Un Conte de NoŽl (A Christmas Tale) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Un Conte de NoŽl (A Christmas Tale) Reviews

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.
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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
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 6, 2013
Desplechin is an inspired impurist. His Christmas Tale is untidy, overstuffed and delicious: a genuine holiday feast.
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 16, 2009
You could, of course, forgive the whole enterprise as the extravagances of an intellectual fairytale, but the film's wayward eccentricities outweigh its good performances and breezy telling of a jumble of a plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 12, 2008
In this dark comedy everyone is at the end of someone else's strings.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
December 5, 2008
[It] will make anyone dreading the holidays with their family grateful for what strife they may face. It's nothing compared to what the Vuillard clan gets up to.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
December 5, 2008
A triumph of willed optimism (or perhaps more accurately, of grudging good nature) over unhappy experiences...
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Derek Elley
Variety
December 5, 2008
Never devolves into a tedious two-and-a-half hours of self-examination. But it also never goes very far, either.
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
November 21, 2008
Characters occasionally address the camera, which helps disentangle the competing story lines of madness, adultery, and betrayal.
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
November 21, 2008
There are simply too many marvels to tally.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 21, 2008
To tweak Tolstoy: All happy families may be alike, but all unhappy-family movies are entertaining in their own ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 21, 2008
Even though it's pretentious and overlong, A Christmas Tale is still maddeningly engaging, thanks in large part to its attractive and gifted cast.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 21, 2008
A strangely encompassing collection of private moments among the members of a large family with a fraught history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 20, 2008
Roiling with laughter, tears, drunken confessions, revelatory soliloquies, pain, sorrow, hospital visits, and various kinds of love, A Christmas Tale is a smart, sprawling, and sublimely entertaining feast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 20, 2008
It's a simple picture about complicated people, the members and sometime-combatants of the extended Vuillard family.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 19, 2008
A Christmas Tale is long but it exerts enough of a pull that the 150 minutes pass rapidly, if not necessarily painlessly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 17, 2008
Watching A Christmas Tale is like getting to know a family other than your own by leafing through its scrapbooks and laughing at its photograph albums, while it bickers in the next room over stuff you may never understand.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 17, 2008
I'd be more inclined to call this French dysfunctional family epic gabby and preeningly self-indulgent -- in a word, annoying.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 14, 2008
A long, improbably funny and very beautiful film.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 14, 2008
Some wry humor runs through the course of the overly long saga. But there's not enough dark wit to mitigate the tedium and pretentiousness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 14, 2008
After two and a half hours in the thrilling, exhausting company of the characters in A Christmas Tale, the intimacy we feel with them is wired with surprise.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 14, 2008
If Ingmar Bergman and Wes Anderson some how collaborated on a movie together, I'd guess their sensibilities would yield something like Arnaud Desplechin's darkly hilarious, brilliantly acted A Christmas Tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 14, 2008
Wry, observant and frequently heartbreaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2008
These infuriating, involving individuals are so resolutely themselves, so sure they are right by their own lights, they exist in a world beyond anyone's judgment.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 14, 2008
Getting through these first 20 minutes is as necessary as plowing through the first 50 pages of a 19th century novel. Once that work is over, the movie's singular pleasures reveal themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
November 13, 2008
It's the definition of a film meant to be admired more than loved, but Desplechin's fierce intelligence and uncompromising sense of character come through.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 13, 2008
Followed by Desplechin‚(TM)s restless camera, they roam the house, which is at once a lived-in haven and a mausoleum filled with the relics of past battles and shifting alliances.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 12, 2008
Out of the most ordinary ingredients -- an ailing mother, estranged adult siblings, a good meal ruined by bad behavior -- the endlessly inventive French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin has made the old look fresh in A Christmas Tale.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 12, 2008
Deft, playful, fluid, haunting, and filled with the joy of filmmaking.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 12, 2008
A Christmas Tale is a film experience to be seen and savored for its exquisite delineation of human feelings and foibles.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 12, 2008
Dark secrets are unlocked, words draw more blood than punches, and [director] Desplechin turns one family into a universe that resembles life as a startling work of art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 10, 2008
A Christmas Tale is a bad dream with just enough distance to give us a midwinter's night's laugh.
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Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
November 4, 2008
What's troubling is its lack of perspective on anything beyond the narrow, navel-gazing concerns of its characters.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 16, 2008
A marvelously rich visual, intellectual and emotional experience, one that I expect will grow deeper with repeat viewings.