‘Catch Me If You Can’ Is a (Lonely) Christmas Film

‘Catch Me If You Can’ Is a (Lonely) Christmas Film
‘Catch Me If You Can’ Is a (Lonely) Christmas Film

Picture: Dreamworks Photos

Each vacation season, the identical nauseating dialog occurs: Is Die Exhausting a Christmas film? Sure, it’s. (The reply is all the time sure and has been for many years, it doesn’t matter what Bruce says.) With that out of the best way, we are able to make room for conversations about different Christmas films that aren’t truly Christmas films, like Batman Returns, Hustlers, The House, and Little Ladies (1994 — the 2019 model has Christmas in it however is an all-season movie). We’d wish to humbly add Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can to this new canon of movies that, whereas not precisely Christmassy in the identical approach Residence Alone is, must be acknowledged as Christmas films regardless.

The 2002 adaptation of American prison/OG rip-off artist extraordinaire Frank Abagnale Jr.’s autobiography that follows his late teenage years throughout the globe as a pilot, physician, and lawyer is a secret Christmas movie. Catch Me If You Can stars Leonardo DiCaprio in certainly one of his career-best performances, Tom Hanks with a bizarre accent (precedent for Elvis), monologue king Christopher Walken, and, after all, Amy Adams with braces. Regardless of (or maybe due to?) the director’s detachment from the vacation’s Christian roots — Spielberg is Jewish — Catch Me If You Can is essentially the most correct illustration of Christmas from the grownup perspective. On this movie, Christmas is a lonely time of reflection, of mourning a previous life.

Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson makes use of Christmas as an emotional anchor. The vacation is each a intelligent indicator of passing time and, extra importantly, a set off for Frank (DiCaprio). The primary of many scenes set at Christmas occurs early within the movie, when 17-year-old Frank resides a cheerful life in a wonderful home along with his very in-love mother and father: the American Dream of the ’50s. A naïve younger Frank is the happiest he’ll ever be watching his mother and father dance in the lounge in entrance of the Christmas tree, fully unaware of the truth that that is the final pleased Christmas he’ll ever have, and the final pleased second his household will ever have.

From then on, Christmas connects Frank and FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Hanks). Each Christmas Eve, Frank and Carl have a tense telephone name. Frank is someplace on this planet alone, and not using a household to have a good time, and not using a soul who actually is aware of him apart from Carl. Carl, divorced and rising additional and additional aside from his daughter yearly, is alone in his workplace, with a tragic little Christmas tree sitting on a desk. These Christmas Eve calls construct Frank and Carl’s relationship: Frank’s vulnerability and ache assist Carl see him as one thing greater than a prison. He’s not trotting the globe posing as a pilot and cashing faux checks simply because he can — he’s doing it as a result of he’s lonely and desires consideration. When Frank is arrested in picturesque France, a choir singing “O Come All Ye Devoted” in Latin clashes with the sounds of sirens.

Choirs singing carols that echo via a sq. illuminated by twinkle lights whereas Frank will get caught by the mistaken individuals is a juxtaposition that Spielberg performs with expertly all through the film’s Christmas scenes. Catch Me If You Can represents the vacation as a melancholy interval. By making Christmas the backdrop for devastating occasions involving tragic individuals, it’s grow to be the most Christmas film of all of them, Christmas movies and non-Christmas films included. You could be surrounded by picturesque twinkling lights and tinsel, carols ringing in your ears, however really feel extra alone and extra hopeless than ever.

After Frank escapes arrest through an airplane rest room towards the tip of the movie, he visits his mom, who now has a brand new, larger, extra stunning home and a brand new household, together with a daughter. Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Tune” performs as Frank learns his mom has all however forgotten him: He’ll by no means get again to that second of watching his mother and father dance in the lounge. Frank stands within the snow because the flashing blue-and-red police vehicles overtake the glow of colourful vacation lights.

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