It’s Christmas Eve again, and therefore time once more to bring an end to my annual Christmas Countdown of films that are a bit Christmas(ish). You’d imagine that after six years of this pointless lunacy that I would finally have fun out of movies but, alas, I already have another 24 lined up for next year. None quite as good as today’s entry though, which is arguably one of the greatest movies of all time.
Indeed it’s so great that, even though it is a sequel to another great movie, it is often purported to be better than it’s precursor.
I don’t know if I agree with that assessment, because I did really like the first movie, which was my Christmas Eve movie of choice last year.
That film was Francis Ford Copolla’s 1972 masterpiece, The Godfather, which of course means that this year’s Christmas Eve entry is Francis Ford Copolla’s 1974 masterpiece, The Godfather Part II.
I’m not sure it’s especially fair to compare the two films anyway, because they are clearly best viewed as two parts of the same peerless masterpiece. But if you do view the films that way then maybe you have to consider The Godfather Part III as part of the whole, and The Godfather III is nowhere near as good as the first two.
On balance I think I have a slight preference for the original movie, but The Godfather Part II is an astonishing sequel/prequel and deserving of the many plaudits it has received over the years.
Score for Christmasishness
On first viewing I didn’t think that The Godfather Part II was as Christmas(ish) as its predecessor, but on repeat viewings I can see it scores pretty highly on the Christmas(ish) scale. There is only one really obvious nod to Christmas, which is when we see a fully decorated Christmas tree in the home of one of the main characters, but the timeline of the movie (or one of the timelines, as there is a dual narrative covering two different time periods) covers a lot of ground after we see that Christmas tree until the action focuses on a New Years Eve party in Cuba. So everything that happens in that time (which is a significant portion of the running time) must happen in and around Christmas. After that there are references to a Christmas present, and quite a bit of snow on the ground. A Christmas tree is also referenced (if not explicitly seen) in one of the final scenes in the movie – a flashback to the Corleone family gathering to celebrate a birthday which happens to be in December.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year
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Merry Christmas to you and all the Proclaims family, friends, and followers.
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