In Arnaud Desplechin's beguiling A Christmas Tale (Un conte de NoÃ«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.
Catherine Deneuve,Mathieu Amalric,Jean-Paul Roussillon,Françoise Bertin,Emile Berling,Laurent Capelluto
Junon (Catherine Deneuve) and Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) are the parents of three grown children: Elizabeth (Anne Consigny), a melancholic playwright with a mathematician husband (Hippolyte Girardot) and a tortured teenage son, Paul (Emile Berling); Henri (Mathieu Amalric), the self-destructive black sheep, banished from family events by Elizabeth five years prior; youngest Ivan (Melvil Poupaud), the peacemaker, is married to the beautiful Sylvia (Chiara Mastroianni) and has two eccentric little boys; while a fourth - Joseph, the eldest - died from leukemia as a boy. When the disease reappears again in the family, all are tested to see who can be a donor, and then everyone - including lovesick cousin Simon (Laurent Capelluto) and Henri's girlfriend, Faunia (Emmanuelle Devos) - return home for a long Christmas weekend. All crowded again under the same roof, solidarity quickly - and hilariously - devolves into feuding, drunkenness and bed-hopping, as everyone struggles to make sense of the mysteries of family, life, and what lies ahead.