A Boy Called Christmas

Henry Lawfull as Nikolas

A superhero origin story of sorts, A Boy Called Christmas is slightly vague about the costumed crusader it has in mind. Is it Saint Nicholas, aka Santa Claus? Or his pagan predecessor, Father Christmas, the white-bearded giftbringer who “flew” through the winter night on his fleet-footed steed possibly with a hallucinogenic aerial assist from fly agaric mushrooms? Slight quibble to one side, this is actually a nice, sweet, middle-of-the-road story about a boy’s Christmas-y fairytale quest to find Elfhelm, home of the elves, and it builds gently and unexceptionally towards a an emotional climax that might catch you off guard. The Princess Bride is the quasi-template, with Maggie Smith in the Peter Falk … Read more

Quartet

Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith in Quartet

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 February Enrico Caruso born, 1873 On this day in 1873, the Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso was born in Naples. He came from a large family and his father was a manual worker. Enrico was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer aged 11 but also sang in the church choir, where his voice stood out. He took up work as a street singer, performed in cafes and had soon graduated to soirees where he would literally sing for his supper. All the while he was studying singing and eventually made his debut aged 22 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. By … Read more