What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Krisha’ and ‘Elf’


KRISHA (2015) Stream on Netflix. If you made it through Thanksgiving with your sanity just barely intact, take comfort in knowing that the holiday can be a stressful time for many. The “Waves” director Trey Edward Shults tapped members of his own family to explore how taxing it can be, specifically for people with mental health and addiction issues, for his feature debut, “Krisha.” His aunt, Krisha Fairchild, plays the title character, a 60-something woman who has been estranged from her family for years because of unspoken transgressions. She re-emerges on Thanksgiving with an offer to cook the turkey and the promise that her life is back on track. As she prepares, tensions begin to simmer — thanks in part to the film’s sound design and camerawork — until the gathering boils over into catastrophe. “Few movies bore into a character’s head as deeply as ‘Krisha,’ and with such uncompromising ferocity,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review, in which she designated this film a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

ELF (2003) 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on AMC. Whether you feel anxious going into the holiday season, or as if you can finally breathe a sigh of relief for having made it through the year, this classic Christmas movie is almost guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. “‘Elf’ is a charming, silly family Christmas movie more likely to spread real joy than migraine, indigestion and sugar shock,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review in The New York Times. “The movie succeeds because it at once restrains its sticky, gooey good cheer and wildly overdoes it.” There’s still something delightful about watching Will Ferrell walk around New York City in tights and childlike wonderment 16 years after the film was originally released.

BLUE PLANET NOW 9 p.m. on BBC America. On the season finale of this nature documentary series, the hosts Steve Backshall, Liz Bonnin and Chris Packham make their final dispatches about the ocean’s well-being from the three marine hot spots where they’re stationed. Rather than just capturing how marine life exists, the show focuses on how these environments are changing because of pollution, poaching and climate change. In Australia, Bonnin meets the scientists spearheading coral reef restoration projects, while Backshall swims with the endangered great hammerhead shark in the Bahamas. Off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, Packham witnesses the courtship behavior of humpback whales, whose population has bounced back after regulations were placed on commercial whaling practices.

CHRISTMAS IN ROME 9 p.m. on Hallmark. After charming audiences in “Desperate Housewives” and “Gossip Girl,” Sam Page has teamed up with Lacey Chabert (who played Gretchen Wieners in “Mean Girls”) for this holiday special about two Americans who find romance abroad. Page plays Oliver, a traveling business executive interested in buying an Italian ceramics company. When he hires Angela (Chabert), a tour guide working in Rome, to help him learn Italian, he grows to love more than just the city and its language.


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