'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' - Joe's Take
Updated: Jan 3
2000 I PG I 104 mins I Dir: Ron Howard
On the outskirts of Whoville lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans to ruin Christmas for all of the citizens of the town.
It's impossible for me to talk about this film without getting a nostalgia rush from almost twenty years of quoting it endlessly with family and friends around Christmas and well beyond.
First things first - Jim Carrey's commitment to his comedic performance here is what completely sells everything around him. It's easy to look at the wackiness of everything he's doing and be distracted from how much he brings to the character whilst doing so. He is there to be laughed at, sympathised with and feared throughout which is no mean feat when considering the performance he is delivering both vocally and physically throughout. He is elevating everything else around him and is definitely missed when not on screen.
I've always appreciated that this is a story which teaches children to show compassion for the outsider, despite how unredeemable they may seem on the surface. Furthermore I love that it takes place from the perspective of The Grinch himself and forces us to see the similarities in this flawed, angry and fundamentally depressed individual.
Whilst i'm obviously aware that this is a twenty year old family film, I couldn't help but notice when watching it this time around that the visual aesthetic of the film has dated drastically. I perhaps wasn't giving it the same attention in previous years but the sets almost look unfinished and the lighting feels completely bizarre and without any sense of source. I understand that this is part of the world they intended to create but when combined with the films slightly bland colour palette it all feels a lot less visually exciting than it should when considering the story and it's characters. Of course these are easy comments to make now when compared to the standard of films today and the almost gloomy looking Christmas can certainly be seen as a reflection of the character himself...if you want to look into it too much like myself.
If you don't however then it all adds up to a heavily enjoyable Christmas film pulled along by Jim Carrey's amazing comedic performance that whilst has dated heavily... still has its "two sizes too small" heart in the right place.
STARRING: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Anthony Hopkins
BEST QUOTE: “Blast this Christmas music! It's joyful and triumphant."
FUN FACT: Jim Carrey spent ninety-two days in Grinch make-up, spending two hours in the morning getting in, and one hour in the evening to get out.
IF YOU LIKED: Elf, A Christmas Carol, Horton Hears A Who,
'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' Trailer