A Nutcracker Christmas (2016) – A Dance with the Sugar Plum Fairies
Though Christmas is gone, and for many, packed away, my family enjoys prolonging its jolliness. Even if only for a little while longer. We do this by celebrating the season with our bedecked tree longer than most, and of course, indulge in another Hallmark flick or two. One such film happens to be A Nutcracker Christmas.
Ever since she was a little girl, Lilly Jamison (Amy Acker) has desired one thing; to be a ballerina. With hard work, and the support of her best friend and sister, Lilly achieves this. But just as she’s at the height of her breakout year (on the cusp of dancing the coveted role of the Sugar Plum fairy), her sister dies in a tragic car accident.
Eight years pass, and on that day Lilly said goodbye to more than her life in New York. Since then she has thrown herself into raising her niece, Sadie (Sophia Lucia) and running her yoga studio. Sadie inherited her aunt’s passion for dance, and with her own star beginning to shine, Sadie receives a prestigious invitation to dance Clara in the Nutcracker. Not only must Lilly face the world of dance, she also comes face to face with her ex, Mark (Sascha Radetsky), the man who broke her heart.
This film is unlike anything I’ve seen this network put out before. The results are breathtaking. As an armchair fan of dance, I find films that prominently feature it stunning, and this darling television story is no less in that camp. What really sets this one apart is its realism. Most films that feature characters with a talent that takes years to perfect is a challenge because the actor doesn’t (9 times out of 10) own this as a talent. In A Nutcracker Christmas, two of the leads are actually professional dancers, and leading lady, Amy Acker studied dance for a number of years before she made the shift to acting. The fact that they did their own (presumably, Amy does some of her own) dancing lends a great deal of credibility to the script and character.
Everything else is charming. From the cast of character’s (Sophia’s Sadie is adorable, as is the romance of the story appealing) to the bittersweet story, this is a winning script. It’s one of those movies you laugh throughout, swoon when appropriate, and in all likelihood, shed a tear or two. It covers each of the important emotional investments, and does it very well.
Those who aren’t as fond of the typical Christmas films that feature cookie-cutter activities (like baking or Christmas contests) should appreciate this one. There is still Christmas festivities (like tree decorating), but it looks deeper than that. Saying more is unnecessary because A Nutcracker Christmas can do this for itself. I applaud the cast, writers, and crew. This is a production well put together and it shows in every heartwarming moment from the dancing to the simple tasks of Christmas cheer.