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The Auroran Today

Winter Movie Essentials

Jaela Staker shares her opinion on the best movies to watch this winter season and spits it into three categories, winter, Christmas, and love.


  1. Grand Budapest HotelA non-stop visually enchanting movie. Each scene is so purposeful and ensures that not a moment of the screen time is wasted.Directed by Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of a  murder case involving a hotel manager and his assistant, a priceless painting, wealth, and war. Anderson takes it above and beyond in this film with his sharp dialogue, colorful palette, and witty humor. It is widely renowned as his best work yet. Its snowy landscape makes it a great film to watch on a chilly day.
  2. Knives OutA whodunit except we (the audience) knows who did it. Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson, takes the suspense of not knowing the killer and transfers it into something else,  a question of whether or not the detectives are going to find them out. The characters are so interesting you are sucked in from start to finish. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and has lots of hilarious dialogue and when matched with its acting and cinematography, makes it an enjoyable watch for anyone. 
  3. Little Women(2019)The reason Little Women qualifies to be on this list is because of the love and care that seeps out of the screen and straight into your heart during the Christmas and winter scenes. They are so wholesome and raw that you can’t help but feel impacted. Little Women is directed by Greta Gerwig who gives us the best adaptation yet. She manages to capture the liveliness of family and sisterhood while still staying sophisticated. The winter scenes are just a sliver of what this film has to offer. It can be enjoyed any time of the year.
  4. FargoFargo, created by the Coen brothers, follows a pregnant police woman from a small-town in Minnesota who is on a mission to catch a killer. The reasoning behind the murder is crazy and intriguing. The dialogue is what sticks out most in this film. It is so unbelievably funny and shows you just how silly humans can be which makes it seem effortless even though every detail is perfectly attended to. The suspenseful and satire plot combined with the winter setting makes it an ideal winter movie.


  1. Home Alone– One of the most widely loved Christmas movies. From the humor to the message, Home Alone, directed by Chris Columbus, never gets old. One of the reasons this film did so well was because the audience was put into Kevin’s shoes. While watching, you are  scared of all the little things he is, like the furnace or the oven mitts, which makes watching this an experience rather than a viewing. Also, the jokes reach every age so no matter how old you are, you still find humor in it.
  2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas– Both How The Grinch Stole Christmas!(1966) and How The Grinch Stole Christmas(2000) are classics when it comes to Christmas movie essentials. They share the same core story, but are very different from each other. The 1966 version is filled with so much nostalgia and Dr. Seuss’s rhymes we’ve all grown up with. While  the 2000 version is more gritty, extremely hilarious, and iconic. The story of the grinch is special because it reminds people how important it is to accept others.
  3. A Christmas Story– A Christmas Story, directed by Bob Clark, is the funniest Christmas movie up to date. Even though there are many unrealistic parts, it manages to capture the feeling of being a kid at Christmas so fully. The movie is narrated by grown up Ralphie who is reminiscing about the Christmas when he was 9 years old asking for a BB gun. It goes through the week leading up to Christmas and the anticipation that week holds. Its hilarious material makes it the perfect Christmas movie.
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life– A dark film, and not just because it’s in black and white. Directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey, a man who has been giving to others and saving others his whole life. When his life starts going on a downward spiral he contemplates it all, until his guardian angel comes down to show him what life would be like if he never existed. It is an extremely emotional and meaningful film and very progressive for how old it is.


  1. Love ActuallyDirected by Richard Curtis, Love Actually jumps between one love story to another. One love story is about a man who only speaks English and a woman who only speaks Portuguese falling in love with each other, while another love story is about the prime minister and his assistant falling in love, along with plenty more. But not all of it is love, there is also a lot  of heartbreak intertwined within this film. It is an incredibly wholesome film while still leaving room for humor. 
  2. CarolSet in the 1950’s, Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, is about a department-store clerk who has a passion for photography. It isn’t until she meets an older, married woman that she starts acting on her passions, and not only her photography passions. They go on a trip together where they fall in love, but are quickly taken away from each other as their relationship is not yet legal. It is simultaneously depressing and heart-warming as you watch them grow together, and then apart, and then maybe together again. 
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- Watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind feels like a fever dream. Directed by Michel Gondry, this film follows Joel Barish as he falls in love, until his love interest decides to erase him from her mind using new technology. The dialogue in this movie is beautiful and gut-punching, along with its insane plot. What you might’ve thought was a regular love story keeps building and building until it is something unrecognizable. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen and continues to surprise me every rewatch.
  4. While You Were SleepingWhen hearing the plot of this movie without any context, it may seem weird and even a little disturbing, but this rom-com somehow works. Directed by Jon Turteltaub, While You Were Sleeping follows a lonely transit worker who finds herself engaged to a man in a coma who she has never spoken to before, and doesn’t have the heart to tell his family that the engagement is a lie. Her character is so lovable and deserving that it makes the funky plot warm and sweet.
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About the Contributor
Jaela Staker
Jaela Staker, Writer
Jaela Staker is a senior at MHS. She is the vice president of Key Club. This is her first year being involved in newspaper and writing for the Auroran Today. When she is not writing for the newspaper she enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, hanging out with her friends and family, and reading.
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