Sometimes you just need a good holiday movie, something not too fluffy but not too serious. Here are a few that I’ve enjoyed watching, each with a literary connection:

84 Charing Cross Road (1987)

Anthony Hopkins plays a British bookshop manager who strikes up an accidental correspondence with Helene Hanff, an outgoing and enthusiastic bookworm from New York. Their decades-long friendship spans both book recommendations and the hardships of WWII, along with Helene’s life changes and a great yearning to visit Britain. This is based on a true story and very heartwarming.

The Anne of Green Gables trilogy

I don’t know if they still play this on PBS anymore, but the 1980s Anne movies (the first two particularly) were rewatches of mine growing up. While perhaps not a purist’s adaptation of the Green Gables series, the script nonetheless stayed true to the spirit of the books, and the cast was incredible.

Paddington 2

And now for something completely lighthearted! I never thought I’d love a Paddington movie (the books were “meh” for me as a kid), but on a whim I gave both movies a try and really enjoyed Paddington 2. Our well-meaning bear with the red hat goes through a number of ups and downs, at one point landing himself in prison (!!). The humor was more on point in this sequel, and Hugh Grant’s role as a shady actor (yes, actor) was hilarious. Give it a try; you might be pleasantly surprised.

Little Women (2017)

A couple of years before the Hollywood adaptation, PBS aired this BBC production of Lousia May Alcott’s novel. After watching it through, I had to admit it surpassed even my affection for the Winona Ryder classic. The script is quite true to the book, Emily Watson is perfect as Marmee, and the Christian themes were left mostly intact. I loved the costumes and felt that the movie struck a good tone between joyful and sober (Beth’s struggles are given more attention than usual, and rightly so). All in all, a lovely costume drama that will leave you feeling cozy-hearted.

Nancy Drew (2007)

If you’re not looking for a purist adaptation but just a cute movie with some laughs, Nancy Drew is fun to watch. Emma Roberts plays a quirky old-fashioned girl who moves to LA with her dad. Unable to fit in with the hip crowd, she can’t resist turning her attention to more interesting things, like solving the mystery of a deceased movie star. I love the innocent, quasi-90s vibe of this film and feel it’s underrated!

Finding Neverland (2004)

So of all these films, I would say Finding Neverland is the one I hesitated to add, since I had mixed feelings about it (3.5 stars). It’s basically a fictionalized portrayal of the friendship between J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) and a widow and her sons, which becomes the basis for his Peter Pan story. While it’s unknown exactly how platonic the relationship was in real life, it’s an interesting basis for a movie, and Depp plays Barrie pretty convincingly as a man who lives in his own world, struggling to fit into social norms and yet yearning for friendship. Though I wouldn’t call it a favorite or anything, I’m glad I saw it.

7 thoughts on “Six Cozy Bookish Movies to Watch This Christmas

  1. lol, i can’t in the wildest stretch of imagination envision Depp playing J.M. Barrie! that seems to me the most blatant incidence of miscasting i’ve ever heard of… i’m surprised it got 3.5 stars, so he must be a better actor than i have thought… i liked Charing Cross and it’s sequels: simple, uncomplicated and amusing (in the English sense, which is quite different than the American one…)

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    1. ooh Charing Cross has sequels?! I’ll have to check that out…
      Yeah I liked Depp in this one. Very different role from the Mad Hatter or Willy Wonka πŸ˜€

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  2. What a great idea! I’m not a movie person, but the kids and I love to watch films around Christmas time. We watch the same over and over, but wonder what else would fit the season. I suggested Little Women. And I’d love to see Anne of GG, but it’s so hard to find to stream. You have to buy the DVD, I guess. ??? I never heard of Nancy Drew or Charing Cross Road, but both sound like good ones. Thanks for the suggestions! Happy Christmas!!

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    1. It looks like you can rent it here, but I imagine DVD is more affordable in the long run: https://www.gazebotv.com/browse

      Also I forgot to mention but only some of these movies have Christmas scenes, the rest are just sort of “feel good” movies. πŸ™‚ Cranford is another one that comes to mind.

      Hope you and your family have a great Christmas, Ruth!!

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  3. My favourite Christmas movie is ‘Die Hard’. A heart warming Christmas story of Love, Friendship, International Terrorism and Hostage situations. Ho, Ho, Ho.

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      1. It’s a LOT of fun. Bruce Willis at his best – plus Alan Rickman being brilliantly evil. But it’s also very Christmassy and has a happy ending, so…

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