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Noel

3.9 out of 5 stars 205 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Joy is just around the corner when Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, and Alan Arkin fill out an all-star cast in this holiday classic. As five strangers come together on Christmas Eve, a story of peace, companionship, comfort, love, and healing unfolds against the backdrop of New York City. Noel, with its stunning cast and inspirational story, proves miracles are closer than you think.

Amazon.com

A contemporary romantic drama borrowing inspiration from It's a Wonderful Life, this thought-provoking holiday film explores the lives of five strangers as they intersect at a crossroads of forgiveness and redemption. In his directorial debut, Chazz Palminteri lends a delicate hand to allow his talent-laden cast creative latitude to portray a handful of odd bedfellows who share little in common but loneliness on Christmas Eve. Susan Sarandon is remarkable as Rose Harrison, a divorced book editor who spends the holidays at a nursing home with her mother deep in the clutches of Alzheimer's. Although Rose's own story bleeds pathos, she shows genuine compassion toward others—whether it's the abandoned, mysterious patient across the hall, or the desperate fiancée, Nina (Penélope Cruz) who broke her engagement to her beloved Mike (Paul Walker) because of his suffocating jealousy. In separate subplots soon to collide, a strange bartender (Alan Arkin) divulges how his past was forever altered by someone he thinks is Mike, while another Alzheimer's visitor, Charlie Boyd (Robin Williams, uncredited) helps Rose accept the possibility of miracles in an uplifting climatic twist. Though some of the storylines inch toward the improbable, the film manages to veer just to the right of maudlin. Instead, it arrives as a heartwarming, life-affirming tale that tugs at the heartstrings (with a haunting musical score by the famed Alan Menken). Grab some 'nog and a hanky. (Rated PG for sensuality, language, and some intense thematic material) --Lynn Gibson

Product Details

  • Actors: Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin
  • Directors: Chazz Palminteri
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Screen Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000AAF27G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Noel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I think the film has some good acting by Paul Walker, Susan Sarandon, and Penelope Cruz and some enjoyable plot twists that will entertain those looking for an enjoyable Christmas story in a modern-day setting.

The movie isn't likely to win any major awards, but it's better than most holiday dramas and many non-holiday films. I think young and more mature adults alike will enjoy NOEL. It's an excellent "date" flick.

Penelope Cruz will appeal to both men and women but for different reasons, but I think children and young teen viewers should be "spared" her bulging cleavage and ultra-mini skirts. I was most "surprised" by Paul Walker's performance. Early in the film I thought his character would be 1-dimensional (i.e., an over-the-top jealous lover), but I think he gives a believable performance as the "macho hunk" who is a man of heart, soul, and some depth of character.

Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon redeem each other and contribute to an uplifting climatic twist to end the movie on a hopeful, redemptive note. Definitely worth seeing.
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Format: DVD
NOEL is an unabashedly romantic little film, the type of movie Hollywood used to make for Christmas seasons before the toilet mouth Bad Santa, etc type became popular. Perhaps the time has returned for us to examine how the world can come together at this time of year, sort of a good omen that we just might all start taking care of each other again!

Chazz Palminteri takes on directing this story by David Hubbard, surrounds himself with a top notch crew of actors, and capably and sensitively brings off this little story of the interweaving of five lives on a Christmas Eve in New York City with all the tenderness and associated joy of placing old and loved garlands and bangles on a tree. It is a perfect film for re-discovering the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Eve in Manhattan finds various characters who are in turmoil at this special time of the year. Successful book publisher Rose Harrison (Susan Sarandon) fights off depression by being kind to everyone: her lonely life is centered on spending her non-work hours tending to her mother who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease (she is divorced without children and without love). Across the hall from her mother's hospital room is a comatose man who never has visitors, and when Rose brings him an angel ornament for is window she meets Charlie (Robin Williams) who apparently has been visiting.

Elsewhere in the city is Jules (Marcus Thomas) who informs strangers that his only good Christmas memory as an unwanted and abused kid was one he spent in a hospital after a beating: he plans to have his hands broken so that he can spend the night in the hospital where he hopes to discover joy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great xmas pic. The cast is incredible. Susan is flawless. Paul Walker is a revelation in a great dramatic romantic role. Penelope sambas! The stories are real and touching. Six very new york characters, each searching for someone on a christmas eve, find one another on christmas day. Great viewing cuddled up on the sofa with a date or the entire family. Cinematography and music are academy award caliber.
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Format: DVD
For those who prefer nutshell versions, here's a review of Noel for you: a good Christmas movie that will appeal to viewers that find themselves in the "middle zone" during the holiday season. By "middle zone" I'm referring to those that aren't fanatically overjoyed by Christmas to surreal heights, but also not loathing December 1 every year. The subject matter is "middle" as well...it's neither a fairy tale nor a depressing drama. It's a slice-of-life look into the lives of what probably represents a good 75% of the population at Christmas time.

The movie stars Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, and Penelope Cruz, and includes a supporting cast with some well-known names as well. It was a surprise to me to discover how large a role Robin Williams (uncredited) plays in this movie. I happened to stumble onto this movie because of three main factors: its composer, its marketing, and its technological introduction.

Alan Menken is my favorite composer, so long before the movie was released, I knew it was coming out. It was a surprise to me, then, when I visited my local theater last Thanksgiving to see "The Incredibles," and nested within the lid of my soda was a promotional CD containing a trailer and the title song for "Noel." Being curious, I visited the official website to find that it was also the first title being released on a new DVD format called "Flexpay," a new process whereby a DVD (once exposed to air) would become unplayable after approximately 48 hours. This alone peaked my curiosity and, along with the other two points of interest this movie generated, prompted me to order the Flexpay DVD from Amazon.com.

What I found was a movie I could relate to more closely than I would normally have anticipated.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Movie quality was very poor and had strange movements of the picture, as though the cameraman is moving slightly while filming.

I cannot say that I have ever gotten dizzy watching a movie before, but this time, I sure did. I am disappointed because I bought it a while back and just watched it for a New Year's Eve Christmas movie marathon we do each year.
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