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  • Alistair Braidwood

Comfort and Joyeux Noel…

If you’re looking for a Scottish Christmas movie to watch over the festive period then it should be Bill Forsyth’s 1983 film Comfort & Joy. This was the last great film that Forsyth made, although you should check out everything as there are always moments of magic, even in 1993’s Being Human, which is hampered by Robin Williams central performance.

But Comfort and Joy is a pleasure from start to finish, and, like most Forsyth movies, it rewards repeated viewing. Starting with scenes of Christmas shoplifting in Glasgow’s Fraser’s department store, the film manages to portray a man whose life falls apart when he least expects it, and who unconventionally goes about rebuilding it. Co-starring Clare Grogan (with a fabulously 80’s perm), Alex Norton (him again), it also has brilliant cameos from Rikki Fulton and the legendary comedian Arthur Brown. And why not?

I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, and I have to go and peel the spuds, but this is a film that captures ordinary people and shows how magical life can be, and again makes you wish for Forsyth to start making films once more.

In this clip from the film Alan ‘Dicky’ Bird (Patterson) follows Mr Bunny’s ice cream van through the tunnel in a nod to Alice in Wonderland, and it is after he does that the story really kicks in. One warning, you might not be able to get the chimes from the ice-cream vans out of your head, but this is a small price to pay. Merry Christmas one and all:


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