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Starring: Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Michiel Huisman, Zoe Colletti, Stephen Merchant, Joel Fry, Rune Temte, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, Indica Watson, Rishi Kuppa
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix family fantasy adventure directed and co-written by Gil Kenan. A Boy Called Christmas (2021) is a reimagining of the story of Father Christmas and follows an ordinary young boy, Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), as he sets out on an adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and his loyal pet mouse, Miika (Stephen Merchant), Nikolas soon meets his destiny.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Grief is the price we pay for love, and worth it a million times over.' - Aunt Ruth (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Man: Merry Christmas.
Aunt Ruth: I’m working on it.
Aunt Ruth: It’s as I thought, still heartbroken.
Andrea: I’m not.
Patrick: Me either.
Moppet: I am. But I still love mummy with all the broken pieces.
Moppet: You’re very old.
Aunt Ruth: Yes. I’m very aware of it.
Andrea: I still don’t get why we all have to listen.
Aunt Ruth: Because the universe is made of stories, not atoms.
Patrick: That’s not actually true.
Aunt Ruth: Well, it must be because I never lie.
Aunt Ruth: Now you may find this hard to believe, but long ago, nobody knew about Christmas. At this time, in the middle of a forest in Finland, there lived an ordinary boy called Nikolas along with his father, a humble woodcutter, who at the moment was quite preoccupied.
Joel: Be the forest.
Nikolas: I don’t know what that means.
Joel: It means don’t move.
Joel: [referring to Elfhelm] There Lumi stayed until the snow cleared, and she was finally able to return to her home in the south, her pockets full of chocolates.
Nikolas: You believe this story, don’t you, Papa?
Joel: The ending is a stretch. The chocolate would have melted. But the rest?
Nikolas: The magic, and the elves?
Joel: I’ve never seen them.
Nikolas: But you believe in them.
Joel: Your mother did. And to her, believing was as good as knowing.
Joel: [referring to the mouse, Miika] He’ll steal our food!
Nikolas: What food?
Nikolas: [to Miika] I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’ve decided to call you Miika. And I’m going to teach you to talk.
'The only thing in life that is simple and clear is the truth. But it can be painful.' - Truth Pixie (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Nikolas: My mama always told me if you believe you can do something, you’re halfway there.
Joel: [after being summoned by the king] Of course I love the King. He’s a great man,
he deserves all that he has. The thing is, we deserve it too. Everybody does.
Nikolas: We manage with what we have.
Joel: We have very little.
Nikolas: We have each other.
Joel: And that’s wonderful. But I want more.
King: We all know times are hard. I mean really, really, really hard. I can’t remember the last time I smiled. Can you? What is there to smile about? We’re all miserable. We’re all missing something, and I think we know what that is.
Member of Crowd 1: A health care system.
King: It’s an idea, but not quite.
Member of Crowd 2: A living wage!
King: Again, worth discussing.
Member of Crowd 3: A fair system of governance? Enough food to feed people?
King: Hope. We all need hope. A spark of magic to keep us all going. I’ve gathered you here because you are the hardiest men and women in the land.
King: [to the man coughing] Not you.
King: And I’m asking you to go to the very edges of our kingdom. Go beyond, and bring back something, anything, to give us hope again.
King: The path may be dangerous. Some of you will die. Probably most of you. But if you succeed, your award will be far greater.
'It's always the way. The darkest night will end. The sun will rise, and Christmas mornings will come again when anything and everything can happen.' - Aunt Ruth (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Joel: [referring to Nikolas] I’m so sorry, Your Majesty. He lives in the clouds, this one.
King: Lucky boy.
Joel: I’ll be back before you know it. It’ll be worth it.
Nikolas: To bring some new hope to the world?
Joel: To claim the reward.
Nikolas: But isn’t the reward bringing us new hope and wonder?
Joel: The reward is the money. And the money means food, and warm clothes, so you can have a life. The life I stood at your mother’s grave site and promised you’d have.
Joel: I’ll miss you, Christmas.
Nikolas: You never told me why Mama used to called me that.
Joel: She never told me either. It’s just a word. It doesn’t have to mean anything.
Nikolas: [referring to the shooting star] You see that, Miika? It means you have to make a wish. I wish that my father succeeds, brings back something magic. We all need it.
'An impossibility is only a possibility that you don't understand yet.' - Father Topo (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Aunt Carlotta: Is that you making that awful rumbling sound.
Nikolas: It’s my tummy, Aunt Carlotta.
Aunt Carlotta: Oh, stop complaining. I’m hungrier than you are.
Nikolas: You’re eating my breakfast.
Aunt Carlotta: Well, I’m not enjoying it.
Aunt Carlotta: Why can’t I have a chocolate?
Nikolas: Because these things don’t just appear magically.
Aunt Carlotta: Well, wouldn’t life be nicer if they did?
Aunt Ruth: Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. And as the days stretched into weeks, and his father did not return, Nikolas started to wonder if he’d ever feel it again.
Nikolas: [after finding the map inside the Christmas hat] Over the river, under the moon, up the pointy mountain, past the sleeping giants, Elfhelm.
Aunt Ruth: And just like that, Nikolas had a purpose. A mission.
Goose Lady: [to Nikolas] Never believe anything, especially fairy tales about magical towns with tiny, happy people. Fall off a bridge, boy. It’ll hurt less.
To see something, you must believe in it. Really believe.' - Father Topo (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Nikolas: Do you believe in magic, Miika? Because I don’t think I do anymore. If there was a time where you could prove that magic was true, and real, and amazing, it would be this one.
Nikolas: Miika, you can talk!
Miika: Yeah, of course, I can talk. And I can fly as well. No, just kidding. No mice can fly. That would be absurd.
Nikolas: So why didn’t you speak before?
Miika: I was waiting until I could form a proper sentence. Which, with your one word at a time teaching system, did take forever.
Miika: So, can we talk about something very important?
Nikolas: What’s that?
Miika: Cheese. Does it exist?
Nikolas: I’ve never seen any. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it.
Miika: Yeah. Well, I’d rather taste it than just believe in it.
'Time is slow for those who wait.' - Aunt Ruth (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Miika: What’s the word for the really scary big thing that has four legs, and sort of horns on its head? What’s that word?
Nikolas: I don’t know. Reindeer?
Miika: That’s it. Yeah, a reindeer.
Nikolas: Why do you ask?
Miika: Oh, no reason. Except one’s charging straight at us!
Miika: [after they help Blitzen, the reindeer] Well, that went a lot better than expected. Given I thought we were both going to die.
Miika: Why would you teach me to talk if you’re never going to listen?
'If you believe you can do something, you're halfway there.' - Nikolas (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Nikolas: I can’t just call you reindeer. I’ll pick a name for you.
Miika: Oh, bad idea. That’s how I ended up with Miika.
Nikolas: When I was young, I used to go sledding with my mom around Lake Blitzen. How about that for a name?
Miika: Which one? Lake or Blitzen? Or both? Do you mean both? That seems a bit much to me. Onward, my faithful reindeer, Lake Blitzen.
Aunt Ruth: [referring to Nikolas] He had done everything he could. But it wasn’t enough. What do you think? Should we leave it there tonight? It’s getting late. I mean, I can come back next year. I’m just kidding. I’ll crack on.
'Home is not a place, it's a feeling.' - Aunt Ruth (A Boy Called Christmas) Click To Tweet
Miika: Somebody’s coming closer. Oh, they’re here to help. Nikolas, we’re safe. We’re… No, we’re doomed.
Little Noosh: [referring to Nikolas] Look at his strange ears, Grandpapa.
Father Topo: Human ears can take a lot of getting used to.
Little Noosh: He’s a human. Will he eat us?
Father Topo: Oh, no. We’re quite safe.