Christmas Story (Joulutarina)
Release year: 2007
Director: Juha Wuolijoki
Screenwriter: Marko Leino, Aku Louhimies, Juha Wuolijoki
Starring: Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Otto Gustavsson, Jonas Rinne, Kari Väänänen, Mikko Kouki, Laura Birn, Antti Tuisku
In Lapland young Nikolas (Jonas Rinne) looses his family at Christmas and the whole village decides to share the responsibilty meaning every year at Christmas Nikolas moves to a new home and a new family. As an adult, Nikolas (Hannu-Pekka Björkman) is a kind and generous man determined to pay back the love shown to him by the village.
Joulutarina is a Santa Claus origin story from the cold Lapland, one of the places that claims to be the ‘true home of Santa’. Whether they are correct or not there is definitely something very fitting about Finland when it comes to playing background for Christmas movies. Besides the blue eyed blond children, the vast beauty of the Finnish winter wonderland is so great it almost steals the show, especially here where it is shown in award-winning cinematography (Mika Orasmaa won the Finnish Jusi award for best cinematography). The story is simple and told calmly and quietly with likeable characters brought to life with care by a great cast and somehow makes the fantastical being that Santa is seem very grounded, all set to a beautiful score. It’s a wonderful movie and definitely worth seeking out for anyone in need of some Christmas spirit.
Hannu-Pekka Björkman also starred in another international released Christmas movie as he voiced Julius in the Finnish version of the animated movie Niko – Lentäjän poika (The Flight Before Christmas) from 2008.
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Picture copyright: Warner Bros