With all of its never-ending passages of sweet Christmas sentimentality, this movie offers a terrifying look at a life gone wrong. George Bailey is plucked by both narrator and creator and thrown into reality check mode, turned into front row spectator with the jitter impulses of a character that has left the pages of his story but somehow still clinging to commas and relentless question marks. The character out of place and time fights to make his way back to the real world. Everything leading up to that is topsy turvy. In no man’s land, the horrors of life that be or may help shape George Bailey back into one piece and open his eyes to the greatest adventures of all, the greatest gift of life. As George surrenders, he waves the white flag, he declares and finds peace. Upon returning from that Dickensian world of moral and divine injustice, George Bailey embraces his life with gusto.
It’s really not that easy to watch every year how George Bailey keeps making the same life choices and watching all that life pounding and suffering without exercising and envisioning my own. A sweet reminder wrapped up in a delightful cinematic Christmas gift.