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Christmas movies seem to multiply like the commercial world's "Season's Greetings"--and most of them are just as hollow and pointless. This is an exception, British cinema at its best. "The Holly and the Ivy" is an emotional roller coaster that leaves you wanting more.
Members of a family assemble to celebrate Christmas in the home of their father, a widowed Anglican clergyman. Various ones have gone through painful experiences of one kind or another. And all have concealed the details from their father on the assumption that he wouldn't understand "because he's a parson." The shattering explosions that occur as bits of the truth begin to be revealed are memorable. Forget about the endless fantasies, flying reindeer and dancing snowmen. This is a real Christmas about real people. The resolution at the end may come a little too quickly, but it is satisfying.
See this movie if you can find it--and urge the powers that be to re-issue it on DVD.
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