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Joyeux NoŽl (Merry Christmas) Reviews

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July 13, 2014
This is the best Christmas movie I have ever seen
December 22, 2013
Perfect for Christmas.
Andrew A.
January 11, 2014
An underrated movie about the true meaning of christmas.
December 3, 2007
Wonderful movie based on a true story during WW1 in France between the Germans, Scots, & French when humanity and peace kicked in and they enjoyed Christmas together in the trenches.
December 22, 2013
A holiday pick that must be watched at least once.
Alynic B.
December 13, 2013
Realistically depicted drama shows humanity on all sides of the war, regardless of ideologies that have caused the war. Morals: +3; Form: +4
Dann M

Super Reviewer

December 3, 2011
It's one of the most amazing war stories ever told, and demonstrates the awe-inspiring power of Christmas. Joyeux Noel is an exceptional film that tells the true story of the spontaneous 1914 Christmas truce of World War I. The film does an exquisite job at bringing the characters to life, and at drawing the audience into story. Rarely has a film depicted the life of the World War I soldier and the complexity of war so well. Joyeux Noel is a loving tribute to the soldiers who found the Christmas spirit during the madness of war.
January 10, 2012
Beautiful little film but I wept uncontrollably for about five to ten minutes in the middle. Im a sucker for a bit of silent night.
December 1, 2013
In times of war you rarely see a shining moment, well prepare to be awed with what happened in the middle of World War I. Truly an inspiring film of true events, proving to us once again that humanity needs music and art, aspects in our lives that help cultures find common grounds.
October 27, 2013
Peace, kindness and "sharing" together...is what Christmas is all about and should be extended in "all" times. Remarkable film about camaraderie between young wise leaders and their men...it was a "moment" that history will never forget...I know I won't...
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

December 25, 2007
A bit heavy handed, and it sets the table for far too long, but it's a refreshing war film in that it's not really about war: little death, no more violence than necessary and virtually no blood or gore. It's a story about people rising above their circumstances, and it's worth watching solely for the tension created as the ceasefire's being brokered. A slow but important film full of beautiful moments.
October 7, 2013
A good war film doesn't necessarily have to deal with heart-pounding action scenes, and the most glorious moments in war were not those of bloodshed nor victory parades. It's when the soldiers put down their guns and embrace their enemies, when the war was put on hold even just for one night. Based on the true event of 1914's Christmas Truce, this film is a heartfelt yet powerful anti-war sentiment. With wonderful soundtracks, beautiful shots and heartwarming scenes, this movie is highly recommended!
August 11, 2013
There is an element of censorship about this, especially the state of the trenches and the uniforms despite it being the early days of the war. That aside it does capture the incredible moment of three warring trenches coming to a cease fire and realising that the their enemy is a human being such as themselves. The alarm this must have caused several high commands can only be guessed at, but the film does manage to convey an emotional response and a level of understanding of the many that lost their lives in such a heartless way.
August 5, 2013
With the presence of humanity among the participants of the war itself, the inhumanity of higher hierarchies who has contribute nothing to the war is more resentful and idiotic. Indeed, the three countries depicted in the film have nothing to do with the outbreak of the war itself. They are just engulfed because they have to and have long been prepared to. The civilians, like the leading characters here, are really pathetic because of the stupid politicians. Worse still, the stupidity prevailed and caused a bigger human disaster 35 years later. Who else is brave enough to resist, like Diane Kruger? A heartwarming Christmas gift with a bitter ending, in the hope to promote the clichť of world peace. But will there ever be a long-lasting peace?
April 28, 2013
Unlike so many war films this film doesn't over-step the mark with an overly-obsessive focus on the harrowing images of war and a near medical precision with getting the fx right when someone is blown to bits.

This film concentrates on some distinct characters - a Scottish Captain (Ferns), a French Lieutenant (Canet) and a German Commander (BrŁhl) and his opera-singing misfit soldier. It is a tribute to the production that the production is for the most part tri-lingual and does it's best to remind the audience that the First World War was in fact fought fairly equally between these three nations on the Western Front (despite the late arrival of the Americans). The plot is nicely balanced and uses some actual facts about the first Xmas in the trenches in 1914 (apparently the Germans did sing 'Silent Night on Xmas eve, and did have Xmas trees on the trench-tops and somehow contrived to play their opposite numbers at a game of soccer on Xmas day!) The script even manages to get a woman into the frontline (deftly played by Diana Kruger - fresh from her debut in Troy) and neatly intertwines the viewpoints of the three warring nations. The three officers are all superbly acted and the real task of any film is to get the audience to care about the characters ... which you invariably do. The Scotsman is an irreverent rogue, but nevertheless a decent sort, the French Lieutenant is a troubled philosopher and missing his wife, the German commander seems harsh at first but gradually warms and shows that he is a young-man in very difficult circumstances.

The film has little conclusion other than the futility of war - pretty much standard issue for a WWI film I guess - but because the emphasis is not so much on the fighting but how they carve out a brief reprieve from the insane slaughter, the film does acquire an edge over other similar war films.

If you enjoyed 'A Very Long Engagement' then you will like this film.
April 18, 2013
Carion's film means well and carries a wonderful message of peace and humanity, but it does so thought over-sentimentalisation and by compiling a list of the most conventional and predictable of vignettes.
ruizmegan228
March 4, 2013
I saw this movie in 10th grade. The details have blurred a bit for me over the past six years, but I distinctly remembering how much I loved this movie and wanted to own it. I thought it was beautiful and poignant and something I'd love for years. I plan to buy this as soon as my paycheck comes in.
February 7, 2013
Directed by Christian Carion (The Girl from Paris (2001) and Farewell (2009)), this is an international film with a large international cast. It focuses on the story of the first Christmas during the First Great War. It shows that war is caused by politicians and monarchs, not by armies. Some of whom don't want to be there or see the point in fighting. It's good for the most part, but it does drag. Set on the Western Front in December 1914, where we focus on 6 characters on both sides of No Man's Land. Scottish Lieutenant Gordon (Alex Ferns), French Lieutenant Audebert (Guillaume Canet), German Lieutenant Horstmayer (Daniel BrŁhl), Scottish Priest Palmer (Gary Lewis), German Tenor Nikolaus Sprink (Benno FŁrmann) and his Danish lover and fellow soprano Anna SÝrensen (Diane Kruger), as they all converge on No Man's Land after a brutal few days of fighting. An unofficial truce begins on Christmas Eve, which begins when the Scottish troops sing Christmas songs, while the German's play football on No Man's Land. Yet, how long can this seasonal truce last?? It's a side of the war which has seldom been depicted on film, only in documentaries and it was good to see a film show both sides of the war, without taking sides. It's a shame the film does drag a bit, and it's sentimentality does mar the proceedings, and it's message is muddled.
Four Star Film Fan
February 7, 2013
A historical depiction of the events surround a Christmas ceasefire during WWI. I found this film fascinating because we go back and forth between both sides. We switch languages and develop an understanding of what the Scottsh, French, and Germans were going through
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