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Poster for Holiday Classics: A Christmas Tale (2008)
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Holiday Classics: A Christmas Tale (2008)

Opens on December 9

Director: Arnaud Desplechin Run Time: 150 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2008

Starring: Anne Consigny, Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Mathieu Amalric

Country: France
Language: French with English subtitles

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Holiday Classics.

About the film:

One of the standout hits of the 2008 Cannes, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, A Christmas Tale (2008) is Arnaud Desplechin’s dazzling, big-hearted and brilliantly black comedy.

In the role that garnered her the Special Prize at Cannes, Catherine Deneuve is Junon, the family matriarch, who greets the news of her life-threatening illness with calm equanimity. Desplechin regular Mathieu Amalric gives one of the best performances of the year as the black sheep of the family who returns home after being banished for 6 years with his bemused Jewish girlfriend (Emmanuel Devos) in tow.

Crowded under the same roof again, 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. Desplechin’s masterful narrative has the breadth of a sprawling novel and the nimble wordplay of a classic comedy, while packing the full sensory wallop of pure cinema.

About the filmmaker:

Arnaud Desplechin is a French film director and screenwriter. The Sentinel (1992), his first feature film, premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. He then made My Sex Life… or How I Got into an Argument (1996), which introduced a new generation of actors. The artists in his films have regularly been awarded the most prestigious prizes, notably the 61st Festival de Cannes Prize for Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale (2008). In 2016 he won the César for Best Director for his film My Golden Days (2015). He recently directed his first theatre play, August Strindberg’s The Father at the Comédie Française, to great acclaim.

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