As we approach the cold winter months, there is nothing better to do than to sit inside and watch a movie, staying cosy as you watch the snow fall outside. Of course, if this during a time of local or national lockdown, you may not have a choice in the matter. Plus, if you are someone who refuses to watch Christmas movies until well into December, these general winter-themed films are a perfect in between.
Fargo is a parody crime drama in true Coen Brothers fashion, starring Frances McDormand. In the cold Minnesota winter, Jerry Lundegard has landed in a spot of financial trouble, and he hires two criminals to kidnap his wife so her rich father pays the ransom. However, as with all Coen Brothers’ films, things don’t go according to plan. Three people turn up dead and pregnant police office, Marge Gunderson, is on the case. Nearly every scene in this film is covered in blankets of snow, making it fantastic to watch in the dead of winter.
I, Tonya (2017)
Starring Margot Robbie as the infamous Tonya Harding, it details the story leading up to the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, and what happened after. Whether you know anything about figure skating or not, I, Tonya is a fascinating watch. Because it revolves around the Winter Olympics, this Academy Award nominated picture is a brilliant end of the year watch.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
This fantasy series helped shape a lot of our collective childhoods, whether you watched the movies or read the books. However, the image of Tilda Swinton as the frightful White Witch is what sticks in our mind when we think of a film relating to winter. Set during WWII, The Chronicles of Narnia is a great movie to watch with family as the colder months start to arrive.
The Shining (1980)
This Stanley Kubrick flick is not one for the faint-hearted – especially if you’re living in an isolated hotel! Starring Jack Nicholson, in one of his most iconic roles, as an off-season caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, cut off from the rest of society in the cold, snowy Rocky Mountains. Of course, strange occurrences manifest in the hotel, leading to the famous scenes of the spooky twins, and Jack Torrance swinging an axe and shouting, “Here’s Johnny!”
Groundhog Day (1993)
Groundhog Day might not be the best film to watch during lockdown, especially if you feel as though you’re living the same day over again. On the other hand, this Harold Ramis film is a perfect wintery comedy, with Bill Murray getting caught in a blizzard day, after day, after day. You might not want to listen to Sonny & Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe’ ever again after watching this film, but that’s up to you.
Trading Places (1983)
Starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, who come from very different parts of society, but end up somehow trading places with each other. Despite being set during Christmas and New Year, Trading Places is not particularly a festive film, but rather a wacky comedy to cheer up anyone experiencing the winter blues. Said to have rekindle Hollywood’s love for the screwball comedy, Trading Places kickstarted many of the main cast’s acting careers, as well as highlighting the comedic talents of Eddie Murphy.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
A cult film for any British single lady, Bridget Jones has become one of the nation’s favourite fictional icons, spawning another two films where we follow this sarcastic, hopeless romantic of a protagonist. Bridget Jones’s Diary may have even popularised the ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ trend, owing to Mark Darcy’s green monstrosity with a massive reindeer on the front. Although, perhaps the most memorable scene is Bridget running through the snowy streets of London with bare legs – we don’t think we’ll be imitating her this winter.
Leave us a comment letting us know what your favourite wintery film is.
Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.