The idea of The Christmas Chronicles is to bring Christmas magic back into the minds and hearts of children and adults through a nice and well-produced comedy.
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For this, Netflix spared no expense: surely this is one of the greatest streaming platform’s thematic releases, which is clear in the carefully making of visual effects, in the accurate art direction and in the casting of a Hollywood heavyweight to interpret Santa Claus (watch here).
After being a huge success in his first film career stage, Kurt Russell was eventually relegated to minor supporting roles, even in “direct to DVD” productions – a symptom of discredit until the end of the last decade.
Quentin Tarantino brought the star back in films such as “Grindhouse: Death Proof” and (mostly) “The Hateful Eight”, where he was highlighted as one of the main elements of the revered director’s intricate plot.
Back in the spotlight, Russell wasted no time: he embraced every good project he found. The Christmas Chronicles is one of them.
A simple plan
Russell, with his huge beard, plays the every Christmas movie’s main character: Santa Claus. It is interesting to see him in this role, considering that until a few years ago he was considered one of the most interesting heartthrobs of the 80’s. However, time has been good to the veteran actor, who improved greatly in his performances and here delivers a funny and friendly portrait of the biggest end of year festivities’ symbol.
The plot is about a simple plan of two brothers, Teddy and Kate, who arrange to film the arrival of Santa to prove he exists. However, on discovering the truth – that the legend is real, of course – they end up hiding in his sleigh and causing an accident. Now, they need to help the Good Old Man carry out his mission before dawn, so that all the children of the world will receive their gifts the way it should be.
It is clear that Kurt Russell has fun on his role. His Santa is totally different from the image we have of this iconic character. Despite maintaining his kindness and wit, the actor lends his ironic and very “cool” image, turning him into a funny and joker lord, in addition to escaping from the “chubby” image that all the character’s representations have made so far – which resulted in a great joke when Santa Claus ended up at the police station. Does it sound strange? Yes, but believe me: it’s worth every minute.
The special effects are great, far above what we’re used to seeing in Netflix’s original productions – which is not known to invest in this. The art direction is also excellent, especially in the brothers’ house and Santa Claus’ factory in the North Pole. Clay Kaytis’ direction is competent, especially for being his first live-action work (he was responsible for the animation sector, being a technician on several Disney films, from “Pocahontas” to “Frozen”, and directed his first project, “Angry Birds” in 2016). His direction is elegant and visually attention-grabbing, managing to get the best out of its actors, who are all, without exception, very funny.
In this way, The Christmas Chronicles is an interesting comedy that captures attention from beginning to end and recalls the Christmas classics that were so common in the early 1990s, like “Home Alone”, for example. It’s through these kinds of features that the spirit of Christmas, which has been so neglected lately, remains alive.
Trailer and additional information about The Christmas Chronicles Netflix
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Synopsis 1: Eight tiny reindeer. Two squabbling siblings. And a Santa who’s full of surprises. It’s a Christmas Eve the’ll never forget.
Synopsis 2: After accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick.