A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS is a wonderful fable from Finland. It shares the legend of how Santa Claus was created, and who better to tell the story than Maggie Smith as Aunt Ruth. 

It reminded me of A PRINCESS BRIDE with Maggie retelling this tale to her niece and nephews while they were nestled in bed. Who knows if it is based on some shred of truth? Maggie Smith can tell me a bedtime story any day of the week. 

The plot is adventurous, daring, and filled with magic. A young boy who was named Nickolas (Henry Lawfull) runs away in search of his father, who traveled to the mythical village of Elfhelm. This is where the elves live, and no one has been able to find it in years. Hope is needed throughout the human world right now, so declares the King, Jim Broadbent. The cinematography was stunning and breathtaking. So much beautiful snow and mountain scenery. I wrapped myself in an extra fleece blanket as I watched with wonder. 

A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS also featured great characters created by Kristen Wiig and Sally Hawkins. It was thrilling to see Maggie and Jim together again on screen. This hasn’t occurred since Harry Potter. There were also special appearances by a reindeer named Blitzen and a clever CGI mouse, but I don’t believe this movie is meant for children under ten. However, it does deal with grief, death, and “scary” fight scenes. 

“The only thing in life that is simple and clear is truth, but it can be painful.”

In the end, A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS is about “joy and how that joy can grow into hope.” Isn’t this what the Christmas season is all about?

It is available to stream on Netflix. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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