It's A Wonderful Life, 1946
Directed by Frank Capra
Somehow, some way, I managed to live through 22 Christmases and have never seen It's A Wonderful Life. I'm really not sure how this happened, but this was definitely one of the first films I knew I had to add to my Blindspot list. Because how have I missed out on it this long? Finally, I sat down on Christmas eve with my husband, my in-laws and brother-in-law, and watched it.
It's A Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey. He wishes he had never been born one Christmas, so an angel is sent down to show George exactly what life would've been like if he hadn't been around. But even before this, we get to see the entire life of George Bailey, from life as a child, to a driven and adventure-seeking young adult, to a man somehow stuck in a place he never saw for himself.
This is definitely one of Frank Capra's more refined movies. I have seen only a handful of his films, and while this film did have hints of Capra's style he used in previous movies, this is definitely Capra at the most serious I've seen him. I know most people have seen this film by now, but it's definitely not as depressing as my little summary makes it seem to be. Yes, it's technically about a man who wants to kill himself, and is only minorly set at Christmastime, but it's a story about life and valuing what you have and who you have around you.
I did enjoy the movie, and will likely watch it again in my life. It may not be one I seek out to watch every Christmas, like some people, but it's still one I did enjoy. James Stewart, of course, is great here. He really makes it all look so easy and seems born to play George Bailey. The romance was sweet, and the movie really does get you to understand George and really feel frustrated with him that he keeps not being able to achieve his dreams and adventures. It really is a sweet film, and that I did enjoy. Some of it was a little corny (how we see the "angels" talking to each other throughout, for example), but it was still an enjoyable film.
It's been a lot of fun doing this Blindspot project this year, and watch out over the next few days for my 2016 list!