Christmas is a shared experience around many parts of the world. There are different traditions and celebrations, but whether it's Joyeux Noël or Meri Kurisumasu, Christmas has central themes that we can relate to wherever we are. This year, put away the tired classics and opt for something with a different flavor. Here are our five best foreign Christmas movies.
Critically acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman uses
to capture Christmas through a child's eyes. But it's not all fun and games; there's an eeriness lurking in the background. The mixture of innocence and darkness is what makes the movie good and really reflects the confusion of childhood. Set in the 1900s, Fanny and Alexander is a tale of truly epic proportions of a family through the ages. It's great for those looking to escape into a rich world of extravagance and family dynamics.4. A Christmas Tale (France, 2008)
Family drama is universal, especially during the holidays.A Christmas Tale
tells the story of a quirky family wracked with past family grievances which no one has quite moved on from. After the mother is diagnosed with leukemia, the family reluctantly welcomes back the black sheep brother and more drama ensues. The film features drinking problems, mental illness, power struggles, guilt, and extra-marital relations -- just the usual dirty laundry that gets aired around the holidays. While it can be devastatingly tragic at times, it's filled with some chuckles that will keep you in the Christmas spirit.
Keep reading for three more foreign Christmas movies.3. 2046 (Hong Kong, 2005)
Step into the lush world of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai with2046
. The lavish film captures the complex emotions and loneliness of the holiday season by time hopping between the past, present and future. At its core, the movie is about the passage of time and memory. The intriguing characters are and gorgeous cinematography will pull you in, and by the end you'll be thankful for anyone you have to spend the holiday with.2. Tokyo Godfathers (Japan, 2003)Tokyo Godfathers
is a heartwarming story of an unlikely trio -- an alcoholic, an ex-drag queen, and a runaway girl -- who find a missing baby and are tasked with returning to its parents. It's the classic Christmas story of interconnectedness and family that will make you laugh and fill up with tears. The modern-day fable is a must-see for anime lovers, but anyone will be able to appreciate the mesmerizing animation.1. 8 Women (France, 2002)
The movie starts when a family gathers to celebrate Christmas, and the family patriarch is found with a knife in his back. The list of suspects is stacked with the eight different women in the house, each with their own secrets and motives. It's dark, funny and full of intrigue. Oh, and it's a musical! The cast full of powerhouse French actresses who light up every scene. It's a twisted tale full of charm, made in a way that only the French can do.
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Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.