SHADOWLANDS — Strange Christmas Movies Round Two (#39 of 48)

Three years ago, the 24 days leading up to Christmas, Strangers and Aliens presented 24 Christmas movies that aren’t Christmas movies, but really kind of are, for various reasons. And now, we’re doing it again! Here’s 24 more Christmas movies that are set around Christmas or use Christmas to set tone or set up a theme . . . but weren’t made to be Christmas movies…

#39 — Shadowlands

What it’s supposed to be: A biography of C.S. Lewis, covering the time when he met, married, and lost to cancer his wife Joy. It tackles grief, faith, doubt, and love

Why it’s a Christmas movie: It’s the Christmas season when C.S. Lewis gets a message from an American woman he had corresponded with, Joy Davidman. She is coming to England for the holidays and would like to meet. When he realizes she and her son are “Christmasing” alone, he invites them into his home — appropriately enough for Christmas. She then accompanies him to a Christmas party where her brashness makes quite an impression.

Thoughts: Christmas parties are great moments in movies to find out things about characters and see them interact with each other, and it works perfectly here as the reserved Oxford don and the outspoken former American get to know each other and see what makes the other one tick. This is just the beginning of their relationship, the beginning of a romance that will bring both joy and grief to their lives, but leave them much richer in spirit and fuller in faith than they were before.

Eventually, they do get married. Eventually Joy will be diagnosed with cancer. Eventually she will die, leaving Lewis and her son alone. (In this fictionalized version, she only has one son.) And eventually, Lewis will have to confront both the faith he has held onto safely and the motions has has kept a tight grip on. All because of a surprise Christmas visit that led to polite hospitality.

Is It Naughty or Nice? This movie is wonderful. Sadly, it is not readily available on DVD, but it can be rented and purchased digitally. I highly recommend it to people interested in Lewis’ life. There was never any doubt…

Santa Ben’s Verdict:


Your verdict? Let me know below in the comments!

Next: Curse of the Cat People

Previous: Snowmageddon

You can follow this series of posts by clicking here: Strange Christmas Movies


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