This is a film that I watch every year with my family around Christmas, however, I don't think that I have ever been fully involved with the film, as I almost always multitask while watching it. As such, I saw the film in theaters, and I think that I have a greater appreciation of it than I ever have.
The writing of this film is absolutely phenomenal. Not all of it is set at Christmas, but all of it encapsulates the Christmas spirit. The protagonist of the film is extremely well-developed, with each scene from when we meet him being significant. He is a complex character, but a relatable one, and it works to create a story that I am willing to follow. Additionally, the narrative structure of the film is quite interesting. The use of flashbacks was an interesting and effective choice. This time, I also noticed a lot more of the subtle comedy in the film than I ever have. This great writing is accented by great performances by James Stewart, Henry Travers, and Lionel Barrymore, et al., who conform to the roles perfectly.
Another that I noticed this time that I had never noticed before wasn't quite so positive, and that's an abundance of continuity errors. The film has a lot of jump cuts and other continuity errors that don't seem purposeful and are sometimes distracting. You have to keep in mind the technology of the era, though, so it must be forgiven.
I think that "It's a Wonderful Life" just climbed a bit higher on my favorite Christmas films list. There are still some issues, but the writing and character development of the film is just so extraordinary. This definitely deserves its spot in the annual viewing.
It's a Wonderful Life
Big Tuna's Rating: A
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.