Today was an exciting day for movies lovers as I took my daughter to see It’s a Wonderful Life in the theater. I donned my new Back to the Future socks as we traveled back in time to 1946 and witnessed the life of George Bailey. This is one of my favorite feel good movies that culminates at Christmas, which is why it’s considered by many as a Christmas movie. George Bailey, played by James Stewart, is a character I find a strong connection to making this film all the more impactful to me. Despite the many jump cuts and continuity errors, I give It’s a Wonderful Life the Must See rating.
George Bailey (James Stewart) has big dreams of being an explorer and seeing the world. However, every time he tries to leave his small town something happens that makes him stay. Clarence (Henry Travers) is an angel trying to get his wings who is studying up on George’s life to answer the prayers of the people who love him.
After watching several episodes of Every Frame’s a Painting on YouTube, I have started noticing character movements in films. George’s wishing for a million dollars as a kid and later as an adult or Sam Wainwright’s (Frank Albertson) “Yee-Haw” wave as a way of reminding us who they are and showing us an element of their personality. These little character traits make characters easily identifiable from age change and lack of screen time, like Wainwright. It’s director Frank Capra who likely brought these traits in as the characters in this film are fully fleshed out. There are so many little touches that make you immensely care for both George and Mary (Donna Reed).
I love George Bailey
I know I’m extremely late to the party, but James Stewart has become one of my favorite actors. While I still have some of his films to get through, George Bailey is probably my favorite character played by him. His desire to be greater than the town that he’s in and yet the fear of letting people down by leaving them works for me. No one ever really asks for him to give up on his dreams, but he is never able to choose himself over the greater good.
The way the town comes to his aid in his time of need is something he clearly doesn’t expect. The things he did in his life were never to garner favor or to get something in return. He simply did them because it was the right thing to do. It’s such an endearing character that I’ll watch this film for ever and ever.
Until last Christmas, I believe it had been twenty or more years since I last watch It’s a Wonderful Life. I don’t think I understood the point of the film back then. Watching it today with my daughter will be one of my favorite memories as I’m proud of her for enjoying a film like this. It’s not action packed, it’s black and white, and it’s a series of character moments that culminates in a miracle of sorts. Not exactly a film a lot of teenagers will connect with nor enjoy. My kid loved it and it’s a film I plan on watching with her as long as I can keep her around for the holidays.