7.1/10
5,793
28 user 133 critic

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 »

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
5 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kings & Queen (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Emmanuelle Devos, Geoffrey Carey, Thierry Bosc
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Paul Dedalus is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate, does he want to become a full professor, does he really love his ... See full summary »

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel Salinger
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Paul is preparing to leave Tajikistan, while thinking back on his adolescent years. His childhood, his mother's madness, the parties, the trip to the USSR where he lost his virginity, the friend who betrayed him and the love of his life.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Mathieu Amalric
La sentinelle (1992)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mathias, whose dead father was a diplomat in Germany, decides to study the forensic medicine in Paris. In the train, he has some troubles with the border police, and is insulted and ... See full summary »

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Emmanuel Salinger, Thibault de Montalembert, Jean-Louis Richard
Esther Kahn (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Jewish girl in nineteenth century London, dreams of becoming a stage actress.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Summer Phoenix, Ian Holm, Fabrice Desplechin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Sami Bouajila, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Wladimir Yordanoff
Jimmy P. (2013)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A troubled Native American veteran forms an extraordinary friendship with his maverick French psychoanalyst as they try to find a cure to his suffering.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric, Gina McKee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A large family, traumatized by tragic deaths, reunites to wait for news about one of their cousins who is in hospital after a suicide attempt

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Thibault de Montalembert, Roch Leibovici, Marianne Denicourt
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The story follows a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Edit

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
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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Tale  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$63,837 (USA) (16 November 2008)

Gross:

$1,060,602 (USA) (1 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 117486. 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 A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

No Surrender
Written by N. Le Guerre and M. Kourtzer aka White & Spirit
Performed by White & Spirit and H.A.P.H. of the Ranjahz
Published by Cercle Rouge Productions
Copyright Why Not Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


32 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?