Audre considers this film a treasure, one that is meant to be admired, not picked over, lest in the picking it lose its luster. It’s an astute assessment from a very wise woman.
I won’t say more and let Audre do the talking.
With that, here is Audre’s review of 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life:
Some things in life are so precious. Women have a talent – a little momento from a place they visited with loved ones, the special china that belonged to her grandmother, the ring her uncle gave her when she turned sixteen. Precious things. We don’t touch them every day. We don’t often pick them up and look at them. They are just there. Like the memories kept in a heart.
That’s what It’s a Wonderful Life is; a memory kept in the heart. I can tell you the story in just a few sentences. George Bailey grew up in small town. He was a kind boy who grew into a thoughtful man. Several times in his life his dearest dreams were crushed by events beyond his control. But he’s not bitter and makes a nice life for himself with a lovely wife, a house that needs constant fixing, and four young children. Through no fault of his own, he is suddenly and unexpectedly shattered by the forgetfulness of his uncle and he faces that ‘dark night of the soul’. That’s all I’m going to say.
James (Jimmy to all his friends and fans) Stewart plays George Bailey. I can’t think of any other movie that highlights and showcases his acting talents better than this movie. When George has his deepest moment of despair, his face – all the misery of the world is in his face. It’s heart-wrenching and the tears slide down our cheeks, too. But the movie is not all doom and gloom, it has many funny scenes. It’s not a sad story; it’s George’s story.
There are fine character actors supporting Stewart and the writing is very good. But it’s Stewart’s movie.
What would the world be like if you’d never been born? Watch It’s a Wonderful Life and see what George discovered.
You can rent the movie on YouTube for $2.99.