Young Noelle thinks that because she was born in a barn on Christmas Day that she has a special gift that makes grumpy grown-ups be nice to each other. Unfortunately, her charms are unlikely to work on the American developer (Downton Abbey’s James-Collier) who is determined to buy the local pottery factory in her Irish village and knock it down, so she has to gather her friends together to try and stop him.
Made to celebrate Belfast-based children’s film and television charity Cinemagic’s 25th anniversary, this Northern Irish movie boasts cute performances from the kids and cameo roles from Pierce Brosnan (the developer’s boss), Liam Neeson (an Alan Partridge-esque local radio DJ), Kylie Minogue and Dermot O’Leary (as themselves) – and not much else.
The dialogue is clunky and the plot wafer-thin, which will try the patience of many adults. However, it’s best to remember this is meant as an old-fashioned, feel-good Christmas movie for the littlest of viewers in the same vein as Miracle On 34th Street, and while it can’t match such a classic, A Christmas Star will no doubt warm kiddie hearts and get them nicely hyped up for the Yuletide season.
Is A Christmas Star suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...