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A Christmas Tale (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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In Arnaud Desplechin's beguiling A CHRISTMAS TALE (Un Conte de No'l), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can't begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that's equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A CHRISTMAS TALE ties it all together in a marvelously messy package.
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 5.25 x 0.3 inches; 4 Ounces
- Item model number : 6639472
- Director : Arnaud Desplechin
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 32 minutes
- Release date : December 1, 2009
- Actors : Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Criterion Collection
- ASIN : B002PHVGYA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #50,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The matriarch of the family, Juno, played by Catherine Deneuve, has a blood disease that will cause her death without a bone marrow transplant. Everyone must be tested to see who could help save her life.The patriarch, Abel played by Jean-Paul Roussillon, who is in the fabric dye business, tries to keep life and limb together, but it is Junon who rules the roost. They had four children, though their oldest, Joseph, died of a rare condition when very young. Elizabeth, the daughter played by Anne Consigny, is very depressed. She does not remember ever being happy. Henri, played by Mathieu Amalric, is the drunk, and the one not liked by anyone, even his mother. Ivan, played by Melvil Poupaud, seems to be the sane and favored one. Elizabeth's teenage son Paul, played by Emile Berling, has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and will return to a sanitarium after the holidays. Here they all gather from Dec.22 to Dec. 26.
It turns out Henri, the unfavored one, and Paul, the Schizophrenic, both are good matches for Juno and her need for a bone marrow transplant. Henri and Paul bond over this match. Throughout the Four days many issues arise, and the biggest is the banning of Henri by Elizabeth for six years. From my viewpoint, every adult in this family has some sort of issue, mental issues raise their head most often, or blood dyscrasia. This makes for a film full of vim and vigor, and the more you hang in, the better off you are.
Recommended. prisrob 12-09-16
It's a visual encounter of lyrical dimensions. And in typical French fashion, its romantic and heartbreaking, yet unsentimental. Admitting my bias for Holiday films, and their ability display family dysfunction not disposed to constructive resolution, this is a film that goes beyond the neurosis and reveals something surprising--plain old good will in some seemingly irredeemable people. Our families often mess us up, but they also have the power to help us heal and bloom from, despite, and because of their influences. This film recognizes that, and makes not excuses for it. This film is on my top 25 films list.
This film is maddening in that the characters on many levels are completely unsympathetic...and yet they manage to draw you in and elicit empathy.
The acting is superb. I loved the music and the jerky cinematic quality- making it look like a home movie at times. In this respect, the cinematography reminds me a bit of Cousin Cousine and the shots of the family in that film at the party.
The story was multi-layered. Many times I expected some violent incident but I was immensely relieved that the film never resorted to this type of a device.
Questions are posed, mysteries are revealed and the questions remain unanswered at the end of the movie. Nothing is neat. All is messy and unresolved in away that is true to life. The relationshsip between Junon and her husband is unusually tender and believable. I loved the ending with its reference to The Tempest.
but I found the story line a little vague at times.