It’s a Wonderful Life

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There’s a terrific cinema in central Aberdeen called the Belmont Filmhouse. It was built in 1898 as a trades hall and is now home to three movie rooms (I think it’s three). They show a good mix of new release and classic films in cosy and comfortable rooms – not at all the soulless kind you find in the big cinema chains.

Every year at Christmas they screen some festive classics and we took the kids to see one of these today. It was the 1946 James Stewart film, It’s a Wonderful Life. I love old movies and have seen most of the classics more than once but somehow I’ve never managed to see this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect or even if it would be suitable for children; I thought they might find it boring.

It was sensational. A tear-jerker. Heart-warming. Uplifting. James Stewart plays a small-town businessman whose dream of seeing the world is constantly hampered by unfortunate events. Then, when his business collapses and things go wrong he tries to commit suicide. However a guardian angel steps in and shows him what the life of those around him would have been like had he never lived.

It sounds a bit silly when I describe it here but it’s very well done. It’s a long film at 2 hours 15 minutes and it takes a little while to get going but the children were amazing and sat through it all without complaint. They even gave it a positive review at the end. Everyone in the theatre applauded when the movie finished. I bawled my eyes out. Maybe we’ll go and see it again next Christmas.