365 films in 2016: film 17 (It’s A Wonderful Life 1946)

its_a_wonderful_life_-_h_-_1946A lot of people like to label It’s A Wonderful Life as the great American movie, I personally think that’s a stretch, It’s A Wonderful Life is a good film with some nice moments but watching it in 2016 it just feels kind of dated, i’m gonna be careful with what i say here because a lot of people have a cult like following with this film. Some moments feel relevant still today and others just make your eyes roll, in my opinion It’s A Wonderful Life has always been overly sentimental, a lot of the performances feel over the top and in your face and it pulls you out of the emersion.

This doesn’t mean I don’t like the film, the story of  It’s A Wonderful Life is fantastic, George is a man who has great aspirations and dreams to see the world but his senselessness keeps stopping him from leaving, whenever he tries to leave he gets pulled back in and despite George talking about how he doesn’t like it there he still can’t stop himself from helping the people around him, George is trapped in Bedford Falls, whenever he does the right thing he gets punished, and George knows that. I think that’s what keeps this film so relevant, It’s A Wonderful Life tries to say doing the right thing doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you as an individual but for a community it might be, and at the end of the film George learns that (and of course everyone knows the ending it’s all very beautiful and cute and heartwarming etc).

At the end of the film George isn’t really any better off, but he learns something (this is a christmas movie it’s allowed to be cringe worthy) George learns to enjoy what he has and that’s why It’s A Wonderful Life is still relevant today, i would give this film a 7/10.

In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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