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Joyeux Noel [DVD] [2006]

4.5 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Dany Boon, Gary Lewis
  • Directors: Christian Carion
  • Producers: Christophe Rossignon
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Hindi, Italian, English
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HWXQH0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,491 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award(r), Golden Globe(r) and BAFTA nominee for Best Foreign Film, JOYEUX NOEL (Merry Christmas) tells the true-life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war. Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.

From Amazon.co.uk

Joyeux Noel captures a rare moment of grace from one of the worst wars in the history of mankind, World War I. On Christmas Eve, 1914, as German, French, and Scottish regiments face each other from their respective trenches, a musical call-and-response turns into an impromptu cease-fire, trading chocolates and champagne, playing soccer, and comparing pictures of their wives. But when Christmas ends, the war returns...Joyeux Noel has been justly accused of sentimentality, but if any subject warrants such an earnest and hopeful treatment, it's the horrors of trench warfare. The largely unknown cast--the more familiar faces include Diane Kruger (Troy), Daniel Bruhl (Good Bye Lenin!), Benno Furmann (The Princess and the Warrior), and Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot)--deliver low-key but effective performances as the movie dwells on the everyday elements of life in the face of war. Based on a true incident (though considerably fictionalized). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 30 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
French, Scottish and German soldiers come together to celebrate Christmas in the trenches of World War 1 in a profoundly moving film about the humanist in all of us. It is music that draws these disparate enemies together on one cold and dark wintry night in 1914 when an unforeseen harmony between soldiers from three countries suddenly becomes one.

With a cast of Scottish, German and French actors all speaking their own language, writer-director Christian Carion has fashioned a deeply moving and uplifting piece. The film begins as one of the German soldiers Nikolaus Sprink (Benno Furmann), a famous tenor in civilian life, leaves the battle lines briefly to rejoin his lover and stage partner, soprano Anna Sorensen (Diane Kruger), for a small command performance away from the Western front.

Because their time together is so short, she insists on accompanying him back to the trenches; there, the two stage a concert for the German troops. What happens then is simple, beautiful, and believably spontaneous. In the midst of the concert, the bagpipes of the Scottish regiments join the couple across the divide.

As Sprink places Christmas trees onto the field, the three commanders, the French Audebert (Guillaume Canet), the German-Jewish Horstmayer (Daniel Bruhl) and the Scottish Gordon (Alex Ferns) meet and declare the truce that spreads to Christmas Day and includes a deeply moving service in Latin said by Rev. Palmer, an Anglican priest turned soldier (Gary Lewis).

Tired and battle-weary these soldiers who slaughtered each other from trenches put down their weapons to share wine and food, exchange photographs of their loved ones and memories, and even find time to play a game of soccer in the snow.
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This movie a French-English-German language effort telling the story of true events that happened over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1914 when the troops from these three countries stopped their hostilites and engaged in some good old fashioned human camaradarie is a well told and sweet movie that deserves to join the ranks of movie that warm even the coldest of hearts over the Christmas period.

Based on true events the movie starts with children fromn the 3 countries spouting propaganda that was said at the time and then leads into the stories of the various characters that are the main protaganists.On the German side you have an opera singer who joins up at as a private and his girlfriend who gets to see him by organising a concert for the brass afterwards he returns to the men as he has to sing for them,this starts the thawing of hositility and all three sets of soldiers are soon singing and carousing.

The next day the thaw continues as the soldiers bury their dead and the famous football match happens .

The ending is more downbeat the commanders of all three countries find out what happens and the soldiers from all the nations involved are transferred or their regiments are broken up.One shock is the speech made by the Bishop to the Scottish lads which is incredibly viscous but an actual true speech made in Westminster Abbey in 1915 .Good movie well made and well worth watching.,
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Life in the trenches at Christmas is poignantly brought to life.
Yet this is a Christmas like no other, it's 1914 and strange things
are going on at certain places along the front.

As the different nationalities come together the story is so good
even the odd subtitle doesn't get in the way. Excellent viewing!
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best war film ever in my opinion. I use this a lot when teaching about the war. I like to use this because it is so easy for kids to think of the Germans as the bad guys but really, the soldiers were doing the best they could for their country just like ours were and this film makes them seem so much more human. Not too much of a fan of the love story in this - it wasn't really needed in my opinion and Diane Kruger is kind of a spare part in this film... that cat totally runs the show in this. I love the secondary characters in this - especially Ponchel. I am surprised that the 'priest' did not win any awards for this, he was so so real for me. The burial scene makes me cry every time I have watched this, and I am not sure why but it really really hits home the reality of a war for me. The last scene, where the German soldiers are hummming the song that the Scottish taught them is also really emotional, and I always find myself hoping alongside the kids that they all make it out of the war, even though they are being sent to the front line on the eastern front. I love the camaraderie between all the cast and the different sides. I am so excited they are making a sequel, I really hope they do not ruin it.
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This film depicts an event which had a profound effect on those who took part, such as the author Henry Williamson, who described the truce in one of his autobiographical novels.

The film seeks to depict this powerful event, but in doing so makes historical simplifications which, for those who are aware of them, detract from the credibility of the film. I will highlight two such simplifications.

Firstly, at the beginning of the film, we see two Scottish lads at the outbreak of war, who decide to join up. We then see them in the trenches at Christmas 1914. This would not have happened, unless they happened to be members of the Territorial Army, but this is not mentioned. Without a system of conscription, the British soldiers in the trenches in Christmas 1914 were regulars and territorials. Those who had joined up at the beginning of the war in response to Kitchener's appeal would have still been in training, and not seen action until well into 1915 or even 1916.

Secondly, we see the soldiers of all the three nations participating in a Midnight Mass and singing 'O Come All Ye Faithful' in Latin - 'Adeste Fidelis'. Although most of the French soldiers would have been Catholics, and most of the Germans could have been if they were from the south of Germany, around 90% of Scots were Protestant, and often quite antigonistic to Catholicism, Scotland being then (and to some extent still now) a rather sectarian country. Furthermore, they would have been unlikely to know the Latin words, yet we see them all enthusiastically singing, which stretches the imagination to breaking point!

In summary, this is a powerful film, based on events that actually took place. However, the story itself is fictitious and historical detail is not to be relied on.
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