This year instead of doing one country, I’m doing them all — a global Christmas. It’s a celebration of all the previous years and hopefully some new discoveries. So here it goes…
The Film: Pour elle [Anything For Her] – France
Last year I made the mistake of watching The Tourist, which should officially be renamed The Train Wreck. Not only was it horrible but it completely spoiled the experience of the original, Anthony Zimmer. I was totally robbed of the viewing pleasure of what could have become an all-time favorite film. So now I have a very strict protocol — always watch the foreign film first.
When The Next Three Days came to Netflix streaming I was tempted. Maybe I wouldn’t like the original film. Maybe the remake was fine. Maybe it was better? Nope.
Pour Elle is amazing. It’s brilliant. It’s everything I love about French cinema. Firstly, it’s a great thriller. The kind we don’t seem to have much of in the US any more. Slow burning, cerebral, emotional and suspenseful. The story is simple but what makes it work, makes you pay attention, pulls you in, is that it’s told in the best possible way.
Secondly, Vincent Lindon. Yeah, he gets his own point. He’s that good. Really. Watch anything with him in it. The entire cast is brilliant, Diane Kruger is heartbreaking, and the cameo by Olivier Marchal is a treat. But even with minimal dialog, Vincent sells the story.
Pour Elle really is a perfect film. It’s smart, emotional, and gripping. There are no substitutes.
Holiday Spirit: +3
The Food: FauxNog [Better For You Eggnog]
Speaking of substitutes, this recipe is full of them. For me, eggnog is reserved for decorating the Christmas tree. As I only have it once a year, I always look for the best I can find. But this year, I wanted the best for you. Or at least, the best I could make.
There are some things I usually leave to the experts but when that won’t do, I turn to the all-knowing internet. I looked up quite a few recipes and sort of combined various elements for a sugar free, low carb, FauxNog– the ornaments still go up but the calories go down.
- 6 Cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup Splenda
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend together 3 cups of milk and pudding mix until smooth and thick. Slowly add the rest of the milk and blend.
There is plenty of room to reduce the amount of sweetener or replace it with stevia. I used an empty milk bottle to keep it in the fridge until it was cold. Feel free to add alcohol or rum extract if you’re really feeling festive.
A chai spice version would be really delicious. I have plans to use it as a coffee creamer and in a delicious raw pumpkin, oats, and flax shake. Yum!
Holiday Spirit: +5