7.8/10
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150 user 122 critic

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.

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Kruger ... Anna Sörensen (as Diane Krüger)
Natalie Dessay ... Anna Sörensen (singing voice)
Benno Fürmann ... Nikolaus Sprink
Rolando Villazón ... Nikolaus Sprink (singing voice) (as Rolando Villazon)
Guillaume Canet ... Le lieutenant Audebert
Gary Lewis ... le pasteur Palmer
Dany Boon ... Ponchel
Daniel Brühl ... le lieutenant Horstmayer
Lucas Belvaux ... Gueusselin
Alex Ferns Alex Ferns ... Le lieutenant Gordon
Steven Robertson ... Jonathan
Frank Witter ... Jörg - un soldat allemand
Bernard Le Coq Bernard Le Coq ... Le général Audebert
Ian Richardson ... 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)

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Taglines:

France 1914. A moment of humanity that made history. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany | UK | Belgium | Romania | Norway | Japan | USA

Language:

French | German | English | Latin

Release Date:

9 November 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Merry Christmas See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,732, 5 March 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,054,361, 6 July 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,589,013, 14 November 2006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lieutenant Audebert (Guillaume Canet) compliments Horstmayer (Daniel Brühl) on his French, Horstmayer replies, "No honor in that; your wife is not German." At the time, Guillaume Canet was married to German actress Diane Kruger, who also starred in the film. See more »

Goofs

When the three commanders meet and discuss their wives, the French commander says he lost the photo of his wife and shows a sketch. The German commander recognizes the sketch of the woman from a photo that is inside a wallet he found on the battlefield (and subsequently returns the wallet to the French officer). However, in the beginning of the film, the French commander is looking at that photo. In the shot, the photo is of both the commander and his wife. If the German officer can recognize the wife from a sketch, surely he would recognize the French commander when seeing him in person? 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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Connections

Featured in Greatest Ever Christmas Movies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
Composed by Philippe Rombi
Performed by Natalie Dessay and London Symphony Orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Destined to be a Christmas classic
17 November 2005 | by gerrystakesSee 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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