Director: Kate Montgomery
Popular among viewers, winning the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at Austin’s Film Festival along with being voted one of the most popular movies at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, writer/director Kate Montgomery’s free-spirited character piece was also an official selection at Sundance in addition to earning numerous other accolades. Although the acting is never quite up to par and the writing does seem a bit forced (although again, this could have to do with the delivery), Montgomery’s film is friendly, likable, fun and very refreshing as we watch a cast of mostly all Native American characters deal with a variety of misunderstandings and odd situations at the Sky Mountain Resort. Tim Vahle is great as Ray Clouds on Fire, the resort manager who leads his entire staff into frenzy as they prepare for the arrival of an anonymous reviewer from the Worthington Travel Guide. When the beautiful mysterious woman (Mari Anna Tosca) who has been corresponding with Ray’s father via letters shows up to track down her pen pal out of the blue, she and Ray develop a mutual attraction although he assumes she’s the reviewer, when in reality it’s M. Emmet Walsh whose experience is one Murphy’s Law inspired event after another. Although it’s ultimately forgettable and a bit overly praised, Christmas in the Clouds is still quite an entertaining rainy day (or make that offbeat Christmas) movie.