Movie Review

Angels Sing

Christmas comes but once a year, but the memories last a lifetime.
Angels Sing Movie Poster

US Release Date: 11-01-2013

Directed by: Tim McCanlies


  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Michael Walker
  • Connie Britton
  • Susan Walker
  • Chandler Canterbury
  • David Walker
  • Fionnula Flanagan
  • Ma
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Griffin
  • Willie Nelson
  • Nick
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • The Colonel
  • Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
  • Maggie
  • Eloise DeJoria
  • Laura
  • Dylan Summerall
  • Young David
  • Brennan Barker
  • Young Michael
  • Deborah Cole
  • Theresa
  • Sara Hickman
  • Aunt Claire
  • Turk Pipkin
  • Uncle Theo
  • Lidia Porto
  • Rosalba
Reviewed on: December 11th, 2013
Harry Connick Jr. and Chandler Canterbury in Angels Sing

Harry Connick Jr. and Chandler Canterbury in Angels Sing

I once noted that most Christmas films follow the theme of finding one's Christmas spirit. Angels Sing is no exception. With Christmas lights being used as a metaphor, this film tells the story of a man renewing his spirit for Christmas and his family.

Michael Walker is a history professor who is struggling with his wife and son to find a new home as the one they are living in has just been sold. He is also in despair as the holidays have arrived and Michael is still scarred by a childhood memory of a tragic Christmas. With the help of a mysterious bearded old man named Nick, Michael gets an amazing offer on a beautiful house. The sale comes with one caveat, Michael must maintain the house as is and keep up with the neighborhood standards.

He does not understand that it means every Christmas the entire street goes overboard decorating their homes and yards with lights and displays. Every day, one of the neighbors shows up at their front door singing a holiday carol and offering Michael some Christmas lights to put on his non-festive house. Michael and his family patiently listen to the songs before Michael throws the lights in his attic.

Although Michael is surrounded by people, such as his wife, parents and Santa Claus, who encourage him to embrace the holiday, his heart is unable to grow. When tragedy again strikes his family, Michael is faced with giving advice that he himself needs to listen to. Michael must learn to push the darkness of despair and guilt away and let the brightness of Christmas shine in his and his family’s life.

Angels Sing is filled with Christmas songs. Many are only partially sung and are quite efficiently used. Others dominate some scenes as if they were the only reason for that particular scene. The film teases us with the possibility of Harry Connick Jr. singing. At one point he is even given a piano, but he never plays and the only time we hear him sing is during the end credits.

Angels Sing can draw comparisons to It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and The Grinch. All feature a main character who needs to better understand his place in the world and to think of others. There are also nods to other perennial Christmas shows. At one point Michael complains that Christmas has become too commercial, just as Charlie Brown's Christmas points out. When Michael looks into his neighbor’s front window a suspiciously familiar tacky leg lamp can plainly be seen.

Angels Sing is not an overly original film but its heart is very much in the right place. This is a very realistic family having very real problems. They will cradle you with warmth and caress your heart. Let the angels sing and marvel at the brilliant Christmas lights that brighten life even when it is at its darkest.