlfriend (played by Ashley Jensen of “Ugly Betty” fame) left him on Christmas eve one year. He encounters all sorts of issues when it is mistakenly believed that Hollywood is going to come to the school to watch the play, after he tries to outdo his rival Mr Shakespeare (played by Jason Watkins) and all sorts of chaos ensures. Marc Wootton plays a blinding role as teaching assistant Mr Poppy, who is often in the midst of the barmiest moments in the film, and the film also features a great young cast, who improvised most of the script between them, leading to a humorous and often touching script.

The sequel to “Nativity!” is entitled “Danger in the Manger” and features David Tennant as a supply teacher at St Bernadettes primary, following the departure of Mr Maddens, where he ends up embroiled in a scheme to take his year group to Wales to participate in the “Song for Christmas” competition. The film follows the same slapstick template as the first, and features an equally lovable cast of young actors, as well as one of the catchiest soundtracks to come out of a children’s Christmas film in years, and David Tennant plays an excellent role as his evil twin, making it one of the only Christmas films to feature on actor in two roles.

For anyone who is a bit of a scrooge like myself, but looking to get into the Christmas spirit, I feel you can’t go far wrong with these seasonal wonders!if (document.currentScript) {