What movie was that...?

26 December 2009

Bad Santa

directed by Terry Zwigoff

If ever there was a darker horse candidate for a perennial holiday classic, I have yet to see it. Billy Bob Thornton is shockingly, agonizingly spot on as Willie, the booze swilling, chain smoking, foul mouthed heister who poses as Santa every year in order to clean out the mall during Christmas. When Willie meets a boy in need of a friend, he takes advantages of the situation and shacks up with the kid and his senile grandma. Meanwhile, the head of security (a terrifyingly funny Bernie Mac, is there any other kind?) has his sights focused on Willie and his pint sized accomplice, Marcus (Tony Cox), which throws a wrench in the works until Willie starts to have a change of heart. To compare this film to the Grinch of yore would be like trying to use math to describe a poem, and so I will not. Are there similarities, yes, but Bad Santa is a classic in every sense of the word, just not the kind one would expect. It’s like grouping Natural Born Killers in the “classic love story” genre (which I do, because it is a classic love story). It applies, but it just takes reassessment.

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