A Christmas Story
Every Christmas I try to find time to watch A Christmas Story, for no other reason than it is probably the overall best Christmas film in the known universe. Sure, we likely are all in agreement that It's A Wonderful Life is really the best Christmas film in terms of message and film-making and performances, and it rightly deserves its long-held crown, but for out-and-out fun A Christmas Story just takes the cake.
The story, if you've never seen it (and if you've never seen it, you're probably not an American, since it seems to be a national institution over there), is set in the 1940s and revolves around young schoolboy Ralphie and his desire for a particular brand of BB airgun as a Christmas gift. "You'll shoot your eye out," is the mantra repeated to him by sensible adults throughout the film, but still he wants it, and still we want him to get it.
Other key characters are Ralphie's younger brother Randy and their parents, all of whom are wholly believable in their roles. And there's a raft of wonderful scenes. Who can forget the "your tongue won't stick to a frozen telegraph pole" bet (pictured above)? Or the bunny suit? Or the fight between Ralphie and nemesis Scut Farkus? If you've never seen it, go rent it now, while you're still feeling almost festive.
Cerebral pleasure: 13