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.

[2009-12-03, DVD]