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A Christmas Tale (2008)

Un conte de Noël (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
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2:19 | Trailer
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:

Arnaud Desplechin

Writers:

Arnaud Desplechin (scenario and dialogue), Emmanuel Bourdieu (scenario and dialogue) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Emile Berling ... Paul Dédalus - Elizabeth and Claude's son
Thomas Obled Thomas Obled ... Basile 'Baz' Vuillard - Ivan and Sylvia's son
Clément Obled Clément Obled ... Baptiste - Ivan and Sylvia's son
Françoise Bertin Françoise Bertin ... Rosaimée Vuillard - Abel's mother's girlfriend
Samir Guesmi ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Tale See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,837, 16 November 2008

Gross USA:

$1,060,922

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,356,393
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Faunia (Emmanuelle Devos) is compared physically twice to Angela Bassett. See more »

Goofs

The opening narration notes that Joseph was born in 1965, and that he died at age 6. However, we later see that his headstone gives 1968 as his year of death. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Symphonie Ad Sepulcrum
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Conducted by Anne Christine Leuridan
Performed by Juliette Bartau (violin), Léo Mahieux (violin);Antoine Delsalle (viola), Sophie Daubresse (cello) and Gilles Breux (guitar).
Published by Why Not Productions
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User Reviews

 
very satisfying movie
22 November 2008 | by WilliamCKHSee 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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