Frank Ritz’s review published on Letterboxd:
This movie should be illegal. Emotional manipulation pulled off to it's most feverish success, and leaves me in a puddle of tears every time, without fail. Too depressing to be saccharine, and too joyous to be debilitating, It's a Wonderful Life transcends any phony notions of Hollywood, or even holiday assignment, by simply trying to be a bastion call towards decency for the fellow man. George Bailey takes on a Christ-like role (while always being semi-flawed) in the wake of WWII, to try and plea to the masses to care about each other, and not let the Potters of the world win and destroy us from the inside. Unfortunately for all of us, Capra and company didn't succeed, but at least we still have a hell of a movie to try and remind the individuals that consume it, to appreciate what you have before it's gone forever. If you aren't emotionally consumed by this film you're either A) Not human, or worse B) Plain stupid. A whole lifetime vacuumed down into it's defining moments, that feels like returning home every time I manage to revisit. This was my first watch since playing George Bailey in our (incredibly shitty) High School production almost 7 years ago (when previously it had been my second favorite movie of all time, but then felt like I got too close to it to ever revisit), and it probably hit harder than it ever has.
An absolute triumph, and one of the best films to ever do it.