7.0/10
6,377
31 user 138 critic

A Christmas Tale (2008)

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Kings & Queen (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Emmanuelle Devos, Geoffrey Carey, Thierry Bosc
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Paul Dedalus is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate, does he want to become a full professor, does he really love his ... See full summary »

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, Emmanuel Salinger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Paul is preparing to leave Tajikistan, while thinking back on his adolescent years. His childhood, his mother's madness, the parties, the trip to the USSR where he lost his virginity, the friend who betrayed him and the love of his life.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Mathieu Amalric
Joyeux Noel (2005)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine have fallen out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites ... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil, Marthe Villalonga
La bûche (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Christmas, family, and infidelity. Yvette's husband has died, and her grown daughters join her at the grave: Sonia, wealthy, bourgeois, and generous; Louba, living with their dad Stanislas,... See full summary »

Director: Danièle Thompson
Stars: Sabine Azéma, Emmanuelle Béart, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A drama centered on a young woman who claims she was the target of an anti-Semetic attack and the subsequent media sensation it creates.

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Émilie Dequenne, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Blanc
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story follows a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg
The Witnesses (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Paris, 1984: A group of friends contend with the first outbreak of the AIDS epidemic.

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Michel Blanc, Emmanuelle Béart, Sami Bouajila
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality.

Director: Éric Rohmer
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Françoise Fabian, Marie-Christine Barrault
8 Women (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be eager than the others to know the truth. Gimme, gimme, gimme some clues to make up my mind. And eventually enter the truth. Oh, thou cruel woman!

Director: François Ozon
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Danielle Darrieux
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

On Christmas Eve when Simon is missing and they decide to go look for him, Sylvia hugs Ivan with her arms below his, but after a cut to another angle, she suddenly holds her hands on his cheeks and leans in to kiss him. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia - Ivan's wife: When did it happen?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: What do you mean?
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: I want details. She mentioned a decision you all made. Tell me where and when. Was it here?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Easter vacation, 1991. At the community centre. You were next door.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: I remember. Is Ivan aware of this?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: It's history.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: Was Ivan with you? Or did you and Henri decide our fate behind his back?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Ivan was there.
Sylvia - Ivan's wife: What did you say?
Simon - Junon's nephew - the painter cousin: Henri and I were talking about you. Guy talk. Ivan was quiet, smiling. Then he said, "If I don't get her, I'll never get over it."
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Ad Lib On Nippon
Written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn
Performed by Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra
Copyright 1964 Tempo Music Inc.
(Originally recorded 1966)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
No Compelling Reason to Spend Time with This Particular Family
30 December 2009 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

An overly long and incredibly too talky dysfunctional family drama about a clan reuniting for one Christmas to see which if any family members will have bone marrow that's compatible with that of the matriarch, played by a chilly Catherine Deneuve. She's dying of a rare kind of cancer, and the spectre of that eventuality plus the proximity of brothers and sisters who haven't seen each other for a while and have scores to settle puts everyone in a reflective mood. Unfortunately for us, they stay in that mood for nearly three hours, and they talk and talk and talk endlessly about it.

There's far too much plot, some of it quite banal, some of it very interesting. The film is well executed and acted, but it's also distant and cold. I never felt vested in anything that happened to these people, and I greeted the ending with the curiosity of one who has spent a lot of time with something and simply wants to finish it rather than with any real concern for what the ending would be.

"A Christmas Tale" falls into the trap of too many family dysfunction dramas: We all have our own families to deal with in real life, so if we're going to spend 2-3 hours listening to the petty whining of someone else's, it better damn well be worth our time.

Grade: B


26 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed