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The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

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MEET ME IN ST LOUIS

Cert PG, 113 mins

YOU could do worse than Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by watching Vincente Minnelli's charming 1944 musical which takes place in a St Louis that never really was and was a lasting comfort to those sick and tired of the war. But you should note that when Judy Garland sings her famous song it is because she is sad and disappointed, not merry. She is slaughtering a snowman at the time. It is Minnelli's mix of innocent feelgood entertainment and pawky melodrama about the disappointments of romance and family life that distinguishes the film. That and of course its music, song and dance. The Boy Next Door and the Trolley Song are among the classic numbers, brilliantly shot and up there with the best that the Hollywood Dream Factory could produce at the time -- and for some time afterwards.

MAGIC TO WIN

Cert 12A, 90 mins

WILSON Yip's Hong Kong comedy has a university professor, who is also a water magician, accidentally transferring his remarkable powers to one of his students after both are hit by lightning. This helps her to assist the struggling volleyball team she apparently manages. The film relies more on slightly daft special effects than on either script or acting. Louis Koo, Chun Wu and Bak-Ming Wong do their best to raise laughs but it's nothing like as entertaining as the same director's IP Man. …

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