Elf (2003) Advent Calendar Film Review | Day 3

Elf is a 2003 film directed by Jon Favreu and written by David Berenbaum. The film follows Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who believes he is an elf after crawling into Santa’s sack as a baby. He goes to New York to track down his real father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan) a big time publisher.

As wacky as this story is, it has a lot of heart and it works. There are so many fantastic things I could say about this film. Will Ferrell is stellar as Buddy. He nails the goofy, clueless character, who eventually falls in love despite having a somewhat sheltered childhood. The story is just fantastic, and the story behind the story… well that’s even better!

Screenwriter David Berenbaum lost his mother in his earlier years, and to heal he and his father would watch Christmas movies. This film is an homage to the father son relationship, the importance of parents. The way that no matter the circumstances, parents are always there.

Some of the filming techniques used in this film are fantastic too. To be old-school and authetic, Joh Favreu insisted on using forced perspective. This means that they put Will Ferrell on a platform, a couple of feet in front of the other elves, in order to realistically make himself appear taller.

Overall, I love this film. Not only is it an entirely original and unique piece, it has a lot of heart and a lot of festive cheer. Who doesn’t love that?

Words by Jack Horsley.

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