Fred Claus (2007)
Director: David Dobkin
Cast : Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Banks
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Synopsis; During childhood, Fred Claus suffered his younger brother Nick’s saintliness. Jump ahead: Fred is a fast-talking, genial but self-centered guy in Chicago looking for $50,000 to open an off-track-betting shop. When one scam goes awry, he calls Nick at the North Pole for a loan: Nick will give him the money only if Fred comes up to help a few days with the Christmas rush. After his girlfriend dumps him, Fred heads north. Santa’s facing an audit from an efficiency expert, and it’s not pleasant. Fred’s job is to review charts and determine who’s naughty and who’s nice. Is there any fraternal feeling left, can either learn from the other, and what about Santa getting fired?
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: Fred Claus has become one of my favorite Christmas movies. Directed by Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin, the movie stars Vince Vaughn as title character.
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: I like how Dobkin starts the movie out with how Santa come to be, but continues to show that movie is about Santa’s older brother, Fred. The early part of the movie shows some good character development in establishing who Fred and Nick are and how they relate to each other.
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: I liked how Dobkin transitions into the modern day as it shows that Fred has become a repo man, yet at Christmastime his brother is everywhere. Fred cannot avoid him. The story then focuses on how Fred needs money to achieve his dream of owning a casino. Fred tries to get money by ringing a bell and asking like the Salvation Army. This causes him to be chased down by dozens of guys dressed up as Santa and be put in jail. Reluctantly, he goes to his brother for help. Nick tells him that he will bail him out, but for the rest of the money Fred needs, he has to come up to the North Pole and earn it.
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: Vaughn is just excellent and shows how great he can be working with Dobkin. At times, it does feel like that he is just being himself, but every actor does just that. Vaughn makes a great effort at making Fred a well-rounded character, who at first seems like a cold guy, but he does have a heart and proves that to everyone.
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: Paul Giamatti is great in his supporting role as Santa. He does an excellent job at making Santa a very well-rounded emotional character, who is trying to keep his cool with Fred, his wife (Miranda Richardson), and an efficiency expert named Clyde Northcott played by Kevin Spacey. Richardson and Spacey are both great at playing their parts. Richardson makes Mrs. Claus out to be someone who thinks Fred is just up to no good and mooching off of his brother. Spacey is excellent at making Northcott a guy who hates Christmas, has a grudge against Santa, and is making it his mission to put an end to Santa.
Watch Fred Claus Full Movie: Kathy Bates does a fine job as Fred and Nick’s nagging mom, who makes it obvious that she favors Nick more than Fred. John Michael Higgins does some good work as Willie, Santa’s head elf. Higgins makes the role really believable as he shows that Willie is more than an elf.
Two other performances I liked were from two of my favorite actresses. Rachel Weisz plays Fred’s girlfriend Wanda. Wanda is a cop and she cannot always stand Fred’s behavior and antics, yet she cannot stay mad at him forever. Weisz is just great as she shows she has talent as a comedy actress. The other one is Elizabeth Banks, as she fits the role of Charlene, Santa’s helper who is great working with numbers. Banks is very attractive in the skirt her character wears and takes her role that could have been one dimensional and made it into something fun to watch.
There are also great work from the art department and costume designer. The art department did an excellent job at making the North pole look amazing and very believable as to what Santa’s workshop might look like. The costume designer does a great job with the wardrobe for all the characters, especially the diverse costumes for the elves.
I think the best of it was the Dobkin never forgot that he was making a comedy. Dobkin excellently makes sure that it is a nice, feel good Christmas movie, but also includes laughs in every scene. Like Fred says, “Everyone deserves a present.” This movie is a real treat to watch around the holidays. This is a very good movie and while it is very funny, it also has some heart to it.
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