the way i see the movie.. is that there is that feeling of frustration and asphyxiation.. that is built up on all of jimmy stewarts self-less acts through out the movie..
and at his darkest moment he fully believes that all his lifetime of good deeds and living honestly and selflessly has led to nothing...
But then the story turns.. and we see that all his good deeds did mean something.. not only in the alternate world sequence.. but also when he comes back and all the people he helped out in small ways.. returns the favor..
so stewart’s character can then relinquish all his pent up animosity for choosing a selfless life.. and foregoing his dream.. coz the life he has lived was actually better..
Extremely well said as it is how I have always viewed the story. Have a Merry Christmas.
This is the realization that Wendell Jamieson has still not had. He thinks that his life will be best if he can string together enough fun experiences as possible. Life is good if he can go to the right club, be seen at the right party, or sleep with the right girl (presumably). Everything is just one long party, because he has never known need.
Who knows? Maybe Mr. Jamieson can go on like that his whole life, and the wolf will never be at his door. That would be nice, because if Mr. Wolf does show up, Mr. Jamieson is not going to have a clue what to do.
I think of the scene in the movie where the Baileys are moving Mr. Martini's family into their new house. They give them three gifts: Bread - so the house will never know hunger, Salt - so life will always have flavor, and Wine - so that good times and happiness will be theirs. But notice, the first gift is bread. This talk of starvation is immediately contrasted with Sam Wainwright, with his flashy girlfriend and sleek chaffuer-driven limousine. George Bailey is left with nothing but his beat up old car and Mary. Of course, Mary is Mary, so that is enough.
With everything that is going on with the economy, these days, the Mr. Wolf is closer to the door than he has been in a long, long time. As I was telling My Favorite Liberal the other day, it is a good time to be an Ant. We have been cautious with our money, saving and diversifying and doing all the things you should do, and now we are in a situation where we can weather these times with a fair amount of confidence. We have been Ants. Meanwhile, a lot of our friends have been Grasshoppers, leveraging their houses, spending like there is no tomorrow, and pursuing lucrative, but speculative, career paths. For the Grasshoppers, things are looking pretty bad, these days.
George Bailey was the Ultimate Ant. And when times got tough, he got through, as ants always do.
It’s a Wonderful Life is my all time favorite movie to watch just before Christmas. We often get so stressed with all the work and commercialism connected with Christmas, we often forget, (or at least I seem to), what is most important in life. Then I pop in the DVD and get myself on track again. Works everytime!
The first time I saw this film as a teenager, I fell in love with Jimmy Stewart and wanted to marry a George Bailey of my own. And I did!
That's the way I take the movie. When I first became a Christian, I marveled at the Word of God and the doors that swung open for me and the miracles that I was privileged to witness, but the people around me seemed still to be stuck in some bizarrow funk and couldn't see what I saw. I asked my pastor how he could continue to get in front of the dead mass of humanity every weekend and no one respond to the work he was doing? He didn't even take a breath before saying he didn't do it for them, he did it for Jesus. God would put the message in his heart and God would put the people that needed to hear it in the pews. He just obeyed.
I've always found this to be true. You do and say what you do and say for the sake of goodness, not for some reward. The rewards will come as God wills it. If everyone was rewarded for being "Christian", then everyone would be a Christian and be rich. Obviously, that's not the way it works. We are good to please God, not for money or promotions. God will provide our rewards as needed.
BTW, The pastor and I have moved on to other things and God has opened many doors for both of us. He is now the pastor of what some would consider a mega church and I have also done well spiritually since that day. God is opening and closing doors every day if we just look at what He is doing instead of what we are doing. The NYT writer seems stuck on the natural instead of the supernatural. The blind will never see. The dead just rot from the inside.