You've ignored this film. It will no longer appear as a recommendation. View ignored films.
You've decided to remember A Christmas Tale for later. You can see all your remembered films here.
Summary: The Vuillard's shared history of physical and mental illness, estrangement, self harm, and loss doesn't lead itself to the idea of a cheerful holiday season. But can a Christmastime reunion, a scheme concocted by three of the youngest family members, finally bring peace their clan?
Good. A fragmented family is brought together due to an impending medical emergency. The film features the A-list of French cinema and looks it too. Unbelievable performances by the entire ensemble cast. The film deftly portrays the siblings' relationship, sacrifice..subtle love and intense hatred. Though it could have spent a bit less time on some of those facets as it feels too lengthy at times. But it has several great moments. Recommended.
The real strengths of this film are in its complex editing, its performances, and its inventive use of various forms to tell the story. And while I appreciate the various layers of the story following this family over a weekend, it takes a couple of extremely odd turns that remain unexplained (or unexplored) which serve more to create distance in a dissonant rather than invitingly mysterious way. That said, the formal qualities of the film are some of the best I've seen in recent world cinema.
It was overlong - the characters were nowhere near interesting enough to spend two and a half hours with!, contained bizarre and completely out of place philosophizing monologues that would work in some movies but in a film about family just come off as silly and it used that ridiculous peephole camera technique that kicks you straight out of the movie. That said some of the revelations and interactions are quite interesting and the ensemble is superb.
A solid and satisfying drama which piles up the complexities of family relationships and paints a realistic portrait of lives without getting sentimental or clichéd. It's a tale with something for everyone to relate to, and although it doesn't provide many answers, this only makes it seem more genuine and the subtleties more important. Great performances from most of the cast. It just lacks that feelgood or entertainment side that one might desire in a holiday film, but is well worth watching.
An interesting bunch of characters played well in what is essentially a high-grade soap opera. Desplechin throws everything at the film, both thematically and stylistically, but as with his other works, the viewer is left slightly, and oddly, detached.
It's strange how the characters in the film are both emphatically human with strengths and weaknesses showing throughout the film, and yet they still come off as completely unsympathetic. My only guess is that the magnificence of the performance is compensating for some pretty bad writing. All in all it's an interesting take on the dysfunctional family gathering trope, but hampered by not having much original to say and directorial flourishes that clash with the material.
Clumsy and unfocused story of that old chestnut, the dysfunctional family get-together. Although these people are rarely outright nasty to each other, they're callous and oddly unconcerned about things they should be concerned about. The film is also overlong and relies on a schizophrenic bag of cinematic tricks that often feel out of place, or at least unnecessary. The performances however, are very good... a real feat, considering the characters are so unsympathetic and inconsistent.
I don't even know where to begin. A Christmas Tale is self-indulgent, ambiguous, and very hard to follow. And yet I was entranced by this powerhouse of a film with its rich emotional atmosphere, dark humor, and enchanting albeit disturbing take on dysfunctional relationships. It manages to be both utterly compelling and frustrating. I'm going to have to see it again to fully form my opinions.
Family reunion and reconciliation: the black sheep returns from banishment in time for his mother's battle with cancer. The setting-up of who's who is clumsy, and the occasional direct address to the camera is lazy, and two and a half hours are more than enough. But the unified French ensemble breathes some life into it: Deneuve, Roussillon (offbeat casting as Deneuve's toadish husband), Consigny, Amalric, Poupaud (always a screen-brightener), Mastroianni, Devos, and Capelluto.
Characters that are nowhere near interesting or dynamic to stay with for two-and-a-half hours, several unexplainable moments, and distracting editing sink a film with so much potential. I love films about dysfunctional families, but this was a major disappointment. Mathieu Amalric is the only reason to see this.