Christmas Tale, A (in French)
Rating = C+
No doubt this
film would have seemed better seen on the big screen in a dark theater. Even
on the small screen the faces of the characters are striking. But the arty
bits of the filming are mostly ineffective on the small screen.
The story, such as it is, is about a dysfunctional family. After a
tell-don't-show beginning to give some background, the movie shows the
children, their spouses (or friends), and their children coming to the
children's elderly ill mother's (and father's) house for Christmas. Mostly the
film just shows the family being dysfunctional — who dislikes who and who
loves someone they shouldn't love. No character seems happy except two grand
children, their grandfather (husband of the ill mother), and the girl friend
of the most emotionally disturbed (adult) child of the ill mother and her
husband. It's sad when the luminous Emmanuelle Devos, the girl friend, leaves
the Christmas get-together early.