Home Alone ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. On at Chiswick Cinema.
Who would have thought back in 1990 that this film would have become an undisputed Christmas classic?
Yes of course, it is crass, silly and puerile but none of that seems to matter, mainly because Macaulay Culkin is just too irresistible in the role of little Kevin who gets forgotten at home. And if you ever wondered if the film would have worked just as well with somebody else in the main role, just head off to Disney+ right now to try to watch the very recent (and pointless!) remake.
It is of course a film aimed mainly at children and it has no pretence to be anything else: it’s just simple and good old fashion “family entertainment” but judging by my nine year-old son’s reactions when we watched it for the first time, I can safely say, it works today just as well as it did then. And when it comes to these films I really have to judge them through his eyes and put aside any preconceptions or any snootiness I might have.
He was transfixed all the way through: he laughed, he jumped excitedly he shouted at the screen, and basically went through all the right motions (and emotions) and all at the right times.
Today we take most of it from granted, but some of the film’s inventions (the mannequins dancing in the house pulled by strings, the VHS tape played to the pizza delivery boy and all those traps set up by Kevin) are actually quite clever. Once the two goons come into play and the slapstick begins, it all becomes a little bit Tom & Jerry, but if you’re willing to go with it, that’s part of the fun too.
Yes, of course, the film does get very sentimental and very cheesy in a few places, aided by the splendid and iconic soundtrack by John Williams, but hey, it’s Christmas after all… We all need a bit of cheese once in a while, don’t we?
Watch it with your kids, or borrow some of your neighbour’s kids and I can assure you, it’ll be a winner.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
Home Alone is on at Chiswick Cinema this weekend.
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See also: December book reviews by Anna Klerfalk
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