Continuing in the spirit of the season with more movies related (sometimes ever so loosely) to the holidays!
Here are two more suggestions!
The Thin Man (1934)
Ah, The Thin Man! Nothing like a little crime and mystery for Christmas (and New Year’s Eve)!
Nick Charles (as played by William Powell) and Nora Charles (played by Myrna Loy) are such an adorable
pair of drunks couple. The story, based (faithfully, to a point) on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, involves the search for a missing inventor. But the focus is less on mystery than romantic comedy, which strays a bit from Hammett’s unsentimental style.
Nonetheless, Powell and Loy are a joy to watch. Not to mention the various kooky characters they encounter while trying to solve the mystery. Which turns out to be a murder mystery.
After all the investigating (and
binge-drinking partying), the killer is revealed in the classic big dinner scene. Which has one of my favorite lines delivered by Nora Charles: “Waiter, will you serve the nuts? I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts?”
PS: The Thin Man isn’t Nick Charles! But you knew that, right? 🙂
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Yes, this is a movie that takes place during the holidays. In fact, the beginning of the film seems like an endless parade of police brutality and Christmas carols amidst the palm trees of Hollywood. All very ironic, right?
The story begins with an embarrassing incident for the LAPD nicknamed “Bloody Christmas”. Between scenes of swank parties among the Tinseltown hoi polloi and earthier festivities at the cops’ station, a group of Mexicans are dragged in unceremoniously. While sentimental holidays songs ring out in the background.
Even so, it’s one of my favorite films, as I’ve previously blogged. And there’s something about the juxtaposition of the Night Owl Cafe murders with the holiday tunes, Christmas lights, and merriment that leaves an impression.
A great choice if you’re looking for an alternative to the usual feel-good holiday fare. L.A. Confidential is one of my favorite neo-noir films of the last century. And I still think it was robbed of a Best Picture Oscar!