Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Christmas Snow

A note as per my review, you may even want to call it a full disclosure. I received a note from a friend, Rob Harris about a new movie he was in titled, A Christmas Snow. I know Rob from his involvement in a little independent film called Jesus Fish some time ago. We became friends along the rest of the guys at Tiroma Films. It is good to see Rob and the rest of the folks at Tiroma starting to get more recognition for their work, they deserve it.

With some hesitancy I purchased the movie A Christmas Snow. If it hadn’t been for knowing that Rob was in it, I don’t know if I would have purchased it or not. I was surprised at the story and unique twists that had components of Its A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. While there are components of those stories, there is enough originality here to please most Christmas fans. There is quality story and very good to terrific acting in the movie.

A Christmas Snow follows a single father, Andrew, and his young daughter, Lucy. Andrew is a widower who has fallen in love with a scrooge of a girlfriend, Kathleen. In a surprising turn of events, Andrew, played by Anthony Tyler Quinn, has to leave his pesky, and at times, rude daughter, Lucy, played very nicely by new comer, Cameron Ten Napel with Kathleen while he attends an emergency business trip. Kathleen, who doesn’t care much for children, and has reasons to be a scrooge, reluctantly agrees to care for the child for what is supposed to be a couple of days at most. The character of Kathleen is played very nicely by Catherine Mary Stewart. On the first night of Lucy’s stay, Kathleen decides to make a run to the store, along the way, she has two incidents with a homeless man. Sam, played beautifully by Muse Watson is a mystical sort of man despite his situation. As the night progresses, she agrees to take Sam to the bus station where he is attempting to catch a bus to visit his family for Christmas which he hasn’t seen in many years. The bus station is closed so Kathleen invites Sam to stay with her overnight because he had helped her from an attempted robbery at the store. That night, a snow storm hits the community and it changes everything.

As the story progresses we see characters change and a terrific performance by Muse Watson. One of the things we see is that things are not always as they appear and sometimes behaviors can be explained if one takes the time to listen. One of the things I liked was that while seeing this happen with the characters on screen the viewer also has their opinions changed and sees things from a different perspective, thus having their opinions change. I found myself caring for characters I initially didn’t like, and found myself following the story with that traditional, ‘Holiday’ feel I personally like to experience.

As many readers may know, I am also a pastor. As a pastor I follow some traditions of my own. One of those is I always teach on a character in the Christmas story known as Simeon. Simeon is a little known character in the Christmas story. We read about Simeon in Luke Chapter 2. Through the process of A Christmas Snow, some of the lessons, and the story of Simeon come out. It is one of those beautiful things to see in a film, the reality that in a non preachy way, spiritual truths and concepts can be learned and taught in a thought provoking way. The inclusion and importance of a Biblical story, related to Christmas thus provides a Christmas memory and experience that not only entertains, but also causes the viewer to reflect on their own life, their own experiences. We soon realize, that dreams are at times possible, and if we allow, God will find a way to help us realize our dreams and desires. This is a huge part of the Christmas story often left out, or simply not known to many who don’t read the whole story.

The truth is, there are a ton of lackluster Holiday movies that seem to manipulate and take advantage of their audience. It was refreshing to see one that respected the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, but doing so in a respectful way. While faith is an important backdrop in this film, it is done in a respectful way that will cause the viewer to reflect on their own stories and not insult the person who is not as faithful to the religious associations of Christmas. While only time will tell for the larger movie viewing audience, I expect this movie to become a regular Christmas tradition at my household. There aren’t many of those ‘classics’ in my repertoire of Holiday Films, but A Christmas Snow has as much a chance to become a classic for my home as any holiday movie I have seen in some time.

I expect that A Christmas Snow will be much better than expected for many giving it a chance. It has all of the ingredients to add spice to that Christmas Cider, along with enough touching and tender moments to brighten up the lights around the house. Then, as many families with children known, there are those surprises that come about when some of those presents under the tree are opened. Thankfully, there is also the love among families which we all want and we all desire, but at times don’t experience. Many of us dream though, we dream dreams that all things are possible, and that healing can take place. For those reasons, I will watch this again, not just for my own joy, but for the opportunity to once again, experience some of those good things, some of those blessings if you will, that we all look forward to, especially at Christmas time.

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