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A Christmas Tale (2008)
"Un conte de Noël" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  21 November 2008 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,985 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 26 user | 130 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas.

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(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: A Christmas Tale (2008)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean-Paul Roussillon ...
Abel - Junon's husband
...
Elizabeth Dédalus - Abel and Junon's oldest child
...
Henri Vuillard - Abel and Junon's middle child
...
Ivan Vuillard - - Abel and Junon's youngest child
...
Claude Dédalus- Elizabeth's husband
...
Faunia - Henri's lover
...
Sylvia Vuillard - Ivan's wife
...
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin
Emile Berling ...
Paul Dédalus - Elizabeth and Claude's son
Thomas Obled ...
Basile 'Baz' Vuillard - Ivan and Sylvia's son
Clément Obled ...
Baptiste - Ivan and Sylvia's son
Françoise Bertin ...
Rosaimée Vuillard - Abel's mother's girlfriend
...
Spatafora - the family friend at Roubaix
Azize Kabouche ...
Doctor Zraïdi - the oncologist
Edit

Storyline

The Vuillard family gathers: Junon and Abel, a daughter Elizabeth and her son Paul, Henri and a girlfriend, Ivan, his wife Sylvia and their young sons, and cousin Simon. Six years before, Elizabeth paid Henri's debts and demanded he never see her again or visit their parents' home. Paul, at 16, has mental problems and faces a clinical exam. Junon learns she needs a bone marrow transplant if she's to live beyond a few months: thus the détente bringing all together. Two family members have compatible marrow, but the spats, fights, cruel words, drunken toasts, and somewhat civilized bad behavior threaten all; plus Junon may simply refuse treatment. Do we know ourselves? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Tale  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$63,837 (USA) (14 November 2008)

Gross:

$1,060,602 (USA) (30 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Staff members of the Lille Hospital appear as themselves. See more »

Goofs

While Henri is at the barber shop being shaven, the shaving cream appears and disappears from his upper lip between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia - Ivan's wife: [about Faunia] She has an ass like Angela Bassett.
See more »

Connections

References The New World (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Raga Hansadhwani
Performed by Shiv Kumar Sharma (as Pandit Shivkumar Karma)
Produced by Universal Music India
See more »

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User Reviews

 
very satisfying movie
22 November 2008 | by (Northern California) – See all my reviews

I can't say I'm a huge fan of Arnaud Despleshin's films, but of all the ones I've seen, this is my favorite. The first few scenes of the movie, with its flashbacks and quick cuts seem disjointed at first, but it does really quickly pull you into the family situation. And when the family does finally arrive altogether at the Vuillard house, you almost feel as if you're one of the guests. All the actors are wonderful, but I must say that Amalric, who almost always plays this type of character in Despleshin films (Kings and Queen, My Sex Life, etc.) is terrific in this film. He's much more likable here. And Emmanuelle Devos has such presence in this movie that she steals pretty much every scene she's in. The rest of the cast, Deneuve, Rousillion and Cosigny are all terrific.

I love how the script deals with so many subjects, not only of the family history and Junon's need for a donor, but also touches on everything from mathematics to philosophy to literature, to all types of music, religion, and all geared towards how all these things enhance, and does not consume, the life of the family. It was very refreshing to see this family, although messed up in so many ways, to live free of convention, children curse, everyone's smoking and/or drinking, telling each other what they really feel and think and/or not feel and think. I also liked that the house felt like a house that people actually lived in.


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