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Join a secret prohibition party, with illicit fizz on arrival, a festive three-course meal and half a bottle of wine per person. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged. Visit the Cunard House website today to book your place. Oxfordshire-born, Cheshire-based singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore will be entertaining revellers with featured material from her album Strange Communion — a collection of seasonal songs ranging from the joyful to the meditative — as well as highly individual versions of Christmas classics at this acoustic set at the beginning of December.

All the museums are hosting free Christmas events throughout the seasons. For a list of all the events happening, visit the National Museums Liverpool website. This candle-lit performance is set to be a special Christmassy evening with warm mulled wine and mince pies on offer to fill you up during an atmospheric performance.

The Epstein Theatre is hosting a classic fairytale as Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs attempts to thwart the control of the evil step mother and find their happily ever after. Think you know the story of The Nutcracker? Think again. A visual and musical treat for all ages, The Nutcracker and I retells the famous story in a unique, new light. Get set for a flight of theatrical fancy as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future take you on a jam-packed, fast-paced, madcap adventure in this new adaptation of A Christmas Carol at Liverpool Playhouse.

Enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea and a glass of prosecco while you get creative making garlands for your home this Christmas time. Get your dancing shoes tapping for a tea dance with a festive twist. This unique Liverpool Christmas celebration will get you foxtrotting, quickstepping and cha cha-ing with Neil Allcock for an afternoon of Yuletide dancing.

Dreaming of a White Christmas? Hoping the heavens will Let it Snow? All your Yuletide dreams might come true as the legendary Gary Williams hosts a Christmas party full of rat pack classics and tuneful festive classics by legendary greats including Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. Browse an eclectic selection of hand-picked local Merseyside stalls selling artisan arts and crafts just in time for Christmas.

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We all know the worlds to The Snowman , but have you ever sung along with a live orchestra and the main man of Christmas himself? Sing-a-long as Father Christmas himself leads the vocals during a seasonal screening of the iconic Yuletide film. Concerts last about an hour and if you get down half an hour early, children can enjoy trying our a variety of instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo! Acknowledge a true Liverpool tradition and head to the Philharmonic for their annual Spirit of Christmas concerts filled with Yuletide music both old and new.

A must-see event for any Liverpool Christmas celebrations. Watch as North Pole- native Buddy Will Ferrell explores New York in search of his real father and attempts to start a relationship with his biological dad, with hilarious consequences. New York policeman John McClane is visiting his estranged wife and daughters on Christmas eve when a group of terrorists take over the exclusive high-rise, trapping everyone in it and leaving McClane as they only one who can save the day.

Browse products created by talented artisans, artists and makers at a handycraft fair in the city centre. This all-day Liverpool Christmas market will be located in a stunning and historic location at the heart of the business district — perfect for browsing for gifts after work. Our historic White Star Hall is set to be decked in Christmas cheer when it plays host to your Christmas party this year.

Telling the tale of a desperate man offered salvation by a guardian angel, this heart-warming tale is the ultimate Christmas movie for all the family. Or, for older movie fans, you can enjoy the musical dark fantasy of Nightmare Before Christmas with a blanket and a cup of coco under the glasshouse, in the last Christmas movie date of the season.

A talented actor and gifted storyteller, Gerald Dickens will have you filled with festive cheer with the classic Christmas tale of rekindled kindness. Starring James Stewart as a desperate man offered salvation by an impish guardian angel, the cult classic is a not-to-be missed Christmas tradition.

Sharla Lee Shults's Blog, page 96

Enjoy festive refreshments before each showing, which are set to play at 11am and 2pm. Date: 25 December. Put down the recipe books, stop stressing about the turkey and spend Christmas relaxing with family this year at 30 James Street.


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Indulge in a delicious Christmas Day lunch without the stress of cooking yourself. What's impressive about The Night Before , which also features Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as Rogen's childhood buddies who reunite every year for a wild, drug-fueled holiday celebration, is that the film's four credited writers manage to give the gag-heavy material just enough of a melancholy touch to get you misty-eyed.

It's a stoner comedy with a gooey, sentimental heart.

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Horror-comedy is a dangerous enough genre already. Adding "Christmas movie" to the mix? You're asking for trouble. Take a look at most of the movies on this Christmas horror list. But somehow Krampus , a folklore-inspired fright-fest from director Michael Dougherty Trick 'r Treat , manages to skate between goofy parody and genuine terror. Not every element works -- Adam Scott's dry wit is mostly wasted as the family's straight-laced patriarch -- but any movie with a scene where sinister gingerbread men shoot David Koechner in the leg with a nail gun deserves some love. Like the plastic toy that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad feud over in this barbed kiddie comedy, Jingle All the Way is a cynical product marketed to children.

The plot spirals out from there, turning the potentially relatable parental anxiety about fulfilling a child's consumer needs into a madcap action-comedy with an occasionally wicked sense of humor. For his animated take on the classic Charles Dickens serial, Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis recruited living-cartoon Jim Carrey to play Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Ghosts of Christmas through the magic of motion-capture technology.


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  • The twist turns this time-honored tale into a more psychedelic ride through time -- that may all be a figment of Scrooge's imagination and lends credence to the aging businessman's gut instinct on the Ghost of Christmas Past: "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. The psychology doesn't undercut the grandeur; from the candlelit extravagance of Christmas Present's grand entrance to the legitimately terrifying horrors of Christmas Future, Zemeckis doesn't hold back, giving us the blockbuster take on the material that we didn't know we needed.

    Notable for introducing the world to "Silver Bells," this Bob Hope vehicle is based on a short story by big-city newspaperman, Damon Runyon whose short fiction also inspired Guys and Dolls.

    Hope stars as the title character, a greasy charlatan whose horse-race ruse screws over the wrong gangster. As you can imagine, he learns an important lesson, finds a little love in his life, and wisecracks in ways only Hope does. Mixing surreal comedy, slasher-film tropes, and some beautiful cinematography from Louis Malle collaborator Ricardo Aronovich, the movie has lofty themes articulated in this recent interview with director Lewis Jackson but it never feels weighed down by them. This is everything a cult film should be: fun, puzzling, and hard to shake. Few holiday movies actually capture the chaotic feeling of a house under siege from family members.

    Almost Christmas , an ensemble dramedy from writer-director David E. Talbert, isn't the most ambitious movie on this list, but it understands the way families bicker, tease, and ultimately come together over the holiday season. Danny Glover anchors the proceedings as the family's grieving patriarch, giving the movie a melancholy tinge, which allows scene-stealers like Mo'Nique, Romany Malco, and J. Smoove to sugarcoat the story with jokes. In one, she's a put-upon everywoman thrust into an absurd, convoluted action movie scenario.

    In the other, she's a put-upon everywoman thrust into an absurd, convoluted romantic comedy scenario. She adapts to both. Also, one is about a bus, and the other is about a train. But only one of these films -- specifically, the one where Bullock's character pretends to be engaged to a man in a coma Peter Gallagher and then falls in love with his charming brother Bill Pullman -- is also a stealth Christmas movie. What can't she do? Praise Sandra Bullock, bringer of holiday amnesia comedy cheer. Don't worry -- we didn't forget about the original. But we have to shout out to a sequel that probably would have been a disaster if not for writer John Hughes, who drops Kevin McCallister in the Big Apple for a completely different taste of the holiday season.

    The magic of a New York December is on full display as Kevin shacks up at the Plaza Hotel, torments Tim Curry's bellhop, runs into the future President of the United States, convinced a generation to invest in voice-alteration technology, and saved a toy store by once again foiling the Wet Bandits. Home Alone 2 is the right amount of "more of the same" -- gangster movie sound bites, massive amounts of junk food, booby traps galore -- and fresh, coming-of-age detailing.

    Like his Christmas Carol , director Robert Zemeckis rendered Chris Van Allsburg's illustrated children's classic, a dazzling mix of surrealism and 20th-century Romantic art, for a three-dimensional canvas. Through the magic of motion-capture, Tom Hanks stars as The Boy, the Train Conductor, and Santa Claus, who all suffer from the Uncanny Valley mistiness, but beam with excitement and cheer. The Polar Express is basically a tech display for Zemeckis's new toys, but since when is Christmas not about the decorations?

    Elizabeth Barbara Stanwyck is a revered food columnist who spins yarns of her white-picket-fence existence in Connecticut with a loving husband and newborn. But when her boss tasks her with hosting a Christmas dinner for a returning soldier Dennis Morgan , her actual status as a single New Yorker puts her in a precarious and sitcom-ready position.

    Christmas in Connecticut gift wraps criss-crossed relationships, gender dynamics, and burning desire into a romantic, holiday romp. Stanwyck and Morgan require no mistletoe to conjure their endlessly watchable chemistry. If this were a list of the best psycho-sexual odysessy films, Eyes Wide Shut would definitely be sitting in the top spot. At the same time, the last scene of marital reconciliation does play out during a light-strewn shopping trip. It's the most mind-bending, brooding, orgy-filled Christmas movie ever made.

    Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov star in this gleefully absurd, yuletide tale about three criminals who break out of jail a few days before Christmas only to become live-in, fix-it guys for an impoverished family and their picturesque corner store.

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    Michael Curtiz, who directed Bogart in Casablanca and helmed White Christmas just the year before, keeps this paradise escapade light on its feet. Dwell on the fact that the three "wise men" lie, cheat, and steal their way to holiday harmony, and We're No Angels loses all its charm.

    Indulge in Bogart's old-fashioned charm and Curtiz's Technicolor redemption, and you may have new required viewing. Carol is as exquisite as a shiny new ornament removed from the box. Writer Phyllis Nagy adapted Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt for director Todd Haynes, who bathes each image of seduction and enchantment in an otherworldly glow. The visual approach puts you in the mind of Therese Belivet, a young department store employee played by Rooney Mara, as she falls under the spell of the titular Carol Cate Blanchett. Just don't get too close to the flame.

    The two main characters in Tangerine -- Sin-Dee Rella Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Alexandra Mya Taylor -- have the type of kinetic, exhilarating, and occasionally lurid day centered around a Hollywood donut shop that would make Quentin Tarantino's head spin off. That it takes place on Christmas Eve -- well, that's just icing on the donut. For many, Christmas is about friendships that serve the same purpose as family, and director Sean Baker's stylistic whirlwind of a movie is a bracing study of how those relationships sustain people in times of emotional crisis, violence, and reconciliation.

    Its final scene of two trans women quietly enjoying each others company in a laundromat is a genuine Christmas miracle. Turns out the only thing more threatening to Ernest P. Worrell's life than sticking two fingers into an electrical socket is the Kentucky fried nincompoop placing his entire hand into Santa's magic bag. This mandatory Christmas adventure finds Ernest and Mr. Claus on a mission to retrieve the powerful gift-giving knapsack. White Christmas is the fruitcake of Christmas movies: a holiday standard that you either love or hate. The musical sequences -- including the stirring rendition of the Irving Berlin-penned title track and the charming "Sisters" -- are spectacular.

    What's not to like? Well, the plot, dialogue, and characters are paper-thin, but the film's minute running time is the perfect sedative for anyone too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve. Denzel Washington isn't known for his comedies -- the Oscar winner's long career is packed with bullet-ridden action movies and tough-minded dramas -- but he's more than capable of delivering light-hearted laughs when called upon by the Lord. Washington is a delight as a dapper angel named Dudley summoned to New York to rekindle a sparkless marriage between Whitney Houston's choir singer and Courtney B.

    Vance's pastor. The story, updated from 's The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant, might feel a little hokey, but the performances and the showstopping gospel numbers give this fairytale a holy glow. Writer-director Richard Curtis Notting Hill specializes in tart-tongued retorts, silly verbal gags, and witty banter, which help leaven some of the movie's cheesy sentimentality.

    Be warned: This is the only movie on this list that boasts a claymation character exposing its genitals. In the third installment of this underrated comedy series, stoner buddies Harold John Cho and Kumar Kal Penn go on another Homeric quest, this time looking for a new Christmas tree to please Harold's pissed-off father-in-law Danny Trejo , which means more sly social commentary slipped in among hefty helpings of gross-out gags, weed jokes, and vulgar Neil Patrick Harris cameos.

    It just might be the sticky-icky strain you're fiending for this holiday season. Also, shout-out to WaffleBot , the funniest holiday robot of all time. What if Santa was real and buried in a mass grave somewhere in Finland? That's the bizarre and hilarious question posed by director Jalmari Helander in this whimsical horror romp about a young boy Onni Tommila and his reindeer-herding father Jorma Tommila , who investigate a mysterious mountain-excavation company and wind up in over their heads.

    Packed with winking John Carpenter references, bursts of gun-churning violence, and a surprising amount of older male nudity, the movie occasionally struggles to nail its anarchic, storybook tone down the home stretch, but it's more than worth a post-milk-and-cookies viewing. He doesn't like kids; he lives a life of decadent luxury; he seduces and discards vulnerable women; and he rejects Christmas cheer, a scorn he's carried ever since his father penned the joyfully tacky novelty hit " Santa's Super Sleigh.

    Watching Grant's heart grow a couple sizes has never been this fun, and a moving supporting turn from Toni Collette -- along with a sneaky-great Badly Drawn Boy soundtrack -- make this essential droll holiday viewing. In a brutal one-star review of Scrooged , critic Roger Ebert called this Dickens update "one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time.

    Is Bill Murray why some families return to this proudly rude holiday movie every year? Put your love for the confectionary remake behind you: Laurel and Hardy's black-and-white original is where it's at. With enough holiday DNA -- the duo play fairytale dolts who build toys for Santa, and the overt connections end there -- and toys to fill a forest of Christmas trees, the musical sings, dances, and slapticks through a magnificent fantasy world, made all the more surreal by the blend of live action and animation.

    Why does a Mickey Mouse seizure on the dance floor while a cat gawks and plays the fiddle in this movie? Just go with it. In , director Bob Clark made holiday-movie history with A Christmas Story , a hilarious, sweet, and nostalgic slice of Americana with just enough rough edges to keep audiences watching every year on cable. But real Christmas-movie fans know that Clark also helmed this brilliant bit of '70s slasher heaven about a murderer running rampant at a sorority holiday party. No one gets their eye shot out with a BB gun, but there's plenty of Christmas carnage to be found here.

    Casting tough-guy Robert Mitchum in a lighthearted Christmas movie might sound counterintuitive, but keep in mind this is a lighthearted Christmas movie about economic hardship, war widows, and extramarital affairs. Mitchum plays Steve, a drifter who falls hard for the soon-to-be-married Connie Janet Leigh. True compassion, as Steve displays and Connie realizes, is spending your last dime on a Christmas gift for a kid you barely know. It's Christmas with the preppies in Whit Stillman's satirical examination of puerile Manhattanites coasting through young adulthood.

    Like he does in 's underrated Love and Friendship , the writer and director chronicles the social-climbing, romantic foibles, and petty skirmishes of the wealthy and the pretending-to-be-wealthy with mischievous glee. With '90s indie star Chris Eigeman delivering lines like, "It's a tiny bit arrogant of people to go around worrying about those less fortunate" and "I'm not tiresome," the film mocks its tone-deaf heroes while still inspiring you to root for them.


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    It's yuppie Christmas heaven. This Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire musical debuted Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" before the composer repurposed it for the film of the same name -- so points there. But Holiday Inn is also the rare movie that depicts Christmas as the year's decrescendo. The musical acts at the "Holiday Inn," where Crosby and Astaire's characters put on Valentine's, Easter, and Fourth of July shows, begin and end with Christmas, a respite from shitstorms that's oh so relatable.

    It's surprising more sequels don't take the same approach as The Best Man Holiday : The characters you liked from the first movie get together over the holidays and just hang out. The plot is a sudsy mix of romance, secrets, and disease, but the movie floats along on the chemistry of the cast and the surprising poignancy of seeing them together again. Really, they should seriously make one every 10 years. This French-British-German mixed-language film finds warmth in the trenches of World War I, chronicling the life truce that occurred in December Against the odds, and the wishes of high-ranking officers, troops put down their weapons to turn the German frontlines into one big no man's land.

    The married couple in this pitch-black comedy, played by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis, could be the most unpleasant romantic pairing in any Christmas movie ever. They'll make you appreciate your own irritating relatives. When the two are taken hostage by a roguish thief Denis Leary, hot off his No Cure for Cancer stand-up special , the film gets even more acerbic and nasty, culminating in a farcical dinner scene that will have you coming back for seconds. Just make sure to watch this one after the kids go to bed.

    At minutes, director Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale is longer than even the hardiest holiday meal. But this melancholy French drama earns every second of its lengthy run time by delving deep into the fractured dynamics of the Vuillard family, a messy clan of clashing egos led by Catherine Deneuve's sly matriarch Junon. Few films capture the peculiar intimacy of adult siblings returning to their childhood homes, often with unruly romantic partners and barely concealed chemical dependencies, with such clarity, compassion, and humor.

    It's a sprawling, brainy delight. Aardman, the company known for claymation movies like Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run , tried its hand at Pixar-style computer animation only once. Arthur Christmas didn't click with American audiences, who missed a compassionate, cheeky story of Santa's black-sheep son rising to the occasion of the Claus business. In the movie, Santa's workshop is stuck between technological advancement and Luddite tradition. Arthur is the only one with an ounce of Christmas spirit left -- and the vision to merge his familial factions. With great action, lush visuals, and a British sense of humor, Arthur Christmas is a modern gem that ranks among the best.

    In a post-Furby world, it's easy to forget how creepy director Joe Dante's much-imitated creature feature can be.