a christmas gift from bob

DIRECTOR: Charles Martin Smith (a dog's way home, dolphin tale)
STARRING: luke treadaway, Kristina Tonteri-Young, Phaldut Sharma and tim plester


REVIEWER: lyall carter

A struggling street musician finds himself the target of an animal welfare investigation that threatens to take away his beloved cat at Christmas.

I do love dogs but if it really came down to it then I would have to choose cats. Hands down. They are elusive, evasive creatures whose love you’ve got to earn. I respect that. And if I had to choose a favourite season of the year then it has to be Christmas, hands down. The nostalgia, family and giving gifts - it can’t get better than that. And A Christmas Gift from Bob wraps up all those Christmas feels to give us a feel good film that will leave a smile on your face long after you leave the cinema. 


Based on the book by former Big Issue seller James Bowen, the first film told the story of how a stray ginger cat changes the life of Bowen (Luke Treadaway), a homeless London street musician and recovering drug addict. A Christmas Gift from Bob sees Bowen looking back at the last Christmas he and Bob spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through tough times by providing strength, friendship and inspiration.


For some reason I’ve never seen the original A Streetcat Named Bob but that didn’t stop me from entering into the tail (pun and spelling mistake very much intended) as we are given enough backstory to not be left out in the dark. 


The story isn’t just filled with Christmas cheer. We see homelessness, want, need and despair very much on display but the power of love and kindness if not triumphing over but allowing that burden to be a little lighter.


We go on the journey with James as he struggles to keep Bob, to feel like he deserves Bob and the support of his community around him. 


Luke Treadway is brilliant as Bowen and gives a beautifully accessible and vulnerable performance. But the real star of the show is Bob showing off in his knitted Santa gear, knocking over Christmas trees and always on the hunt for food. 


A Christmas Gift from Bob wraps up all those Christmas feels to give us a feel good film that will leave a smile on your face long after you leave the cinema.

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