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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Rare Exports (2010)

Rare Exports

2010 | FinlandFranceNorwaySweden | 84 min
aka:
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Watched on Thu Dec 24, 2020 via Vudu
    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Bad title, good movie.

    Okay, the title’s great once you’ve seen the movie, but as an attractor, it falls short. Might I suggest You Better Watch Out instead?

    Set in a remote Finnish community on the Russian border, the film concerns a mysterious mountain top excavation. Pietari, a boy on the cusp of abandoning his beloved stuffy, believes the excavators have unearthed Santa Claus, and that he’s hardly the jolly fellow we’ve been led to believe. Soon it’s up to Pietari to save the day.

    It’s a terrific spin on the Spielberg formula, buoyed by majestic-yet-ominous location photography, believable performances (Pietari and his father are real-life father and son), and great effects.

    My lone gripe lies with Pietari’s whining through the first two acts. I appreciate the desire to demonstrate a noticeable arc, but Spielberg did this without having his protagonists grate early.

    It’s a minor gripe, and one I suspect may fade with further viewings. We’ll find out, as Rare Exports has earned a place in my Christmas movie rotation.

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