A robot (NO:EL), appears before the family of Adam McCallister (played by Jedward, making their debut in a shared acting role) on the 1st December 2010. The film catalogues the progression of advent day by day in an increasingly suspenseful narrative. Discovered when it crash lands through a tear in space-time into the family’s fireplace as they watch ET, the McCallisters are initially delighted, teaching their own alien life-form to use a telephone and ride a bicycle in moonlit silhouette in a charming musical montage. NO:EL takes a darker turn when the family discover through a series of visionary dreams recounted by a negligee clad Susan Sarandon (Mrs McCallister) with inimitable breathy eroticism, that it comes not as friend but as an enemy from the future, programmed to destroy the world on Christmas day. Not to be deterred, the feisty McCallisters attempt to teach NO:EL the true meaning of Christmas in a desperate bid to instil some cheer and goodwill into the cold metal carapace of their visitor. Contrary to my expectations this film is a delight. Quite apart from Sarandon’s glorious orbs, Jedward in particular are a revelation. Hair flattened, they have a luminous beauty to rival the young Winona Ryder, and their striking differences in acting style (one is shouty, the other keeps taking off his trousers) lend each new scene an irresistible frisson, as one never knows which one it is until the acting begins. Despite a series of set piece attempts to rehabilitate the robot – the scene where NO:EL is taken to be diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome is particularly poignant – the attempt ultimately fails and the closing credits feature the earth as a fireball, dangling in the inky universe like an abandoned Christmas bauble.

By Emma Read

To vote for NO:EL click the “facebook like” button at the top of the page

Back to Write Christmas

About The Author