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Un conte de Noël

Director: Arnaud Desplechin

France • 2008 • 150 minutes


Arnaud Desplechin’s long-awaited follow-up to his masterful Kings and Queen is a Christmas tale of love, death, family strife and, ultimately, forgiveness. Catherine Deneuve plays Junon, the matriarch whose eldest child Joseph has died at an early age from Burkitt’s lymphoma. The repercussions of this loss affect each family member in a different way; but when Junon is diagnosed with the same life-threatening illness, they must all pull together. As they gather in the family home, longstanding tensions don’t so much bubble to the surface as explode. Despite the gloomy subject matter, Un conte de Noël has a certain lightness of tone as well as Desplechin’s trademark witty dialogue. The star-studded cast members (including Mathieu Amalric and Chiara Mastroianni) clearly relish the roles they’ve been given.

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