Joyeux Noel (2005)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, History, Music


Joyeux Noel (2005) Poster

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.


7.7/10
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  • Dany Boon in Joyeux Noel (2005)
  • Gary Lewis in Joyeux Noel (2005)
  • Gary Lewis in Joyeux Noel (2005)
  • Joyeux Noel (2005)
  • Daniel Brühl and Gary Lewis in Joyeux Noel (2005)
  • Joyeux Noel (2005)

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Director:

Christian Carion

Writer:

Christian Carion

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User Reviews


17 November 2005 | gerrystakes
10
| Destined to be a Christmas classic
Thanks to a special showing as one of the events to mark the centenary of the Alliance Française in Canada's capital, I had the privilege of attending a North American premiere of this remarkable film just two days before today Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the U.S.) Both an appropriate theme and a cinematic Christmas gift come early. I think it may become my top film among several hundred seen this year, just as A Very Long Engagement - also set in the trenches of the First World War - captured my heart and critic's choice last December. Writer-director Christian Carion and all the actors do an amazing job in this multi-country Euro co-production. It should appeal not only to audiences across that continent but to film goers around the world. In addition to presenting a parable from real life relevant for any war-torn age, including our own I might add, Carion works wonders with front-line incidents great and small while drawing compelling individual character portraits from a top notch Scots, French and German cast, each speaking in their native language and accents. That goes for even relatively smaller roles: for example, that of the junior German officer at the front, Lieutenant Horstmayer (ironically a Jew who recalls a Paris honeymoon with his French-speaking wife), as played by the superb young actor Daniel Brühl (Goodbye Lenin, The Edukators). There is so much more that could be said about this remarkable and timely movie with a timeless message. Even had France not chosen Joyeux Nöel as its selection for the 2006 Oscar best foreign-language film category, I would herald it and rejoice in the advent of a new classic that is in another class altogether from the general run of "holiday movies". A story of harsh truths as well as transcendent art, it finds humanity and hope in the midst of battlefield horrors. Seasonal glad tidings indeed!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end of the film Major General Audebert says "i've been ordered to arrest a cat for treason", A cat portrayed in the film as Felix/Nestor, was actually arrested and shot for espionage after it arrived in French lines wearing a new collar and bearing a note (in french) which read "which regiment are you from?". The general in charge decided just to follow the letter of the law, the cat was shot for spying.


Quotes

Enfant francais: Child, upon these maps do heed This black stain to be effaced Omitting it, you would proceed Yet better it in red to trace Later, whatever may come to pass Promise there to go you must To fetch the children of Alsace Reaching out their arms to us ...


Goofs

When the three commanders meet and discuss their wives, the French commander says he lost the photo of his wife and shows a sketch. The German commander recognizes the sketch of the woman from a photo that is inside a wallet he found on the battlefield (and subsequently returns the wallet to the French officer). However, in the beginning of the film, the French commander is looking at that photo. In the shot, the photo is of both the commander and his wife. If the German officer can recognize the wife from a sketch, surely he would recognize the French commander when seeing him in person?


Soundtracks

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht
Words by
Joseph Mohr
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Arranged by Philippe Rombi
Performed by Rolando Villazón (tenor), Bruno Le Rouzic (bagpipes) and Edouard Dubois (harmonica)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | History | Music | Romance | War

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