"Lost Christmas" - Review
15 Dec 2011
There are some films that you just have to watch at Christmas; It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol (especially if it's the Muppets), Gremlins... And now a new film commissioned by CBBC, Lost Christmas (starring the fantastic Eddie Izzard), looks set to join this pantheon of all-time Christmas classics. After the preview screening of this tragic and heart-warming urban fairytale at the British Film Institute, there were very few dry eyes left in the audience!
Set in Manchester on Christmas Eve, a mysterious and enigmatic man, Anthony (Eddie Izzard), suddenly appears on the streets with no recollection of who he is or why he's there - all he knows is a series of bizarre facts and that he has an uncanny ability to find the lost. With his unique ability, Anthony transforms the lives of five people whose lives have been shattered by the decisions of their past...
Superbly written by John Hay, David Logan, and Izzard, Lost Christmas is a tale of great personal tragedy over the Christmas period. It shows how the simplest of actions can completely change your life and the lives of those around you, and that bad things can happen, but also that sometimes miracles can happen and you may just get a second chance. Even though it has been billed as a children’s film, Lost Christmas is a film for all the family, and deals with some rather heavy concepts which will be more accessible to the maturer audiences. As Eddie Izzard said at the Q&A, “I think it’s actually timeless. I don’t see it as a kids’ thing, I see it as a family film. I think you’ve got to be a teenager really to grab hold of where we’re going with some of the loss.”
It is an incredibly touching story, told mainly through the experiences of Goose (Larry Mills), a young boy with a tragic back-story, who encounters the ethereal Anthony. Together, they meet people from all walks of life, each with their own personal tragedy, but all unknowingly linked by the events of last Christmas. As heartwarming as it is deeply tragic, Lost Christmas certainly takes you on a profound and emotional journey - even I, as stoical as I am, found myself moved by this film! By the time the end credits had rolled, there were a fair few teary eyes in the auditorium.
Eddie Izzard provides a truly phenomenal performance as a seemingly non-human enigma, filled with facts and understanding, but no idea about his own life. He superbly captured the essence of a mysterious and ethereal being, carrying a strange sense of detachment and fore-knowledge throughout. Izzard’s dramatic style is a far cry from from his usual on-stage joviality, and another great addition to his growing repertoire of performances outside of his global acclaim as a stand-up comedian. With such a fantastic cast (including Jason Flemyng, Sorcha Cusack, Geoffrey Palmer and first-time actor Larry Mills), the film’s range of characters felt fully realised and fleshed-out, really drawing you into their own personal stories and how they tie-in in the grand scheme of things.
Although this film has been commissioned by CBBC and stars the unparalleled comedian-come-actor Eddie Izzard, don't be fooled into thinking it'll be a light-hearted Christmas jaunt. It will take you from crying tears of sadness to tears of joy - either way, keep the box of tissues to hand! There are also some scenes that may be quite unsettling for younger audiences pretty much from the outset, so parental discretion is almost certainly advised. There is a happy ending, but it takes a good 90 minutes of tragedy, heart-ache, loss and redemption before you get there!
That being said, though, it is still what I'd class as a 'feel-good' film. In spite of all these traumatic experiences, the story manages to leave you with a warm feeling in the end, and has a very “Christmassy” feel to it. It’s certainly not to be missed!
Lost Christmas will air on BBC One on 18th December, 5.30pm. It will also be shown on CBBC on Christmas Eve at the same time with some edits for language and content.
Original Source - Step2InspireTV