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A Film That Affects People on a Personal Level
, 17 Jan. 2013
This review is from: It's a Wonderful Life: 65th Anniversary Edition (includes free poster and artcards) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
Whenever I get round to reviewing classics like this I always really struggle, because let's face it, these kinds of films don't need reviewing, everybody knows that these films are classics for a reason. Classics are classics because they ignite something inside of you, something that reignites every time you watch them, whether that ignition is nostalgia, happiness, wonder or sadness it's these strong emotions that make up the metaphorical fire in our heart that will keep us loving these films for all time. By this definition, It's a Wonderful Life is very much a Classic.
This film is deeply personal to me, because it was my Mums favourite, when I was younger I had some sort of an immature aversion to anything black and white so I never wanted to watch it with her, until the last Christmas we had together, knowing that this was her favourite film I asked if we could watch it together. We got about half way through before my brother stormed in and we had to turn it off. From what I did watch with her, I thought it was ok, but I didn't quite get it, it just seemed like a film you would watch on any old Sunday afternoon when there wasn't anything else to do.
After my Mum died I really wanted to get around to watching it but I still didn't for a few years partly because I think I was still a little bit sad and partly because you develop traditions at Christmas and sometimes they tend to get in the way (Love Actually I'm looking at you!).
When I finally got hold of the bluray I was very excited to watch it, and insisted that my wife watch it with me as well because I wanted her to experience what it was that my Mum had experienced and what I was yet to experience, I know she was reluctant at first because she has the same aversion to old films as I used to. But she is the best wife ever, so she obviously still made the effort to sit and watch it with me.
I'm not ashamed to say that I started to cry at the last scene of the film, and I am starting to well up a little bit as I type this. The reason being is that I finally knew and I now know why this was my Mums favourite, this film embodied her whole attitude in life.
Just like George Bailey she had not had an easy life, she had not been able to pursue her dreams, and she had to sacrifice everything for everybody that needed her. She dealt with it all by not letting it get her down; being the best person she possibly could be, for every one around her. I don't think she ever realised it, but my Mum actually had a Wonderful Life, in the same sense as in the film in that without her selfless sacrifices, a whole lot of people would have been a lot worse off.
I'm sure this film lives on in many different people's hearts because they connect with it on various levels, but this film is a classic to me, because it reminds me why my Mum was my hero, why she was my best friend and why I can only hope to aspire to be close to the kind of person that she was.
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