Podtalk: Director Jack C. Newell is ‘Reporting for Christmas’

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CHICAGO – When a locally filmed romantic Christmas movie was released last week on HULU, the audience comfort and joy for this genre was proven once again by its TOP TEN trending status on the streaming service. The merry elf director behind “Reporting for Christmas” is Chicago-based Jack C. Newell.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

It’s the Christmas season, and Mary (Tamara Feldman) is an idealistic reporter from Chicago, assigned a sponsor puff piece from her producer Hank (D.B. Sweeney). So she travels to a small Iowa town, to profile a toy manufacturer famous for their signature “Mistle-Toad” collectible. While preparing her story, she runs into Blake (Matt Trudeau), a toymaker exec who shares her idealism but is reluctant to appear on camera. It will take more that a Mistle-Toad to get these holiday sparks flying.

’Reporting for Christmas,’ Directed by Jack C. Newell
Photo credit: HULU/Nicely Entertainment

The film is smart, funny and breezy, and connects the big city gal with the small town hunk in organic and story-progressing ways. All the supporting characters handle the background necessary to get the two romantic leads together – Mary’s cameraman and the innkeeper even have a shadow romance – and director Newell with his team creates the (as he calls it) “snow globe” atmosphere to convey the holidays. As a contemporary Yuletide romance story, “Reporting for Christmas” fills the seasonal stocking.

Jack C. Newell is a prolific movie director, with feature credits including “Close Quarters” (2012), Open Tables (2015), “Hope Springs Eternal” (2018), the documentary “42 Grams” (2018), Monuments (2020), and his first holiday film “Christmas with Felicity” (2021). His latest documentary is last year’s “How (not) to Build a School in Haiti.”

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, director Jack C. Newell on his holiday film approach …

In a Video Clip, how has directing two Christmas movies affected Jack’s holiday spirit? …

Trailer, “Reporting for Christmas” …

”Reporting for Christmas” is currently streaming on HULU. Featuring Tamara Feldman, Matt Trudeau, D.B. Sweeney, Maura Kidwell, and Suzanne C Johnson. Written by Adam Rockoff. Directed by Jack C. Newell. Not Rated.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Critic/Writer

© 2023 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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