IMDb > A Christmas Tale (2008)
Un conte de Noël
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A Christmas Tale (2008) More at IMDbPro »Un conte de Noël (original title)

Photos (See all 10 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
A Christmas Tale -- Can a Christmastime scheme hatched by three of the youngest members of the troubled Vuillard family together for a peaceful holiday?
A Christmas Tale -- Screen legend Catherine Deneueve gathers her warring family for a Christmas reunion marked by bitter feuds and the revelation of long-standing secrets.


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Up 52% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Arnaud Desplechin (scenario and dialogue) and
Emmanuel Bourdieu (scenario and dialogue) ...
View company contact information for A Christmas Tale on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 May 2008 (France) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
9 wins & 23 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
a big book of a film, with some invention and strong acting, that is too long See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order)

Catherine Deneuve ... Junon Vuillard
Jean-Paul Roussillon ... Abel - Junon's husband

Anne Consigny ... Elizabeth Dédalus - Abel and Junon's oldest child

Mathieu Amalric ... Henri Vuillard - Abel and Junon's middle child

Melvil Poupaud ... Ivan Vuillard - - Abel and Junon's youngest child

Hippolyte Girardot ... Claude Dédalus- Elizabeth's husband

Emmanuelle Devos ... Faunia - Henri's lover

Chiara Mastroianni ... Sylvia Vuillard - Ivan's wife

Laurent Capelluto ... 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

Samir Guesmi ... Spatafora - the family friend at Roubaix
Azize Kabouche ... Doctor Zraïdi - the oncologist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mathieu Bakanina ... Le prêtre
Thierry Bosc ... La procureur
Marie-France Jaskula ... La fidèle
Jean-Pierre Jouet ... Le président des experts
Philippe Morier-Genoud ... L'ami franc-maçon
Beata Nilska ... L'anesthésiste
François Regnault ... L'analyste
Hélène Roussel ... Le juge
Hélène Darras ... La vendeuse (uncredited)
David Frenkel ... L'avocat d'Elizabeth (uncredited)
Romain Goupil ... L'ami psychiatre (uncredited)

Miglen Mirtchev ... Maître Bakine - l'avocat d'Henri (uncredited)

Directed by
Arnaud Desplechin 
Writing credits
Arnaud Desplechin (scenario and dialogue) and
Emmanuel Bourdieu (scenario and dialogue)

Jacques Asher (inspired by: "La Greffe") (as J. Asher) &
Jean-Pierre Jouet (inspired by: "La Greffe") (as J.P. Jouet)

Produced by
Martine Cassinelli .... executive producer
Pascal Caucheteux .... producer
Pierre Héros .... co-producer (uncredited)
Vincent Maraval .... co-producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Grégoire Hetzel 
Cinematography by
Eric Gautier 
Film Editing by
Laurence Briaud 
Casting by
Stéphane Touitou 
Production Design by
Daniel Bevan  (as Dan Bevan)
Set Decoration by
Caroline Dessimond 
Costume Design by
Nathalie Raoul 
Makeup Department
Sylvie Aid .... key makeup artist
Jean-Marie Cuvilo .... hair stylist
Mina Matsumura .... makeup artist
Eric Monteil .... hair stylist
Helen Murphy .... makeup artist
Frédéric Souquet .... hair stylist
Production Management
Gwenaëlle Alglave .... assistant unit manager
Lucie Bercez .... assistant unit manager
Edouard Decker .... unit production manager
Anne-Claire Delmas .... assistant unit manager
Bruno Deschátrette .... assistant unit manager (as Bruno Deschatrette)
David Edouard .... assistant unit manager
Anne Farrer .... assistant unit manager
Simon François .... assistant unit manager
Chloé Huet .... assistant unit manager
Laurencina Lam .... assistant post-production manager
Thibault Leclercq .... assistant unit manager
Sandra Marinier .... assistant production manager
Cristobal Matheron .... unit manager
Béatrice Mauduit .... post-production manager
Clarisse Merel .... assistant unit manager
Julien Minet .... assistant unit manager
Jean-Patrick Nourricier .... assistant unit manager: retake
Benoît Pilot .... production manager
Olivier Riche .... assistant unit manager
Isabelle Tillou .... production manager
Nils Zachariasen .... additional unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lucie Borleteau .... assistant director
Colomba Falcucci .... second assistant director
Céline Huyghebaert .... assistant director
François Mathon .... assistant director
Alexandre Nazarian .... assistant director: documentary
Frédéric Nicolas .... first assistant director
Gabriele Roux .... first assistant director
Hélène Serra .... assistant director
Mathieu Vaillant .... assistant director
Art Department
Marie-Pierre Aynes .... art department assistant
Toma Baqueni .... graphic artist
Gils Barichnikoff .... property buyer
Pascale Courtois .... painter
Paul-Louis Courtois .... painter
Jackie Delevoye .... props
Guillaume Deviercy .... property master
Oumelkeir Dewavrin .... assistant decorator
Fathi El Aihar .... assistant decorator
David Fargot .... painter
Georges Goyon .... swing gang
Gaëlle Guitard .... assistant decorator
Stephanie Guitard .... set dresser (as Stéphanie Guitard)
Alain Haidon .... painter
Mohamed Jabbad .... assistant decorator
Ian Letort .... art department runner
Stéphane Loup .... set dresser
Florent Maillot .... property master
Bruno Nicolas .... carpenter
Gregory Quesque .... carpenter
Ludovic Treny .... carpenter
Gaëlle Usandivaras .... second assistant decorator
François Willenz .... digital artist
Sound Department
Nicolas Cantin .... sound editor
Nicolas Cantin .... sound
Roberto Cappannelli .... sound re-recording mixer
Jacques Defrance .... foley artist (as Jacques de France)
Roland Duboué .... assistant sound editor
Roland Duboué .... music editor
Jean-Pierre Laforce .... sound re-recording mixer
Lionel Le Bras .... post-synchronization boom operator
Jean-Louis Lebras .... post-synchronization boom operator (as Jean-Louis Le Bras)
Didier Lesage .... foley recordist
Sylvain Malbrant .... sound
Jean-Max Morise .... post-synchronization
Philippe Penot .... foley artist
Jérôme Petit .... assistant sound editor
Jérôme Petit .... sound assistant
Mélissa Petitjean .... sound re-recording mixer
Julien Sicart .... additional sound
Julien Sicart .... boom operator
Jean-Alexandre Villemer .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Jean-Christophe Bourgeois .... special effects technician
Olivier de Laveleye .... special effects
Marie Pierre Franck .... special effects (as Marie-Pierre Franck)
Visual Effects by
Marie-Claire Bazart .... visual effects supervisor
Jacques Bled .... visual effects producer
Alexandre Boiron .... flame artist
Emilien Dessons .... digital effects artist
Delphine Domer .... visual effects coordinator (as Delphine 'Fifine' Domer)
Sebastien Gombeaud-Saintonge .... flame artist (as Sébastien Gombeaud-Saintonge)
Peregrine McCafferty .... digital artist: mac guff ligne
Benoit Philippon .... digital compositor
Patrick Siboni .... flame artist
Martial Vallanchon .... visual effects supervisor
Pascal Guégan .... stunts
Daniel Vérité .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Éric Alirol .... electrician
Néwine Behi .... camera operator
François Berroir .... gaffer
Damien Bret .... electrician
Gerard Buffard .... key grip (as Gérard Buffard)
Julien Buffard .... grip
Arnaud Carney .... second assistant camera
Xavier Cholet .... electrician
Raphaël Dougé .... assistant camera
Malek Krimed .... assistant camera
Kareem La Vaullée .... Steadicam operator
Nathalie Lao .... assistant camera
Julien Leblond .... electrician
Jean-Claude Lother .... still photographer
Eric Nové .... grip (as Eric Nove)
Fabienne Octobre .... first assistant camera
Ludovic Petit .... electrician
Casting Department
Astrid Mouget .... casting: children
Beatrice Saorin .... casting: children
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Isabelle Blanc .... costumer
Geneviève Danguis .... costumer
Mahemiti Deregnaucourt .... costumer
Charlotte Dubois .... dresser
Editorial Department
Isabelle Julien .... color grader
Laurencina Lam .... post-production assistant
Tuong Vi Nguyen-Long .... first assistant editor
Music Department
David Braccini .... musician: violon
Karen Brunon .... musician: violon
Catherine Cantin .... musician: flûte
Doriane Gable .... musician: violon
Matthieu Gonet .... conductor
Max Guiguet .... additional music: Conseiller musical & musiques électroniques
Grégoire Hetzel .... orchestrator
Bruno Hovart .... composer: additional music
Thomas Jamois .... soundtrack producer
Mathieu Lamboley .... orchestrator assistant
Other crew
Toma Baqueni .... shadow theater and family photos by
Lysiane Biagini .... location scout
Agnès Chabot .... press attache
Agnès Feuvre .... script supervisor
Nicolas Livecchi .... production assistant
Alexandre Nazarian .... researcher
Julie Nouzareth .... location manager
Sylvia Pain .... production administrator
Cédric Villani .... mathematical demonstrations
Wendelin Werner .... mathematical demonstrations
Manuel Alduy .... thanks
Jacques Asher .... thanks
Hervé Basch .... thanks
C. Becquart .... thanks: Ville de Roubaix
Valérie Boyer .... thanks
Philippe Brame .... thanks: Musée de l'Art et de l'Industrie de Roubaix
Monsieur Candriès .... thanks: Mairie de Tourcoing
Dominique Charron .... thanks (as Professeur Dominique Charron)
Brahim Chioua .... thanks
Monsieur Cole .... thanks: Cimetière de Tourcoing
Hector Contouris .... thanks
Isabelle Debeunyck .... thanks
Jean-David Debeunyck .... thanks
Monsieur Delcroix .... thanks: EDF Roubaix
S. Deswarte .... thanks: CNRS Images
Raphaël Douady .... thanks
Didier Duverger .... thanks
Monsieur Gaudichon .... thanks: Musée La Piscine
Colette Gervais .... thanks
Frédérique Gifford .... thanks
Olivier Goinard .... thanks
Hassini-Bonette .... thanks
Pierre Héros .... thanks
Jean-Pierre Jouet .... thanks
M. Kalikowski .... thanks: Ville de Roubaix
Kathleen .... thanks: Hôpital Tenon de Paris
V. Kleiner .... thanks: CNRS Images
T. Klinek .... thanks: IGN
Mike Kourtzer .... thanks
Jean Labadie .... thanks
P. Layille .... thanks: SNCF Lille
Madame Lorsin .... thanks: Hôpital Provo Roubaix
Brigitte Maccioni .... thanks
Vincent Maraval .... thanks
M. Moudard .... thanks: Ville de Roubaix
Hayette Méchouar .... thanks
Mélanie .... thanks: Musée La Piscine
Monsieur Nerdellec .... thanks: Hôpital Provo Roubaix
Omar .... thanks: Bar aux Alouettes
Madame Petit .... thanks: Hôpital Provo Roubaix
Julie Peyr .... thanks
A. Philouze .... thanks: SNCF Lille
C. Pierrache .... thanks: Salle des Fêtes de Croix
Roodolphe Ploquin .... thanks
T. Pollet .... thanks: Salle des Fêtes de Croix
Péguy .... thanks: Grand Hôtel de Roubaix
Patricia Ribaud .... thanks (as Dr. Patricia Ribaud)
Monsieur Seynave .... thanks: Hôpital Provo Roubaix
Madame Staneck .... thanks: CHRU de Lille
Isabelle Terrel .... thanks
D. Thierry-Mieg .... thanks: CNRS Images
Eva Torreton .... thanks
Pierre Torreton .... thanks
S. Turk .... thanks: Ville de Roubaix
Charlotte Viort .... thanks
Pierre Walfisz .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Un conte de Noël" - France (original title)
"Christmas Story" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
France:150 min | USA:150 min | Argentina:150 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The Fields Medal, noted as having been won by Elizabeth's husband, is a medal given to a mathematician under 40 who has made a major contribution to the study of Mathematics. Fields Medals are awarded every four years to up to four mathematicians.See more »
Continuity: When Faunia introduces herself to Abel in the foyer, she takes off her glasses and shakes his hand. In the very next shot, as Abel is greeting Henri, she removes her glasses again.See more »
Sylvia - Ivan's wife:[about Faunia] She has an ass like Angela Bassett.See more »
Movie Connections:
References The New World (2005)See more »
Love & HappinessSee more »


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18 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
a big book of a film, with some invention and strong acting, that is too long, 25 November 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

I got to hand it to the filmmaker, Arnaud Desplechin, at least on one significant point: A Christmas Tale is like a big book faithfully adapted to the screen, only in this case non-existent, and it has that wonderful if imperfect feeling of surrounding oneself with the world and atmosphere and attitudes of a family where the dysfunction runs deep and clear, emphasizing Tolstoy's classic "no one unhappy family is the same" credo. His film is also sometimes a big melodrama, folded around a cancer story not unlike a more serious (yet sometimes lighter version of) The Royal Tenenbaums, and centered so firmly around the family during that crazy but loving-despite-everything time of Christmas you'd swear Desplechin watched the first hour of Fanny & Alexander too many times to count.

At the same time A Christmas Tale in very much a French film, is attitude and approach to narrative and occasionally nearing that dreaded P-word (pretentious) in being 2 1/2 hours of incidents and confrontations and little details and twists. A lot happens with the Vuillard family over a few days, but in it uncovers a whole can of worms involving a banished son (Mathieu Amalric, who thankfully is maybe the centerpiece of the ensemble in terms of being the black sheep like Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married), a depressed daughter (Anne Consigny who, despite being effective in a one-note performance, is also so shrill and cold as a character it's hard to feel anything for her, at all, despite her plight of losing her older brother as a child), and a cousin who has loved his cousin's wife ever since he got him, Ivan, the youngest Vuillard brother, to hook up with her so many years ago. Meanwhile, the mother (Catherine Deneuve, who may not exactly be a great actress but is the greatest living female French star which carries a lot of weight as a true beauty), has cancer, possibly terminal, unless a donor comes forward.

So there's a lot here to work with - maybe, perhaps, arguably too much, though it's almost a credit to the director that I can't say exactly what (little things, for example, like the Christmas Eve sex scene are deliberately paced but for good reason), and he laces everything with a curious jazz score throughout, sometimes to great effect and sometimes not. But, at the least, it's wonderful to see so many good actors in one place, particularly Amalric who is quickly becoming a truly fantastic talent with a lot of range in the work I've seen him in- one day he's a subdued intelligence man in Munich, next he's paralyzed except for one eye-blinking in Diving Bell, and even a 007 villain- and here goes further in a scene stealing performance (one such scene is his toast at the Christmas dinner, a scene actually shocking and hilarious and sad all in a thirty-second split).

He and Deneuve and the underrated Jean-Paul Roussillon as the husband of Junon almost make me want to rate the movie higher. But alas, it is what it is: a very strong take on a familiar subject - crazy and light and dark and tragic and unnerving times with a family at Christmas - and standing it on its head, while also the things I mention above. Did I mention it's French? 7.5/10

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