Alternative Xmas Movie List

We all indulge in a dash of Disney, James Bond and Love Actually at Christmas, but when this, along with re-runs of Only Fools and Horses starts turning you into a dribbling amoeba on the sofa, consult our list of irreverent films for more cultured Christmas. You CAN have it both ways.

Virgin Mountain (FÚSI) BY Dagur Kari 
This heart warming film by Icelandic director Dagur Kári is a little like a Scandinavian version of Uncle Buck, only without the kids and more art house. Fusi is an overweight, unmotivated loner who lives with his parents – he’s picked on at work and has the social skills of a mollusk – until he is given vouchers for dance lessons by his folks. Love blooms unexpectedly and awkwardly. The feature won top prize and an acting award at Tribeca last year.

Diary of a Teenage Girl
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some teenage angst. If you are sick of Juno, watch this gripping and darkly funny film, written and directed by Marielle Heller and starring young British actress Bel Powley in the lead as Minnie. She’s pissed off, irrational, sexually eager and social inept. We’ve all been there.

Listen to me Marlon
This Brando documentary was a labour of love for director Stevan Riley who pieced together hundreds of hours of previously unreleased footage of the actor filmed and narrated by the screen icon himself. An unprecedented look into the career and private life of one of cinema’s great legends.

Tangerine
Shot on an iPhone 5s (yes really, in its entirety), Tangerine was a highlight at this year’s Sundance Film festival – and not only for standing as cinematographic trailblazer. Set on Christmas Eve, it stars two transgender actresses playing prostitutes on a revenge mission that brings laughs and some very telling truths (some brutal) about Hollywood’s red light district. These girls got sass. Download the film here

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by Christopher Thomas and Ira Stehmann

Force Majeure
Introspective and darkly humorous, Force Majeure by Ruben Östlundis is a must for Swedish film fans. It’s hard to sum up the scrip without spoilers, but essentially a well-heeled father-of-two and his wife experience the terror of an avalanche (unbeknownst to them, it’s actually a controlled explosion), only hubby doesn’t react the way a loving dad is supposed to and their relationship unravels…Awkward, but then Xmas is pretty much synonymous with family contention, right?