A Christmas Tale
Directed by: Arnaud Desplechin
Written by: Arnaud Desplechin & Emmanuel Bourdieu
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny, and Jean-Paul Roussillon
The French movie character, with its wildly shifting eyes, deep self consciousness, and ever-looming misery, never ceases to be endlessly thought-provoking. Throw a bunch of these creatures together in the days preceding Christmas, and you’ve got the emotional bloodbath equivalent of Kill Bill.
A Christmas Tale is the typical American holiday drama done elegantly and boldly in the French fashion. It is a dysfunctional family coming together during the holiday, and yes, mother is dying of cancer. The movie succeeds because disease is a theme and not a plot point. Cancer of one form or another has eaten away at this family’s soul for years; Junon (Catherine Deneuve) is suffering from the same form of cancer that killed her four-year-old son decades ago.