A Christmas Tale (Un Conte De Noel)


(out of 5)

Imagine if The Family Stone was an epic European masterpiece and you pretty much have this absolutely breathtaking film by Arnaud Desplechin (Kings And Queen). His humane touch is applied to a hilariously dysfunctional family that comes together one Christmas when it is learned that mom () has cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. plays the black sheep of the clan, hated by all members of the family to varying degrees, who despite being the least admired, turns out to be the most likely candidate to save his mother’s life. Meanwhile the siblings squabble, the daughter-in-law (, at the zenith of her appeal) struggles with the choices she’s made in life, the daughter struggles with her hatred for her brother and her young son’s encroaching mental illness and Jewish girlfriend  tries to survive without actually celebrating the holiday at all. It’s deeply funny and touching, a surprising feat considering just how cruel these people sometimes get, and yet the film never keeps them beyond our emotional grasp. The two and a half hours melt by in a flash.

, , , , , , ,


Directed by

Scenario and dialogue by , Arnaud Desplechin, inspired by La Greffe by ,

Cinematography by

Produced by 

Music by ,

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

The Criterion Collection

Cannes Film Festival 2008

Toronto International Film Festival 2008


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