7.1/10
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A Christmas Tale (2008)

Un conte de Noël (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue) | 2 more credits »

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5 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ...
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

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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

On Christmas Eve when Simon is missing and they decide to go look for him, Sylvia hugs Ivan with her arms below his, but after a cut to another angle, she suddenly holds her hands on his cheeks and leans in to kiss him. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia - Ivan's wife: When did it happen?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: What do you mean?
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: I want details. She mentioned a decision you all made. Tell me where and when. Was it here?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Easter vacation, 1991. At the community centre. You were next door.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: I remember. Is Ivan aware of this?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: It's history.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: Was Ivan with you? Or did you and Henri decide our fate behind his back?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Ivan was there.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: What did you say?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Henri and I were talking about you. Guy talk. Ivan was quiet, smiling. Then he said, "If I don't get her, I'll never get over it."
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark!
Sung by Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois
(Naïve Records, 1987)
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User Reviews

 
Family affairs?
15 August 2008 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

After his impressing "Kings and queen" in 2004, Arnaud Desplechin proves that he's the best director come out from France in the last two decades with this exhilarating, moving, awfully brilliant "A Christmas tale". Following the path of its previous feature, the movie mixtures very hard scenes of desperation and hatred feelings with moments of absurd joy in an structure full of elliptical jumps from the past to the present and back again to the memories of another time. There's nothing new in his cinema and this is perhaps the only problem, that everything is well known yet; this is the first time that happens and today i think i have enjoyed very much the film but maybe it's time to spin around again and cut across another new ground. Desplechin knows the way.


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