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Home Alone (1990)

Dir Chris Columbus

Written by John Hughes

Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Kieran Culkin, John Candy.

At Christmas, the McCallister family are preparing for an overseas holiday to Paris. The night before Kevin (Culkin) and his family get into a fight, and he is sent to the attic for the night. The next morning, he is left home alone and the family fly off without him. Once in Paris, Kate starts the long trek home.

Meanwhile, a couple of local robbers, Harry and Marv (Pesci and Stern) have been casing the neighbourhood, and plan to rob the McCallister household. There’s just one problem… Kevin.

It had been some time since I had seen this, and now as a parent myself of a child Kevin’s age (and being older than what Kate is) I saw it with different eyes. It is more a film about family love, and growing independence for all involved. Today’s viewing can also see things, like Kevin possibly being neurodivergent. While it was unlikely written this way, it gives added empathy to Kevin’s character, and his growth as he learns to be independent.

John Hughes has shown he was the master of writing for the genre types of holidays, families, and younger generations. His depictions here are some solid work. While some of the adult characters are fairly cruely depicted, this is complemented nicely by the eventual reveal of Marley’s true character (played by the late great Blossom)

The pacing was very well done, and to be honest as this was my first time watching in around 20 years, I completely forgot how small the section of the robbery was. While this was what the whole film led up to, it only starts in the last 25 minutes. The rest of the film is character based, with some comedic moments thrown in, with the Angels with Dirty Souls moments being the most memorable.

The score by the legendary John Williams is easily recognisable, and worthy of the Oscar nomination. The rest of the soundtrack is the obligatory Christmas array, with many family favourites thrown in.

A great Christmas movie and a high recommend.


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