A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lost Christmas is a holiday story that is very sad at times and deals with the loss of parents, loss of a child, guilt, and abandonment. Despite that, it's a fantastical, uplifting movie that also focuses on redemption, sacrifice, and growing up and growing wiser at any age. Several action sequences show tragic accidents, though no bodies or injuries are photographed. Alcohol is consumed in a number of scenes; one man appears to be inebriated. Based on the award-winning children's book Lost Christmas by David Logan, this film first aired as a special on British BBC. Some of the English (Manchester) dialect may be difficult to understand early in the movie, but adjusting should come fairly rapidly. Best for older kids and teens who have the maturity to appreciate a degree of magical thinking along with unconventional Christmas drama.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Young "Goose" (newcomer Larry Mills) doesn't want his dad to go to work on Christmas Eve. So, in LOST CHRISTMAS, he finds a way to keep him home. When a tragic accident happens because of it, Goose and his grandmother are left on their own. On Christmas Eve one year later, the two are struggling to survive. The now-troubled boy has become a thief to support his "Nan," who suffers from dementia, and, worst of all, Goose has lost his beloved dog. His only friend is Frank (Jason Flemyng), a more seasoned thief, who seems to be as lost as Goose himself. When Frank encounters a mysterious man on that snowy night, curious events begin to take place. Anthony (Eddie Izzard), as the enigmatic stranger calls himself, is another lost soul, but he appears to have magical powers. Simply by touching another's hand, he has the ability to visualize what that person has lost and grieves for. Desperate to find "Mutt," Goose and Frank beg Anthony for help. The three begin a journey that takes them into the past and the lives of an intriguing array of people who have suffered losses of their own. On that Christmas Eve, amazing discoveries are made; the interconnectedness of life becomes apparent; and the possibility of miracles cannot be ignored.
Is it any good?
As whimsical as it is serious, as heartwarming as it is sad, Lost Christmas serves up generous portions of sentiment, preposterous events, and life lessons in equal measure. The characters are carefully crafted; no one is perfect, and no one is all bad. The actors are uniformly solid, and the story is original, even if some of the components seem familiar. Viewers with a willingness to let the magic envelope them and to "take the ride" with Goose, Frank, and Anthony are in for a treat. It's not wholly unlike It's a Wonderful Life, in which tragedy gives way to wonder, joy, and the magical spirit of the season. Recommended only for kids old enough to consider the tender issues of loss, grief, guilt, and redemption.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about that fact that movie viewers are often asked to "suspend their disbelief." What does the term mean? How does that term have relevance to this film?
Did you forgive Goose more quickly than he forgave himself? Think about how the filmmakers managed to make Goose a likable character even though his early behavior had tragic consequences.
Christmas movies come in all shapes and sizes. They may be films about Santa or about animals, animated movies, comedies, or dramas. What are your favorites, and why? In what category would you place Lost Christmas?
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