How the Grinch Stole Christmas

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jeffrey Price, Peter S Seaman, Book, Dr Seuss
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, Bill Irwin, Clint Howard, Taylor Momsen

The Whos of Whoville love Christmas more than any other holiday, but the Grinch (Jim Carrey), a hairy, green creature living just north of Whoville, hates Christmas.

The Grinch lives with just his dog, Max (Frank Welker), in a cave on Mt. Crumpit. He is haunted by unpleasant memories associated with the Christmas season, hence his having nothing to do with it. The Grinch is a childhood sweetheart of Martha May Whovier (Christine Baranski), but the mayor of Whoville, Augustus Maywho (Jeffrey Tambor), has always been in competition with the Grinch for Martha’s affections.

As a baby, the Grinch was brought up with a love for Christmas. When he was eight years old, he made an angel ornament as a gift for Martha. He was also worried Martha would dislike his facial hair. He shaves, but ends up cutting himself in several places. At school the next day, he is ridiculed and even the teacher can’t help but laugh. This is what drives him into a deep hatred of Christmas.

Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) is a young Who who feels the true meaning of Christmas is lost, as she is overwhelmed by all of the commercial and materialistic commotion. She is fascinated with the Grinch and wants nothing more than to get him into the Christmas spirit again. She convinces the Grinch to participate in the Whos’ Christmas festivities, tempting him with the fact that Martha May will attend, but Maywho publicly humiliates the Grinch by giving him an electric razor and proposing to Martha May. Furiously haunted by the past, the Grinch becomes angry, calling the Whos’ Christmas stupid and saying the holiday is about nothing but greed. He returns to Mt. Crumpit and the Whos commence with a Grinchless Christmas.

The Whos are at first miserable over what has happened, blaming Cindy Lou, but Cindy Lou’s father (Bill Irwin) convinces them that Christmas isn’t all about gifts after all, and that they still have the Christmas Spirit – the one thing that doesn’t come from a store. They sing at the arrival of Christmas, and the Grinch hears them echoing over the mountain. He is convinced that Christmas is something that can’t be stolen, and his heart swells and he feels Christmas spirit at last. He realizes his stolen load is about to tumble off the mountain peak. At first he is unable to muster the strength to pull it back, but when he sees that Cindy Lou has climbed onto the sleigh, his worry for her safety gives him the superhuman strength to lift the sleigh clear off the ground. He and Cindy Lou then bring the presents back to Whoville. Martha May gives Mayor Maywho his engagement ring back and tells him that she won’t marry him because her heart belongs to The Grinch. The Grinch is accepted back into society and he himself carves the roast beast at Christmas dinner. Martha May stands beside him, while Cindy Lou sits nearby waiting for her portion of the roast beast.

Changeling

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Robert Lorenz
  • Writers: J Michael Straczynski
  • Genres: Drama, History, Mystery
  • Actors: Angelina Jolie, Jeffrey Donovan, John Malkovich, Jason Butler Harner, Colm Feore, Michael Kelly, Amy Ryan

In 1928 Los Angeles, single mother Christine Collins (Jolie) returns home to discover her nine-year-old son, Walter (Griffith), is missing. Reverend Gustav Briegleb (Malkovich) publicizes Christine’s plight and rails against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for its incompetence, corruption and the extrajudicial punishment meted out by its “Gun Squad”, led by Chief James E. Davis (Feore). Several months after Walter’s disappearance, the LAPD tells Christine that he has been found alive. Believing the positive publicity will negate recent criticism of the department, the LAPD organizes a public reunion. Although “Walter” (Conti) claims he is Christine’s son, she says he is not. Captain J. J. Jones (Donovan), the head of the LAPD’s Juvenile Division, insists the boy is Walter and pressures Christine into taking him home “on a trial basis”.

After Christine confronts Jones with physical discrepancies between “Walter” and her son, Jones arranges for a medical doctor to visit her. He tells Christine that “Walter” is shorter than before his disappearance because trauma has shrunk his spine, and that the man who took Walter had him circumcised. A newspaper prints a story that implies Christine is an unfit mother; Briegleb tells Christine it was planted by police to discredit her. Walter’s teacher and dentist give Christine signed letters confirming “Walter” is an impostor. Christine tells her story to the press; as a result, Jones sends her to Los Angeles County Hospital’s “psychopathic ward”. She befriends inmate Carol Dexter (Ryan), who tells Christine she is one of several women who were sent there for challenging police authority. Dr. Steele (O’Hare) deems Christine delusional and forces her to take mood-regulating pills. Steele says he will release Christine if she admits she was mistaken about “Walter”; she refuses.

On the day of the city council’s hearing into the case, Christine and Briegleb arrive at Los Angeles City Hall, where they encounter thousands of protesters who are demanding answers from the city. The hearing is intercut with scenes from Northcott’s trial. The council concludes that Jones and Davis should be removed from duty, and that extrajudicial internments by police must be reviewed. Northcott’s jury finds him guilty of murder and the judge sentences him to death by hanging. Two years later, Christine has not given up her search for Walter. Northcott sends her a message saying he is willing to admit to killing Walter on condition that Christine meets him before his execution. She visits Northcott, but he refuses to tell her if he killed her son. Northcott is executed the next day. In 1935, David Clay—one of the boys assumed to have been killed—is found alive. He reveals that one of the boys with whom he was imprisoned was Walter. David, Walter and another boy escaped, but were separated. David does not know whether Walter was recaptured, giving Christine hope he is alive.