While writing this list, I realised there's no hard and fast rules around what constitutes a Christmas movie. Do they have to explicitly include the festive season, reindeer and Santa Claus, like all those Hallmark movies that litter streaming platforms this time of year? Or is a glimpse of tinsel enough? In this case, I learned that it greatly depended on what star sign you're discussing. Because that's clearly why we're here, to let the stars decide what Christmas movie you should watch.
I don't think you could pay an Aries a million dollars to sit through The Princess Switch but you could lure them in with an over-saturated and nonconformist film like Tangerine. Whereas nostalgic, saccharine Cancerian is more than willing to revisit childhood Christmas classics. Wondering what Christmas movie suits your star sign? Keep scrolling.
Aries: Tangerine (2015)
Merry Christmas, bitch! Only an impulsive Aries would spend Christmas Eve hunting down the woman your boyfriend and pimp cheated on you with. Shot on an iPhone and helmed by Sean Baker, Tangerine is the perfect Christmas movie for those bored of jolly, saccharine holiday narratives. It follows Sin-Dee Rella, a trans sex worker newly released from jail who has just learned of her boyfriend's infidelity while inside – and with a cis woman too. The betrayal galvanises her to scour Los Angeles for the pair and enact revenge with help from her best friend Alexandra (a Scorpio, probably). It's a truly original film; a rare portrait of chosen families and life on the margins around the holiday season without being voyeuristic.
Taurus: Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Maybe you rewatch Bridget Jones's Diary because you relate to it, but more likely it's because the Christmas classic is your comfort movie. You can recite the lines and clangers by heart, the narrative is familiar (and after this you'll probably strap in for a Pride and Prejudice rewatch – the 1995 series, of course) and the characters could be your closest friends. Then there's the fact that as a sensual sign, there's something alluring about the fantasy that a single woman in her 30s working in publishing could afford to buy an apartment in Zone 1 London. Sigh. For now though, you'll stick to rewatching this from your share house bedroom, with boxes of Cadbury Milk Tray and perhaps a Silk Cut or two, or whatever other very 90s idea of indulgence you can find.
Gemini: Carol (2015)
The clandestine romance at the heart of Todd Haynes' Carol is very Gemini-coded. Maybe it's because we associate the shadow traits of Geminis – insatiable curiosity, itchy feet and duplicitous nature – with affairs. Perhaps it can be chalked up to the subtle, erotic signs of lust between Blanchett's Carol and Rooney Mara's doe-eyed shop assistant Therese; after all Geminis are master communicators and this deft touch was necessary between same sex lovers in the 50s. Or it could even be that gossip-loving Geminis will be drawn to Patricia Highsmith's psychological thrillers centring desire. Anyway, no one is immune to the pull of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. So tuck in Geminis, this Christmas movie is designed for you.
Cancer: Home Alone (1990)
Find me a Cancerian who wouldn't secretly rejoice being left home alone during Christmas? That's once they got over the fierce betrayal of their family forgetting them. But no matter, they'll just use it as an incentive to wallow in self-pity and play the martyr – a Cancer's favourite pastime. Our advice is to use this film as an opportunity to eat along with young Kevin; I'm talking a colossal ice cream sundae, mac n' cheese, and order in a cheese pizza while you're at it. Only thing left to do is luxuriate in the wave of nostalgia you're about to get slammed by.
Leo: Spencer (2021)
Only a dramatic Leo could watch Spencer, Pablo Larraín's depiction of the stifling 1991 Christmas at Sandringham where Princess Diana decided to get a divorce from Prince Charles, and identify with it ahead of the annual trip to your own in-laws. Yes, you nod, during the scene where Kristen Stewart all but chokes on pearls and pea green soup, that's exactly what it's like to force down your father-in-law's dry turkey. Go queen, you murmur, as Diana escapes the castle with Harry and William in her Jaguar to a London KFC, thinking only of your Boxing Day breakfast trip to McDonalds. We just know this will be really validating for you.
Virgo: Love Actually (2003)
You're not fooling anyone Virgo when you say you hate Love Actually. Even if you do, that won't stop you from tuning into it for the umpteenth time. Why, you ask? Besides the obvious (the Italian Stallion, a chance to scream at Alan Rickman), it's an opportunity for you to do your worst, and by that I mean tear the film to shreds. An analytical, hypercritical perfectionist like yourself will relish any greenlight to point out the film's flaws. As if little Sam could get past airport security, no man would attract four Victoria's Secret Angels because of how he pronounces "bottle", and Mark is not romantic, but a loser. The floor is yours.
Libra: The Holdovers (2023)
You won't pin Libra down for any old Christmas movie. It has to be stirring, beautifully shot, meticulously put together. Which is why The Holdovers, Alexander Payne's recent festive flick that's been tipped for the Oscars, is a perfect match. You hate confrontation but don't mind it in art, where you can see life mirrored in a format that's thought-provoking but at an arm's length. Plus, the premise speaks to you. Paul Giamatti plays a despised professor (the scrooge in this story) who is lumped with babysitting a handful of students over the Christmas break. Set in the 70s, the professor strikes up an unlikely bond with Dominic Sessa's character, a brainy but troubled student, and the head cook who's only child was killed in Vietnam, played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. There's a touch of The Breakfast Club about it.
Scorpio: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Why limit yourself to one holiday when you can take pleasure in two? Especially when Halloween are so close together. That's Jack Skellington's brainwave when he hatches a diabolical plan to abduct Santa and smuggle him into Halloweentown instead. It's a logline that reeks of Scorpio energy. All we know is the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lucky Sally is here to put things back in order.
Sagittarius: The Holiday (2006)
It's a very Sagittarius idea to house swap with a complete stranger you met on the internet on a whim. And only a Sagittarian could manage to pull the whole thing off (and snag Jude Law as a byproduct). How very spontaneous and adventure-seeking of you. So strap in and enjoy one of the RUSSH team's favourite Christmas movies, a romantic comedy crammed with meet cutes. There's a cosy English cottage, star-crossed romance, a cameo from Dustin Hoffman, antics from Jack Black and female solidarity between Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. Personally, I adore the shot of Diaz loading up her shopping trolley in preparation for a night in bed.
Capricorn: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The audacity to steal Christmas can only come from a sign as ambitious (and deluded) as Capricorn. Somehow you manage to fit this grand scheme into your daily schedule (wallow in self-pity, stare into the abyss, solve world hunger, and so on). There's a lot of mutual ground here. You relate to the Grinch's plans for revenge against childhood tormentors – is there any other reason for the pursuit of success? Plus, you have also experienced many meltdowns around what to wear. This movie has the power to melt the heart of any overly stoic Capricorn. Lighten up, Grinch! It ain't so bad.
Aquarius: The Polar Express (2004)
Rewatching The Polar Express as an adult is an absurd, perplexing, but mostly nostalgic experience. As an Aquarius, you love it unironically. Every Christmas you concoct your own version of the hot chocolate dished out in the film. You're drawn to the serene magic of Christmas from a child's perspective – and are endlessly attempting to recreate it. You were probably that kid who doubted the existence of Santa Claus (how precocious of you). Now you just wish you'd shut up, stop overthinking, and enjoy the train ride.
Pisces: Elf (2003)
There's a lot in Elf for a Pisces; escapism, Christmas spirit, a concrete example of what it's like to be a dreamer in a harsh world. Like Buddy, you bring joy into the lives of those around you, even if at first your wide-eyed naivety can be off-putting. You're creative and compassionate, and the first person to complain of a tummy-ache on Christmas after eating one too many chocolates.