Nov 17, 2008
If Anton Chekhov were alive today, had developed a mild case of ADD and a killer CD collection, and had for some reason decided to make a Christmas-family-reunion movie set in the humble French town of Roubaix, I can say with some confidence that the results might resemble Arnaud Desplechin's vivid, utterly involving, slightly flaky, almost unavoidably resonant A Christmas Tale. I was a big fan of his previous import, Kings and Queen, which introduced me to that troubled Pan, Mathieu Almaric (currently appearing in some other moving picture show, I hear) and the beautiful blank slate Emanuelle Devos. Both have fine roles in the new film, which doesn't have quite the heady undertow of the Kings and Queens but is worth seeing for an exquisitely unsentimental performance by Catherine Deneuve, and to trip on how much her daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, looks like a blend of her parents (with a little Susan Sarandon thrown in, somehow). Bon tiemps.
Posted by Rob Weinert-Kendt at 8:00 PM