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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.
The frustrations of being a soldier were highlighted, and while many would want to visualise the hand to hand combat, with bodies falling, or being felled, so much of the time was involved with waiting around for some meaningful action, while the officers in charge made errors, or an occasional moment of inspiration.
While time has accorded well deserved hero status... More on those who served, the soldiers themselves just regarded their involvement as someting they needed to do.
A very thought provoking film, featuring a remarkably convincing performance by Tony Barry with his story telling.Hide
Hello to all those reviewers who have low retension,because there were no special effects, how sad. This was a true story worth the telling and it was Lovely. How many very "personal" stories have we had to watch from the USA, Australia,and Britain over the years and several have won awards and I've enjoyed them too. I suggest to the people with Tall Poppy Syndrome,to prehaps start reading books and get real.
I enjoyed this movie. On the surface it's a good yarn about an interesting time but it pays to look a little deeper. Most movies do all the work for us using big budget special effects and our imaginations have gotten lazy but with this movie you need to observe the subtle body language and give your imagination a workout to understand the other dimensions of the story. I am looking forward to watch this movie a second time on DVD or TV.
This is a highly personal story, and I respect Gaylene Preston sharing it with us. I had high hopes for this, but sadly in the end was rather slight.
It is a very uneasy mix of documentary & drama. Also, unfortunately, the lack of budget is a real problem for a period film, with much of the important aspects of the story told using badly photoshopped old photos.
This also felt very much like part of a story, which I understand it is - a companion piece to Gaylene's earlier work.
BY Brian1 superstar
but thoroughly enjoyable, and why wouldnt it play overseas. There will be many families around the world who lived through this period and will easily relate to the story from little ole NZ. Worth every minute of watching.
Only criticism lies in Gaylene's persistent attempt at "entrapment" of her father with respect of the things men might get up to when away so far and so long.
However, Tui's side of the narrative is left lacking as it has no resolution to speak of. The description of the movie on this site sets up the entire film, which may be fine because it is a true story, but it ends up being... More misleading. The film was beautiful, though, and gave me a greater appreciation of the mindset of our soldiers, and the things they had to go through.Hide
Gaylene Preston shows her deft control of the medium, weaving drama, documentary and docudrama together as one in this compelling memoir. The performances are delicate and finely honed. Chelsey's emotions run deep, Bill and Martin show their feelings in spite of their staunch Kiwi outer shell. Albol's inspired cinematography has its roots in the story he helps to tell. Bravo all!
Your comments are truly tall poppy, this film should be enjoyed in its homeland as a 5 star film, which me and my wife thought it was by the way. I am surprised at your comments, why can't a film be good despite its plays in other territories? It is poignant to us and this website is for NZ not the world, so NZ support this flick, it really is a New Zealand treasure
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience a seldom heard New Zealand perspective of WWII sublimely told by Tony Barry.
My criticism of the film is that it lacked the budget to follow Martin Hendersons character throughout the wartime.
However the performance from Tony Barry, and the story he told kept me entertained, amused, and filled with memories of my grandfather.
A must see for anyone interested in what New Zealanders really experienced during WWII.
What a beautiful and moving film. The photography was stunning as was the music. The cast was superb with Tony Barry drawing you in with his portrayal of Ed. Chelsie and Martin were both gorgeous on the big screen.
Congratulations to those involved - here is another piece of NZ cinema treasure.
Sorry, this is not a 5 star film and possibly proves the trouble with local websites inviting comments about a local film only attracts comments from those with a vested interest in seeing the film succeed. This will not be released in cinemas overseas as it plods along telling a personal story which may trigger some sentimental memories along the way for many Kiwis. But as a film, it is really nothing special at all. Sorry - wanted to love it.
Chris - The Fog of War could play on the Documentary Channel. So could Waltzing with Bashir.
Where does any film "belong"? Just because Home by Christmas would fit on the Documentary channel (which it would) or TV1 (which it will) doesn't mean it fails as cinema.
I think it succeeds beautifully on the big screen - in its direction, construction, photography, and - importantly - in the time it takes to relate.
Tony Barry channeling Ed Preston makes for a remarkable portrayal of a stoic and down to earth kiwi joker. The archival images of the boys at war remind us not only of the horrors but how when abroad you've got to have a laugh with your mates to stay sane. Meanwhile back at home the passions are heating up. Chelsie Preston-Crayford, playing her Grandma Tui, is mesmerizing. Costumes and set are stunning. Take your Mum, your Dad, your Gran & Gramps, your best friend. Heartfelt and heartwarming.
Tony... More Barry is completely credible as the Ed some of us were lucky enough to know. Chelsie Preston-Crayford plays Tui and in many portrait-like images, tells untold stories with her eyes.
The sympathetic music (by Jan Preston) makes moving use of favourite songs redolent with association to war-time about to be commemorated on Anzac Day. I will be mindful of this film throughout that day...
Every generation in every family tells some stories and keeps some secrets. "Home by Christmas" treads lightly on the dreams and memories of the Preston family members ... and might encourage each of us to think about what we'd like
(or would have liked) to record of our own family's stories.Hide
I too have often wondered what went on when our fellows went to war,this film is incredibly thought provoking and a wonderful story for all New Zealanders, I am glad to have seen this film at the premiere wish everyone to take a chance on this film, you will be surprised at the emotional impact it will have.
I can recall so much of my own family history seeing this film and it has made me want to dig deeper, what an incredible cast, Chelsie and Martin light up the screen, their scenes so sincere and moving, Tony and Gaylene are so honest and raw, this film will move all Babyboomers and will be a treasure for all New Zealanders to hold onto.
Found this a wonderful personal account of the 'unspoken' effect war can have on regular everyday families despite our staunch 'chin up, bash on and smile' attitude. Served gently with a dollop of good humor, this will resonate with those who are curious to learn 'the real home stories..
We struggled to stay awake during this long-winded tale about very little. The first few minutes looked promising but boredom quickly set in. We got the 'war is pointless for some' message but a long narration using familiar war archive footage interspersed with a weak romance back home belongs on the Documentary Channel. Does not justify the price of a cinema ticket, very disappointing.