Watch your tone.

"Hot dog!"
“Hot dog!”

Don’tcha ever get tired reading about things?

Yes, again, I am offering, post-holidays, an idea that is a holiday themed movie, and yet, confining ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to the short days before winter break seems unfair. The film itself is replete with themes for all of us to ponder, each of us with a take-away based on our own perspectives. For me, the revised Cinefamily trailer for the film is, at its core, my film. Exposing too much of my personal life right now: this has been tough year for my family, and though loathe to say “I want time to speed up, or for this year to be over” because wishing away time seems to be the most grievous of sins. But yes, my family is looking forward and praying for some closure and solid answers about some big issues. I am feeling George right now, not Mary. Some of my close friends know what’s going on, and how the cost of the stress I’ve experienced this year has affected at least one professional relationship, someone who misunderstood my sorrow with their own ego. All I can do is absolve myself, and learn something, and move on.

And ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ may be my perfect movie.

We all have those “perfect movies” that resonate with us over our lifetimes, and we learn something about ourselves depending on the moment of viewing. As a young woman, thought it was sappy but sweet. As a young bride, saw the power of love and family. Growing older, saw how disappointment and stashed dreams affect us. Now? As much as I love the magical ending, I am a pragmatist, and see the value in getting my own wings. And I see George as someone who is deeply unhappy, but finds more power in the light of his life than the darkness, and benefits from a well-timed angel.

Slate Magazine penned this piece on a revised trailer, and it’s a golden opportunity to compare the original trailer with the updated one; as far as lesson structure is concerned, I am not sure if it would be better to show students the entire movie first, and have them sift out themes, or watch the two trailers and write their ideas about what the movie might say. As far as focusing on mood/tone, comparing the two trailers would be sufficient.

It’s A Wonderful Life (trailer) from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

The original 1946 movie trailer:

I’m not watching this film this year: it’s good to let favorite films take a break, and revisit at other junctures. And I’ll keep in my heart that things always work out.

The standards:





2 thoughts on “Watch your tone.

  1. I like the idea of connecting with different characters at different points in your life. These big ideas behind this movie also resonate in my life. I am sure I have seen it 20 times. Jimmy Stewart is such a good actor, and I am sure the movie wouldn’t be as amazing in the hands of a lesser actor.


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