Monday, January 7, 2013

Movies I Watched over Christmas Vacation that Made me Bawl Like a Baby

With only a little preamble, I present:

Movies I Watched over Christmas Vacation that Made me Bawl Like a Baby

Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. I have only vague recollections of watching this as a kid, and they generally circulate around the weird crescent-moon shape the characters’ pupils take on when the Rankin-Bass (and these were the Pixar folks of the 1960s and ‘70s as far as I’m concerned) characters get all squinky-eyed. I was even fully-armed with snark when the narrator donkey revealed his name was “Speiltoe,” or something to that effect. So I didn’t anticipate any strong reactions, watching this as an adult with my kids.


The tears flowed like wine right after (spoilers if you haven’t seen it) Nestor’s mother died protecting him from the snowstorm and didn’t stop until, inexplicably, Nestor went back to Olaf and the horrible snowbound farm where everyone treated him nastily as a kid.

Mr. Krueger’s Christmas. This film (also starring Jimmy Stewart) always gets me, when Mr. Kreuger delivers his speech/prayer to the Christ child. I know the moment is coming and think I’m braced for it, and yet every time it comes, it’s Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel.*

It’s A Wonderful Life. Watched this film in full for the first time in my life this year. Bawled like a baby. And not at the scenes everybody thinks of. The part that gets me is when George Bailey’s daughter exclaims “Oh Daddy,” as she’s at the piano, scared as he barks at her to continue playing the Christmas carol he’d just barked at her to stop playing a few moments ago. Guess it’s the gruff dad in me saying, dammit, Jim, don’t you EVER do that to your kids. Again.

And the prayer at Martini’s bar. Kills me. Just kills me.

* I will NEVER be ashamed of my tears. This is part of my life that I live totally awake, and in a state of total amazement, per Joe Versus the Volcano. They day I stop crying at these scenes is the day I am no longer a human being.

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