The Life of Brian/ Array
What better day to discover the gloriously hilarious life of Brian Cohen, his name be praised, than on December 25? After all, he was born on the same day and year as Jesus Christ, next door to the shed where Joseph and Mary gloated over their immaculate kid. This is the cinematic tour de force from the stable of British comedy legends, Monty Python, and The Life of Brian is the perfect cure for a life taken too seriously. Terry Gilliam directs this 1979 classic with controlled anarchy. Graham Chapman plays Brian with perfect wide-eyed dribble, while the rest of the Python team - John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Gilliam - making various appearances ranging from Pontius Pilate, a stone-thrower, a Roman centurion, all with equal doses of logic gone mad. The fact that Brian is mistaken for the Messiah (to which his mum responds, "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy") doesn't cut much ice or plum pudding with the masses. Instead, Brian finds himself in love and join the People's Front of Judea demanding independence from Rome.
The film rolls and ricochets along the perfect mad-cap script reaching a crescendo in the crucifixion scene at the end. If it seems to you that it's a running piss-take on the life of a someone who's a more household name, then you may just be right - or not. A must see, unless you're a philistine.