16 November 2006 | inkblot11
Noel is unusual holiday fare, tackling difficult subjects while still reaching for a happy ending
Rose (Susan Sarandon) is an author of children's books who is especially lonely this holiday season. Her mother, who is stricken with Alheimer's disease, is having difficulty eating normally and recognizing anyone around her. Rose, a divorcée, has not had a serious romance for quite sometime. And, although a young gentleman in the office makes a pass at her, she is not willing to have a one night encounter. Nina, a lovely young lady, has a good looking, police officer-fiancé but, alas. Mike has a jealous streak that produces sharp anger and abuse, at times. Nina is not certain she wants to continue the relationship. Meanwhile, others in NYC are dealing with baggage from abusive fathers, criminal pasts, and religious doubts. Is this truly the "most wonderful time of the year?" This is a very compelling but rather serious entry into the world of holiday movies. The subject matter is most sobering, even as there are moments of humor and happiness. All of the performers are fine and so is the lovely look of the film's design. If anyone is feeling down at holiday time, this is NOT the film to bring out for a showing. That said, if anyone wishes to watch a thoughtful movie about real issues, try to find this movie during the off season. It has many assets and will enlighten and entertain viewers at the same time.