Friday, November 21, 2008

This Is Not A Christmas Tale

It's 'Great Film Season' at your local theater, providing some consolation for cold, darkness, and economic distress... Hollywood is trotting out its finest for the award season.. But there are some non-American treasures among the riches, which have washed up on our shore just when we need them. Last Saturday my friend Steve N and I saw 'A Christmas Tale,' not at all a holiday movie, but a tale of family conflicts and tensions, some decades old, which just happens to take place around the holidays. 

Arnaud Desplechin is the brilliant director, the same who gave us 2004's thought-provoking 'King and Queens.' I was embarrassed not to recognize Catherine Deneuve playing the lead matriarch, stricken with leukemia, who's hoping for a compatible bone marrow donor among her king. Poignantly, this woman lost her eldest son to leukemia 40 years ago, when he was just 6. This tragedy has marked everyone is a family brimming with memorable, finely-etched characters given virtuoso performances by the talented cast. Devoid of cliché, the film riveting despite its 2 1/2 hour length, mostly because the viewer is very engaged by the characters..

Catch it in-theater if you can; Netflix-queue it if you can't... It'll stay with you long after the final credits, I promise...

Check out the trailer for a taste....

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