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A Christmas Tale
- Catherine Deneuve

Overview - For some, Christmas means the joy of spending time with loved ones. But not for the Vuillard family in Arnaud Desplechin's blackly comic A CHRISTMAS TALE. Instead of egg nog, bile and venom flow at the family get-together when estranged son Henri (Mathieu Amalric, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) returns.  Read more...

 
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More About A Christmas Tale - Catherine Deneuve
 
 
 
Overview

For some, Christmas means the joy of spending time with loved ones. But not for the Vuillard family in Arnaud Desplechin's blackly comic A CHRISTMAS TALE. Instead of egg nog, bile and venom flow at the family get-together when estranged son Henri (Mathieu Amalric, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) returns. His mother, Junon (French legend Catherine Deneuve), has cancer, and Henri may be the bone marrow donor match that could save her life. Oldest daughter Elizabeth (Anne Consigny, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY) is equally unhappy to see her brother; he has been an emotional and financial drain on the family, and she had him legally banished from the family six years ago. But with his return, old wounds are freshly opened as the entire family gathers together for what could be their last holiday. Director Desplechin's previous film KING AND QUEENS established his ability to seamlessly meld drama and comedy, and A CHRISTMAS TALE continues that tradition. This French film easily moves the audience between laughter, gasps, and tears. The behavior of the Vuillard famille is atrocious at times, and it goes beyond just the awful--and sometimes awfully funny--things they say to one another. But Desplechin has no trouble acheiving the right tone in these moments, and his postmodern style of filmmaking (with elements such as the actors addressing the camera) is perfectly suited to the material. His ensemble cast includes Jean-Paul Roussillon, Denueve's real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni, and Melvil Poupaud, and though each does a fantastic job, it's the bitter and hilarious interplay between Amalric's Henri and Deneuve's Junon that carries the film. It's not destined to be a feel-good holiday classic à la IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but A CHRISTMAS TALE may prove a perfect prescription for when viewers' families get to be a little too much.

Cast List

Mathieu Amalric
Chiara Mastroianni - Actress
Eric Gautier
Arnaud Desplechin
Gregoire Hetzel - Composer, KINGS AND QUEEN (2005)
Laurent Capelluto - Actor
Catherine Deneuve - French actress
Catherine Dorléac - French actress
Jean-Paul Roussillon - Actor, THE GIRL FROM PARIS (2002)
Anne Consigny - Actress, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Emmanuel Bourdieu
Melvil Poupaud - Actor

 
Details
    Blu-Ray Disc Format
  • Format: Blu-Ray
  • Run Time: 152
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 715515049016
  • Genre: Christmas
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: December 2009

Related Categories:
Movies > Foreign Films
Movies > French

Related Keywords:
Black Comedy
Family Interaction
Christmas
Theatrical Release

 
Movie Reviews

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Reviews:
4 stars out of 5 -- "[E]nduringly fascinating and involving. Sprawling yet totally absorbing family drama with gold-star French diva Catherine Deneuve at its heart should find favor with sophisticated palates." - 11/01/2008 Box Office, p.81


"[N]othing could be more energizing, more captivating, more pure pleasure on screen than the passionate, evocative experience that has resulted....A captivating portrait of the most gorgeously fractious dysfunctional family." - 11/14/2008 Los Angeles Times


"[A] movie that is almost indecently satisfying and at the same time elusive, at once intellectually lofty...and as earthy as the passionate provincial family that is at its heart and cosmos and reason for being." - 11/14/2008 New York Times


3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Dark secrets are unlocked, words draw more blood than punches, and Desplechin turns one family into a universe that resembles life a startling work of art." - 11/27/2008 Rolling Stone, p.135


"As always in a Desplechin production, the exquisitely chosen musical soundtrack for A CHRISTMAS TALE is its own reward, a glorious mash-up of musical sensibilities....The movie is enchanting." -- Grade: A - 11/21/2008 Entertainment Weekly, p.98


"[A] strangely encompassing collection of private moments among the members of a large family with a fraught history. Some of the moments are serious, some revealing, some funny, some simply wry..." - 11/19/2008 Chicago Sun-Times


4 stars out of 5 -- "A compellingly literate exploration of the muddle of misguided motives and lingering regrets that bind families together." - 02/01/2009 Empire


4 stars out of 5 -- "It's superbly acted....Desplechin's generosity to his characters is unquestionable." - 02/01/2009 Total Film

 
Customer Reviews