A Christmas Gift from Bob (12A)
A Christmas Gift from Bob (12A)
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Runtime: 92 minutes
Cast: Luke Treadaway, Bob the Cat, Kristina Tonteri-Young, Phaldut Sharma, Nina Wadia, Tim Plester, Pepter Lunkuse, Celyn Jones and Anna Wilson-Jones
Synopsis: In A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM BOB, James looks back at the last Christmas he and Bob spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times – providing strength, friendship and inspiration and ultimately teaching each other about the true meaning of Christmas spirit along the way.
A Christmas Gift from Bob is the much-anticipated sequel to the international hit A Street Cat Named Bob, released in (2016).
Based on the international best-selling books A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob that touched millions of hearts around the world, the film follows James Bowen and his best friend, Bob on their new journey together.
Director and actor, Charles Martin Smith [A Dog’s Way Home (2019), Motive (TV Series 2013-2016) Dolphin Tale 2 (2014), Dolphin Tale (2011), Stone of Destiny (2008)] with a screenplay by Garry Jenkin from a story by James Bowen brings us A Christmas Gift from Bob which is part sequel, part prequel, as a truly family friendly seasonal film.
The film begins the Christmas following Bowen’s literary success, at a fancy publishing party. Luke Treadaway [The Singapore Grip (TV 2020), A Street Cat named Bob (2016), Ethel and Ernest (2016), The Rat Pack (2016), Unbroken (2014)] reprises his gentle, sensitive performance as Bowen: vulnerable and socially awkward, mistrustful after living on the streets. Bob the cat plays himself.
After leaving the party early, Bowen tells a young homeless kid the story of his and Bob’s grim Christmas a year earlier living in sheltered accommodation.
This was the true story of homeless busker James Bowen and his handsome ginger tom Bob, a stray he’d nursed back to health. The inseparable duo had a pitch outside Angel tube station in north London where Bowen sold The Big Issue. When a literary agent suggested he turn his story into a book Bowen wrote a bestseller about recovering from heroin addiction and finding purpose looking after the loyal, ginger tom, Bob.
James and Bobturn their story into a bestselling book, originally published in 2010. It was followed by The World According to Bob in 2013 and A Gift from Bob in 2014. This new film is largely based on that last book, with James looking back on the last year he was living and surviving on the streets with Bob by his side.
The threat of James and Bob being separated forms the basis of the new story. An accumulation of small disasters almost sink James. He leaves his gas heater on all day, running down his meter. Then his guitar breaks so he can’t work. After he has an altercation with a dog owner, the council’s animal welfare unit launches an investigation into his fitness to own a cat.
When the authorities become concerned about Bob living and working on the street, attempts are made to take him away from James. Will the animal welfare team tear the best friends apart on Christmas Eve? Or might a community petition and the intervention of a celebrity television chef (Anna Wilson-Jones) save the day? James has a new romantic interest in the new film Bea Chang (Kristina Tonteri-Young)
Sadly this is the last film starring the famous tomcat before his death in June 2020. Additional unnamed cats identical to Bob were used for other scenes and the film is dedicated to Bob.
Bob’s gift will almost certainly be embraced by a Covid-captive audience and it contains important life lessons about the true meaning of family, loyalty and love. James and Bob’s story proves the power of positivity, redemption and hope. Hundreds of men and women across the UK are working hard to improve their own lives, just like James and Bob.
In cinemas and available to rent from the following platforms: Sky Store; Apple TV; Amazon; Google Play; Virgin Movies; Talk Talk; Rakuten TV; Chili TV; and Microsoft Store.
Images courtesy of Lionsgate UK