I only watched It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time last year and the best way I can describe the film is that it’s profoundly impactful.
Made in 1946, the black and white movie follows George Bailey as his life starts to crumble apart and he begins contemplating ending his life. His impending suicide on Christmas Eve triggers the arrival of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody.
Clarence shows George how he has touched the lives of others and how different life would be for his wife, Mary, and the community of his (fictional) town Bedford Falls if he had not been born. Watching just how many people he had helped and the tiny acts of kindness that changed their lives is very powerful and shows the true meaning of Christmas.
Given that mental health is still considered a taboo in this day and age, it’s incredible that a movie made 74 years ago could tackle something so complex and controversial at the time, and do it so beautifully well. As a sufferer of anxiety and depression myself, I’ve related to George on many occasions and I feel that it was represented in such a moving and hopeful way.
I think It’s A Wonderful Life is a timeless classic and a film everyone should watch at least once in their life; it truly reminds you how important your existence is, how appreciated you are by those you love, and that you are never alone.
P.S. Don’t be put off by the 131 minute run-time, it’s worth it.
Words by Erin Memmott.