Un Conte de NoŽl (A Christmas Tale) Reviews

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Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
December 10, 2014
[Desplechin] has skill, patience, empathy, and insight; quickened by the holiday occasion, they make the title of his film ultimately, if unconventionally, right.
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
December 10, 2014
It takes about half an hour of screen time, until everyone gets packed into the house, for A Christmas Tale to reveal its nature fully: expansive in narrative scheme, compact in emotional space and self-consciously auteurist to the core.
Nicholas Barber
Independent
December 10, 2014
It's a bracingly eccentric, waspishly intelligent blast of flashbacks, freeze frames, split screens, and bizarre music choices.
Matt Prigge
Philadelphia Weekly
December 10, 2014
Not since, well, Kings & Queen has calling something overstuffed been such a compliment.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Kevin Maher
Times [UK]
December 10, 2014
Perfect off-season timing for a wickedly off-kilter movie about a French family Christmas in extremis.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Asch
Stop Smiling
July 8, 2014
Given his cornucopia of characters fighting wars on three fronts, his whiplash tonal switchbacks, his jazzlike aesthetic of chance, how is it that Arnaud Desplechin is only now coming home for the holidays?
Allan Hunter
Daily Express
December 6, 2013
As the rituals of Christmas are observed, the family edges closer towards a sense of understanding and acceptance in a picture that captures a sense of life's messy uncertainties and the way we sometimes hurt the ones we love the most.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
December 6, 2013
It's maddening and it's exhilarating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Richard von Busack
MetroActive
December 6, 2013
A Christmas Tale's more universal qualities should be apparent to anyone who has survived a Christmas, and God help us, here comes another one.
Philip French
Observer [UK]
December 6, 2013
Its numerous narrative strands are neither revealingly pursued nor properly intertwined.
Serena Donadoni
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
December 6, 2013
A Christmas Tale has a classical feel, even though the mischievous Desplechin tosses in shadow puppets, iris shots, and actors speaking directly to the camera. It's this ability to surprise that gives the film its spark.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Stina Chyn
Film Threat
December 6, 2013
Desplechin's film is so well cast and the relationships so authentically depicted that it's okay not to be completely or partially taken by Junon, Henri, and the rest of their kin.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Alissa Wilkinson
Paste Magazine
December 6, 2013
A Christmas Tale is a lively, capricious, mischievous ensemble delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.5/10
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 6, 2013
Despite occasional bouts of tedium over the epic course, a surprising buoyancy emerges: Desplechin's methods begin to inform, even brighten, the message.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 6, 2013
Desplechin is an inspired impurist. His Christmas Tale is untidy, overstuffed and delicious: a genuine holiday feast.
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
December 4, 2012
The movie teems with the excitement of unwrapping a present, even as it deals more seriously with the intractability of blood ties.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
August 16, 2011
Even Amalric's ray of light can't penetrate the gloom enough to make this much more than a rather strained actors' exercise.
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
November 29, 2009
The film (has) a sensibility that is paradoxically both old-fashioned and very modern.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
July 22, 2009
Till life do us part
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Enrique Buchichio
Uruguay Total
July 1, 2009
Un drama coral y familiar sobre relaciones disfuncionales, viejos rencores, odios y amores, enfermedad y muerte. Puede resultar tan desconcertante e irritante como sorprendente y humana. Lo innegable es la calidad de su elenco.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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