(out of 5)
Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic, foul-mouthed, angry thief who gets jobs in department stores during the Christmas season as Santa Claus in order to crack into store safes. On their latest gig, he and his assistant, a pint-sized fellow with an equally colourful vocabulary, risk losing it all when Thornton drops all desire for the game and indulges more and more in very reckless behaviour. Things get even wackier when Thornton hides out at the home of a lonely boy and his clueless grandmother (Cloris Leachman); despite having the worst manner of abuse heaped upon him by this crotchety old man, the boy never loses his love for Santa Claus and even manages to work his way into the old coot’s heart. The film is uneven and far too nasty in general (some viewers will be seriously turned off by the flagrant language), but Thornton’s unhinged performance is brilliant and provides for some screamingly hilariously comedy.
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
Cinematography by Jamie Anderson
Music by David Kitay
Production Design by Sharon Seymour
Costume Design by Wendy Chuck
Film Editing by Robert Hoffman