- Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny, Melvil Poupaud
- Directors: Arnaud Desplechin
- Format: PAL
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Drakes Avenue Pictures
- DVD Release Date: 1 Jun. 2009
- Run Time: 150 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B001TLWR0U
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,493 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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A Christmas Tale [DVD] 
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Arnaud Desplechin comes home for Christmas in his outrageous, daring and emotionally bountiful new movie. Catherine Deneuve is Junon, the family matriarch, who greets the news of her life-threatening illness with calm equanimity. Jean-Paul Roussillon is her wise, tender husband. Desplechin regular Mathieu Amalric is the black sheep, banished from the family by his imperious sister (Anne Consigny, both actors last seen in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), who arrives with his bemused Jewish girlfriend in tow (Emmanuelle Devos). Melvil Poupaud is the most sensitive of the children, happily married to the divine Chiara Mastroianni.
It's hard to miss with such a cast, but A Christmas Tale is much, much more than a good ensemble comedy. In this midwinter night's dream, unrequited love collides with bitter resentment, nostalgic longing crosses paths with abject fear, and pure hatred gives way to vivacious affection.
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Top Customer Reviews
The matriarch of the family, Juno, played by Catherine Deneuve, has a blood disease that will cause her death without a bone marrow transplant. Everyone must be tested to see who could help save her life.The patriarch, Abel played by Jean-Paul Roussillon, who is in the fabric dye business, tries to keep life and limb together, but it is Junon who rules the roost. They had four children, though their oldest, Joseph, died of a rare condition when very young. Elizabeth, the daughter played by Anne Consigny, is very depressed. She does not remember ever being happy. Henri, played by Mathieu Amalric, is the drunk, and the one not liked by anyone, even his mother. Ivan, played by Melvil Poupaud, seems to be the sane and favored one. Elizabeth's teenage son Paul, played by Emile Berling, has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and will return to a sanitarium after the holidays. Here they all gather from Dec.22 to Dec. 26.
It turns out Henri, the unfavored one, and Paul, the Schizophrenic, both are good matches for Juno and her need for a bone marrow transplant. Henri and Paul bond over this match. Throughout the Four days many issues arise, and the biggest is the banning of Henri by Elizabeth for six years. From my viewpoint, every adult in this family has some sort of issue, mental issues raise their head most often, or blood dyscrasia. This makes for a film full of vim and vigor, and the more you hang in, the better off you are.
Recommended. prisrob 12-09-16
The first thing to say is this not really a Christmas film as the story happens to unfold at that time of year, the best time for family drama, as when else do you get an entire family under one roof, for more than an afternoon. It is a very worthy addition to the Desplechin already impressive cannon, it is a very funny dark ensemble film with absolutely pitch perfect performances from everyone, especially for me anyway Deneuve, Rossillon and as usual Amalric.
If you want to watch a brillant almost novel like film where you believe and care about the characters than is the film for you...otherwise stick to Four Christmas's.
And this introduced me to a brillant Chrismas song I had not heard before, Otis Reading's Merry Christmas Baby, perfect.
So unless your British or European BLU RAY player is chipped to be Multi-Region for Blu Ray (which most aren't - and those that are - cost a lot) - then buying this French movie will be an expensive and painful waste of time and money. It won't work on UK or EURO machines at all...
Unfortunately this is yet another film unavailable to us because of Region Coding...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Two and a half hours of overlong, dragged-out, tedious misery and gloom from start to finish in a dysfunctional neurotic family where nearly everybody hates nearly everybody else... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Thomas S
Weird art-house stuff. Says it's funny on the back of the package, but I didn't notice anything amusing or even remotely so. Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2014 by Jill Hubbard
Classical art french film set in a dysfunctional family. If you like french humour you will be served as it is just it.Published on 8 Feb. 2013 by HelF
A Christmas Tale, "Un Conte de Noel," (2008. This unconventional tale of a dysfunctional family's agonizingly strained, animosity-filled Christmas reunion was written and directed... Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2011 by Stephanie De Pue