I really enjoyed this Australian Christmas movie  – A Sunburnt Christmas.

Technical details of this Christmas movie:

91 minutes
rated M
Stan, Australia


A man's face as he stares at the moon in the movie Sunburnt Christmas

Daryl looking up at the moon

An escaping criminal, Daryl (Daniel Henshall), ends up on a remote farm which is suffering through a long drought. The farm and family are managed by 15 year old Hazel (Tatiana Goode) as Mum is too grief stricken to do anything.

We first meet the family as the younger sister, Daisy (Lena Nankivel), fires a rifle into the air. She figures that clouds have water so shooting clouds will result in rain. It is cute and works well in the story, although such a younger child being unsupervised with a gun concerned me. When Daryl crashes in to their barn wearing a Santa suit, Daisy thinks she shot Santa out of the sky.

Gradually, the entire family knows Daryl. Daisy and her brother Tom (Eadan McGuinness) believe he is Santa – they never question his black beard!

Review of a Sunburnt Christmas

Of course, there are emotional and financial issues to be resolved (and as it’s a Christmas movie, it’s pretty easy for you to guess if things are resolved!) and a bad guy to evade. However, it has an Australian character and lots of laughs.

There is some swearing (although Santa tries to stop himself in front of the kids), violence and sadness in the movie so it’s not suitable for kids. I wouldn’t really show it to kids under 13. Hazel tells Daryl her Dad suicided – later we see he was shot.

It is clear to adults that Daryl is not actually Santa, but Daisy and Tom remain convinced. Kids may therefore believe this is Santa, or understand the plot enough to know he is not Santa. The plot has Daryl provide the presents so little kids may question why Santa didn’t come if Daryl is not Santa.

For adults, though, it is a fun, Australian Christmas movie well worth watching. Even my husband who is not so into Christmas movies enjoyed this one!

Daniel Henshall and his young co-cast members do a great job in this movie, showing a range of emotions and reactions to the situation and memories evoked in the movie.

The backs of a man and a woman as they look at the full moon and a windmill covered in Christmas lights

Daryl and Fiona watch the windmill-Christmas tree

Do I recommend A Sunburnt Christmas? I found this to be a highly entertaining, funny Christmas movie that is very Australian – I thoroughly recommend this movie!