01 h 46 m
Eli Roth
Rick Hoffman, Gina Gershon, Patrick Dempsey
"A Feast of Emotion – `Thanksgiving` Serves Up Nostalgic Comfort with a Side of Freshness"

Posted Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023 712

Thanksgiving unfolds the story of the Clarkson family as they prepare for their annual Thanksgiving reunion. Amidst the chaotic backdrop of turkey prep and pie baking, deeply buried family secrets and personal triumphs come to light, showing us that the things we are truly thankful for can sometimes be messy and complex.

Woven with themes of forgiveness, gratitude, and the enduring bonds of family, the film gently guides the audience through a series of heartfelt moments. Its tone oscillates between comforting warmth and poignant introspection, using the holiday spirit as a catalyst for character growth.

The performances are the heart of this ensemble piece, with each actor bringing a unique depth to their character. The leads, portraying the multidimensional Clarkson family members, deliver with both comedy and gravitas, making us laugh one moment and tearing at our heartstrings the next.

The direction is deliberate and thoughtful, with a steady hand that navigates the dichotomies of family life. It captures the chaos of togetherness alongside the silence of internal battles, creating a rich tapestry of the Thanksgiving experience.

Thanksgiving movie review

Elevating the nostalgic tones of the film, the soundtrack is a comforting acoustic blend that resonates with the notion of homecoming and reflection, enhancing both the jovial family moments and the more somber, intimate scenes.

Cinematography is intimate, often using close-ups to capture nuanced expressions, and warm, inviting lighting to evoke the coziness of the family home. The camera acts almost as another family member, weaving between characters and conversations.

The production design harks back to a classic Thanksgiving setting, detailed to the last autumn leaf. The home is rich in memories, filled with both clutter and care, which grounds the story in a relatable reality.

Special effects are minimal but effective in this character-driven narrative, relying on practical effects to heighten realism rather than spectacle.

Thanksgiving movie review

Editing cleverly balances the many storylines, giving each character their moment to shine while maintaining a flowing pace that mirrors the gathering momentum of the holiday.

The film maintains an even pace, allowing audiences to savor each poignant moment without ever feeling rushed. However, it skillfully picks up speed during familial spats or comedic high jinks, reflecting the unpredictable nature of family gatherings.

The dialog is both witty and weighty, often layered with subtext that rewards attentive viewers. Characters speak with a candor that’s rare in holiday films, providing authenticity to their interactions.

Despite its strengths, the film occasionally succumbs to cliché, flirting with tired tropes of holiday dramas. At times, it skirts the edges of sentimentality, though it often pulls back just enough to keep its emotional impact intact.

Thanksgiving touched me with its multi-layered portrayal of familial love and the bittersweet nature of togetherness. It`s a film that understands the complexity of human relationships, delivering both laughter and tears. It grounded me in the warmth of shared histories and the cathartic power of reconciliation, leaving a lingering sense of hope and the comforting knowledge that in every family, no matter the struggles, there is always something to be thankful for.