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Christmas, Again2015

  • 3.9
For a fifth consecutive December, a heartbroken Noel returns to New York City to work the night shift at a sidewalk Christmas tree lot. Devoid of any holiday spirit, he struggles to stay awake during the long, chilly nights in his trailer, while the daytime traffic keeps him from getting any real rest. As he slowly spirals into despair, he comes to the aid of a mysterious young woman in the park. Her warming presence, matched with some colorful customers, help rescue him from self-destruction.

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What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

"A refreshingly gentle corrective to the triumphantly delusional schmaltz that saturates the holiday season box office." - Michael Pattison, Keyframe


8 members like this review

I usually struggle with this kind of film - meandering indie character studies, where you observe a character engage in various everyday routine behaviors with backstory slowly parceled out, while you wait patiently for something or someone (usually a woman) to break up the cycle. You might be checking your watch by the tenth scene in a row of the protagonist mumbling his way through a Christmas tree sale.

BUT - I have to say, the last twenty minutes of this are pretty much perfect and well worth sticking around for. The filmmakers and actors take some risks and brush against some cliches but there's not a single misstep. The last few images here will stick with me for a long time. Can definitely see this becoming a low-key Christmas classic for indie film lovers.

4f747bee28504a71c73e3b230d222884?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0089
top reviewer

Member Reviews (16)

4f747bee28504a71c73e3b230d222884?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0089
top reviewer

I usually struggle with this kind of film - meandering indie character studies, where you observe a character engage in various everyday routine behaviors with backstory slowly parceled out, while you wait patiently for something or someone (usually a woman) to break up the cycle. You might be checking your watch by the tenth scene in a row of the protagonist mumbling his way through a Christmas tree sale.

BUT - I have to say, the last twenty minutes of this are pretty much perfect and well worth sticking around for. The filmmakers and actors take some risks and brush against some cliches but there's not a single misstep. The last few images here will stick with me for a long time. Can definitely see this becoming a low-key Christmas classic for indie film lovers.

8 members like this review

Wanted to point out several of your remarks that I agree with, as well as add a few comments.

1. I agree with the notion that this could be a "low-key Christmas for indie film lovers."

2. I agree that some viewers may be constantly checking their watches, but the eventual payoff is worth it. To me, what would make viewers check their watches also makes the later moments have more of an impact--moments that would be pretty unexceptional in Hollywood film. In this way, it reminds me of a films like The Exploding Girl or Quiet City. If you liked those films, there's a good chance you'll like this.

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top reviewer

I really enjoyed this movie and it's casual pace. Noel interacting with his customers at the stand and then delivering trees provided some really engaging windows into the lives of the people that live around Noel's stand. Highly recommend as an antidote to the bang-you-over-the-head xmas message movies out there. Just a little slice of life movie happening over xmas in New York.

3 members like this review

The way that this film simultaneously commiserates with holiday loneliness while imparting love and joy at the same time... success. Bien fait !

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

An outstanding character piece that captures the darker side of the holidays off the main streets of NYC. This is a surprisingly contemplative film. Gentle but never afraid of facing the harsh and dark realities of life, Poekel's film makes an effective and bittersweet impression. As usual, Kentucker Audley is highly effective in the leading role.

1 member likes this review

How about just taking off your watch and turning off your phone and getting absorbed in a compelling little story that will last with you much longer than the latest piece of shit coming out of Marvel Studios????

Just because some small, intimate, character-based indies aren't great or don't pay off, that doesn't mean you should expect that all of them will. Do you do that same thing with predicable crap of different genres? This is a really special little movie. Is it perfect? No? Are 98% of the films you see this year going to be perfect? No.

Some films or novels take a LOT of work and, in the end, aren't worth it.

And others are.

But don't resent the idea of putting in work in the first place.

It's part of what makes the experience worthwhile in the first place.

Bravo, Charles Poekel.

Thank you for a beautiful film.

1 member likes this review

Acting is superb. Characters are great. The story is a bittersweet unconventional holiday tale that pieces together the stories of the main characters seamlessly with other families around the city. There is a little magic there.

1 member likes this review

Great little film.

1 member likes this review
0dc6d159bcd566a8dfbaf4a2800a27b1?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0012
top reviewer

A fine film. As another reviewer said -- it show a slice of life. Good acting, well shot, relaxing entertainment. Oh for more films like this than the mega budget overpaid celebrity rubbish that is so pervasive.

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top reviewer

Very good. Takes a little sticking to it, but great finish. I would watch this again.

Slow but somehow gripping story.

I really like holiday antidote movies (what Michael Pattison of Keyframe said better) and especially movies wherein people really act like people, and hopefully emotional intelligence is revealed. Deftly paced to tell a story through action and expression of the main actor with few words needed, just beautifully done. Yeah, this one got me...not what I was expecting after reading other reviewers...and it has stayed with me.

For all its efforts, it's a lazy mumblecore film that relies too heavy on Kentucker Audley's subtle performance. As fine of an actor as he is, he can't carry or translate what I assume are some very interesting ideas floating within a vague script treatment. For as much as you want to see this sort of experiment succeed, it unfortunately falls flat.

Sort of slow and waiting for a plot for a long time and then one slowly developed and it was OK after that. The main character Noel, seems to have social issues in terms of basic verbal communication, but he

is engaging and the intercourse between him and the girl is very sweet. I gave it four stars because I can't figure out how to give a film a half star.

Really enjoyed this film, the acting was done very well. The love story tho can seem a bit corny was executed to its full. Love the misconnection at the end, such a heartbreak. Perfectly portrayed the feelings that one experiences as a result of working a grave shift job involving partial outside work, such a drag lol. :)

This is the most accurate film depiction of working the night shift I've ever seen.

Need something a little more tangible by closing credits. Still, like the flower gift, certain things do begin to blossom if you're looking.

By turns cozy and lonely, without veering too far into sentimentality. I enjoyed it, and while watching, another small Brooklyn-set film I enjoyed a few years back came to mind: "Pleasure of Being Robbed"; so was pleasantly surprised to see Eleonore Hendricks name among the production credits!