Written by Filipa Henriques.

Christmas season is not always that easy, but it’s a great time to watch a few classics. In this list you can find four films (all available on Netflix) that are in between the classics and the independent, that I believe are funny and heartwarming - just like Christmas. 

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones 

Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones 

There’s no better starter than a cult classic. To discuss the brilliant work of Monty Python is something that I believe is out of our league: the comedy of Holy Grail is extremely clever and as funny as a film can get. You can read online that there are moments where it feels like Tarkovsky with drag and farting and I can’t think about any better log-line for this masterpiece of cinema. It’s also a great conversation starter with your long distance aunt.  

Private Life

Tamara Jenkins

Starring Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as a modern, cool couple, Private Life is a film that gets our attention from the first minute. Contemporary relationships are filled up with empty problems that people don’t seem to be able to solve: the special thing about this film is the way these problems are seen and solved in a very realistic way. I ended up the film feeling like I was ending up reading a New York Times Modern Love article, with a heartwarming feeling that life in our times can still be distinct.  

Blue Jay

Alexandre Lehmann

If there’s a thing about Christmas is the reencounter with people we don’t see for a long time. Blue Jay stars Jay Duplass, which for itself is always a great sign and it’s a film that not being a coming of age one, makes us think about the different stages of our growing process. This is not a film for you if you’re still thinking about your highschool sweetheart.  

Wine Country

Amy Poehler

I’ve always been a fan of Amy Poehler, specially since I read Yes Please. She’s a woman full of personality with no fear of showing her flaws and that is at least inspiring. Wine Country is, as much of her work, a film about friendship - and there’s much of friendship related with wine. The plot is simple, the characters are not complex and it’s a film that is done to makes us feel good about ourselves. 

I was planning on also including Space Jam in this list, which is a film that I always associate with festive seasons. These are not Christmas films, it’s instead a list that is made to fill up our hearts in this special season. Seasons greetings!

Filipa Henriques works at Portugal Film - Portuguese Film Agency, an institution for the advancement and widespread reach of Portuguese independent cinema. Her studies started in the North of Portugal at Universidade do Minho and continued onto a semester in France's Paris Descartes and a masters' degree in Lisbon's Nova FCSH. After interning at the world renowned film festival IndieLisboa and the documentary film oriented Apordoc - Associação pelo Documentário, she started work at Portugal Film three years ago. She is now completing her studies with a second masters' degree at ISCTE on the Arts' Markets and recently started to collaborate with the IndieMusic selection committee at IndieLisboa. 

This is a standard cookie notice which you can easily adapt or disable as you like in the admin. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.