“Wasn’t I lucky to be born in my favourite city?” asks Margaret O’Brien’s Tootie early on in Vincente Minnelli’s Technicolor masterpiece Meet Me in St. Louis. Judy Garland stars as a young woman whose family are threatening to leave her beloved hometown just as she’s fallen in love with the boy next door. Exquisitely made by one of the masters of the genre, this is one of those musicals where you’ll probably know every song going in — even if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the film before. Filmed in 1944 and set just before the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, the film manages to be an alternatively joyous and pensive examination of a small world that’s about to get much bigger.
Cultureplex screen Minnelli’s rich and reflective work this Christmas safe in the knowledge that Garland’s soulfully melancholy rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is about as heart-bustingly festive as the movies get.