What to watch on Netflix this Christmas: light the fire, have a mince pie and watch top TV listings.

‘Tis the season to light the fire, open the mince-pie tin and nestle on the sofa with Netflix’s seasonal fare.

Christmas means different things to different people. For some, it is a riot of sequins and parties. For others, it is a festival of family board games. For most, it involves some serious dedication to the TV listings.

Luckily, we know we can rely on terrestrial television for a splendid Strictly Christmas Special, a Coronation Street bonanza and the requisite viewing of Home Alone.

You never can tell what Netflix might come up with, though. Here is our guide to their finest offerings this Christmas.

THE KOMINSKY METHOD


Starring Michael Douglas, this Netflix Original series is a witty commentary on the pitfalls and curveballs encountered by a couple of old pals in their twilight years. Of his role, Douglas has said: “You’re going to find comedy in getting older? I’m your man.” Sensitive but funny, this should tickle several generations of your family.

ANGELA’S CHRISTMAS


You will be delighted to snuggle up and watch this one with your kids, we promise. Based on a popular Irish children’s story by Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank McCourt, this is the heart-warming, animated tale of a girl and her desire to make sure that everybody is warm, safe and loved at Christmas. We predict laughter and tears.

THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS


Launching in limited cinemas and on Netflix at the same time, this Western parody from the Coen Brothers is at once humorous and political. After watching it, viewers have, according to The New Yorker, to “consider the nihilism at the core of civilization, the confrontation with death that defines life”. Liam Neeson stars.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS


If you missed Tom Ford’s super-stylish thriller when it was in cinemas in 2016, take heart because it has now come to Netflix. Make sure you find time over the Christmas holiday to watch these acclaimed and intelligent turns by Amy Adams (a rich art-gallery owner) and Jake Gyllenhaal (her estranged, novelist husband).

HOUSE OF CARDS


If you didn’t catch series one to five, do so. If you did, it’s time to give the sixth a whirl. Following the demise of her husband Frank Underwood (who was played by the now disgraced Kevin Spacey), Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) is the USA’s first female president, with all of the scrutiny and danger that entails.

December 2018