Home By Christmas(2010)
A film memoir based on NZ filmmaker Gaylene Preston’s (Bread & Roses, War Stories) interviews with her father about his World War II experiences. Stars Martin Henderson.... More
Ed Preston (old Ed is played by Tony Barry, young Ed is played by Martin Henderson) is on his way home from rugby practice in 1940, when he signs up for the New Zealand Army to fight in World War II. His new wife, Tui, is pregnant and distraught, but he tells her not to worry, he’ll be home by Christmas. And so he is – four years later – after escaping from a prison camp in Italy. But while Ed is away, Tui has fallen in love with another man.Hide
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BY Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer
While the artistic and continued commercial success of Boy continues to be the big news in the local film scene, you have to hope it doesn’t overshadow this very different but similarly impressive release. In its own way, Home By Christmas should become the definitive New Zealand war movie.
The story is told through an interview with a veteran, which is a fitting way to communicate the events of World War II. Most of us have an elderly relative who went through the battles in far off lands and this method captures the time and distance between those happenings and us. This structure combines with richly-coloured recreations and stylised stock footage that imbue the aesthetic with a faded old world charm, capturing a sense of both romanticism and the harsh realities of combat.
As well as the filmmaking itself, the story it depicts is absorbing. Tales of prisoner-of-war camps contrast with the scent of illicit love affairs back home to create a genuine emotional core. This is heightened by the disconnect between the two main characters, ably performed by Martin Henderson and Chelsie Preston-Crayford (playing her real-life grandmother).... More
A great mix of social history, romance and artistic vision combine to create a film every New Zealander should see.Hide
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Home By Christmas
A higher budget would not have brought out the direct messages of the harsh limitations and realities of what it was like for the young couple and the mental anguishes they went through. They were ordinary folk faced with horrors which some of the insensitive critics fail miserably to comprehend. It is not a documentary or an entertainment film but a strong visual telling of a real story about real decent people who had more strength than the couch potatoes slanging it.
Seem to recall the film was shortend due to lack of money. Just wanted a few loose ends explained. However, after having lived through the era, found it to be totally authenic. Lets hope we can return to a period were life, was not completly taken over by our GREED.
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