Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, it seemed to me, was emblematic of the sappiness and sentimentality associated with Christmas. But after reading Wendell Jamieson's essay in the New York Times, perhaps I need to take a second look. He writes:
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.