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Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noël (original title)
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In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anna Sörensen (as Diane Krüger)
Natalie Dessay ...
Anna Sörensen (singing voice)
...
Rolando Villazón ...
Nikolaus Sprink (singing voice) (as Rolando Villazon)
...
...
...
...
...
Alex Ferns ...
...
...
Bernard Le Coq ...
Le général Audebert
...
L'évêque anglais
Thomas Schmauser ...
Le Kronprinz
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Storyline

In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Christmas Eve, 1914. On a World War I battlefield, a Momentous Event changed the lives of soldiers from France, Germany and England. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some war violence and a brief scene of sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 November 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Joyeux Noel  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,413,005 (France) (11 November 2005)

Gross:

$1,050,445 (USA) (30 June 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end of the film Major General Audebert says "i've been ordered to arrest a cat for treason", A cat portrayed in the film as Felix/Nestor, was actually arrested and shot for espionage after it arrived in French lines wearing a new collar and bearing a note (in french) which read "which regiment are you from?". The general in charge decided just to follow the letter of the law, the cat was shot for spying. See more »

Goofs

In the film the musical exchange is prompted by the Scottish troops: in reality, most incidents began with the German troops singing carols from their trenches (but not exposing themselves to the enemy - both sides remained in their trenches) with the opposing troops countering with carols of their own. The film was advertised as "based on a true story", but neither the marketing nor anything in the film claims it to be a historically accurate account of the events. At the end of the closing credits it states, the story is based on a compilation of various documented events which took place along the front during WW1. Director Christian Carion said in the DVD commentary that he included Scots, rather than English, in the story because he wanted bagpipe music. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Enfant francais: Child, upon these maps do heed This black stain to be effaced Omitting it, you would proceed Yet better it in red to trace Later, whatever may come to pass Promise there to go you must To fetch the children of Alsace Reaching out their arms to us May in our fondest France Hope's green saplings to branch And in you, dear child, flower Grow, grow, France awaits its hour.
Enfant anglais: To rid the map of every trace Of Germany and of the Hun We must exterminate that race We must not leave a single ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Adeste Fideles
(Traditional)
Lyrics by John Francis Wade
Performed by Rolando Villazón (tenor) and Griogair Lawrie (bagpipes)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Destined to be a Christmas classic
17 November 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Thanks to a special showing as one of the events to mark the centenary of the Alliance Française in Canada's capital, I had the privilege of attending a North American premiere of this remarkable film just two days before today Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the U.S.) Both an appropriate theme and a cinematic Christmas gift come early. I think it may become my top film among several hundred seen this year, just as A Very Long Engagement - also set in the trenches of the First World War

  • captured my heart and critic's choice last December. Writer-director


Christian Carion and all the actors do an amazing job in this multi-country Euro co-production. It should appeal not only to audiences across that continent but to film goers around the world. In addition to presenting a parable from real life relevant for any war-torn age, including our own I might add, Carion works wonders with front-line incidents great and small while drawing compelling individual character portraits from a top notch Scots, French and German cast, each speaking in their native language and accents. That goes for even relatively smaller roles: for example, that of the junior German officer at the front, Lieutenant Horstmayer (ironically a Jew who recalls a Paris honeymoon with his French-speaking wife), as played by the superb young actor Daniel Brühl (Goodbye Lenin, The Edukators). There is so much more that could be said about this remarkable and timely movie with a timeless message. Even had France not chosen Joyeux Nöel as its selection for the 2006 Oscar best foreign-language film category, I would herald it and rejoice in the advent of a new classic that is in another class altogether from the general run of "holiday movies". A story of harsh truths as well as transcendent art, it finds humanity and hope in the midst of battlefield horrors. Seasonal glad tidings indeed!


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How can there be three sides trying to kill each other? TeteEpaule
Another World War 'unofficial mini-truce' movie... Help? dansemave
French, German and Scottish? ohmygodidontbelieveit
When did you cry? man_of_stars
Oh God not again! eclecticanna
Why not 'Frohe Weihnacht' m_intveen
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