Reunion in Wales
Following the death of his parents Jimmy (Gweirydd Gwyndaf) has gone to live with his grandfather, Colonel Phillips (Edward Woodward), in New York. But not only is Jimmy struggling with being bullied at school but his grandfather doesn't seem to want him around. After another telling off Jimmy runs out into the snow covered street where he meets a curious Santa (James Coburn) who sets about telling Jimmy a story about a young orphan boy called Tim (Gweirydd Gwyndaf). Tim lived in Wales but his grandfather refused to accept him because Tim's father had run off with a gypsy girl against his father's wishes and Tim was the outcome of their relationship.
I don't know about you but when a movie is sold to me as being a Christmas movie I have certain expectations, certain things I want to see such as it being set at Christmas time. Now in fairness "Christmas Reunion" starts off that way with Jimmy returning to his grandfather's home through the snow covered city streets, yes the carol singers are a twee touch too much but it is the sort of snowy, festive thing I like to see in a Christmas movie. Hey there is even James Coburn as Santa Claus which admittedly is not someone who springs to mind when it comes to playing Santa Claus but he certainly has the right voice to play the part of a story teller.
But that is where the problems start as "Christmas Reunion" becomes all about Tim in Wales and his grandfather refusing to acknowledge his existence and the whole Christmas vibe disappears into thin air. Yes the story of Tim is good and runs parallel to Jimmy's which builds to an expectedly touching climax but the lack of Christmas in Wales, especially after those Christmassy opening scenes ends up a real brick wall to enjoying the movie.
It is a shame as "Christmas Reunion" is a nicely put together movie with solid being the word to describe all aspects of it. As such Edward Woodward and Gweirydd Gwyndaf are both solid in dual roles whilst the cinematography is never spectacular is never weak either.
What this all boils down to is that "Christmas Reunion" didn't do it for me and it ended up not the Christmassy movie I had been hoping for. But it is the sort of movie which I am sure if you watched as a child would not only entertain but remain with you as a cherished memory.