Snow, snow, snow, SNOW! It’s hard to think of two more tonally different movies than the cynical Bad Santa and the sweetly sentimental White Christmas. After all, one of today’s Showdown challengers is all about the excitement surrounding the season and the other? Not so much. But maybe that’s not a fair comparison. After all, between the scheming and jaded showbiz talk, White Christmas has its fair share of cynicism. Likewise, Bad Santa has many moments of positivity and even redemption. So where do you fall on the overall spectrum of festive flicks—are you a Billy Bob or a Bing? Mull it over.
Read up on the two contenders below—then make your choice and vote!
Round of 16 – MATCH 6:
Bad Santa (2003)
Easily the crudest film on our holiday face off, Bad Santa looks straight at the seedier parts of the season. Through a sexed up, alcoholic criminal we are given every reason to never trust a mall Santa with a child ever again. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is exploring the lower crevices beneath what any other rational human would deem “rock bottom” when he decides to take advantage of a young kid living with a low-functioning grandma while working as a Santa and planning his next heist. While this might seem like an outlier in terms of feeling the spirit of the season, Willie’s character development and redemption far exceeds anything that wimp George Bailey ever gains. Willie has demons he needs to fight and through the magic of Christmas, he starts to come to his senses. – Deirdre Crimmins
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
White Christmas (1954)
If you want your classic Bing Crosby Christmas musical with less blackface than Holiday Inn, and you have a sizeable tolerance for military propaganda, then White Christmas is for you! Capitalizing on the titular hit song, White Christmas has four performers head up to Vermont for the holidays, only to be met with no snow, which means no tourists nor their fat wallets to keep the tourism industry afloat. By lucky coincidence the inn that these four head to happens to be run by the retired general of the unit where the two men of the quartet served in WW2. Feeling forgotten with a failing business, the two Broadway men make it their business to lift his spirits, save the inn, and woo the sisters with whom they traveled up north. Looking past the glorification of the troops, there is an undeniable sweetness and heart to the desire to save the general from economic and self-esteem peril. The personal sacrifice these men make, and ask others to make, is touching and a powerful showcase for the magic of the Christmas season. – DC
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
Voting ends December 16 at 11:59 EST.
The elimination showdown runs from December 1 until the 23, with the Ultimate Christmas Movie being unveiled on Christmas Eve! You can vote here, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Check out where things stand and then tune in tomorrow for a new face off…