Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (2006)
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as Anna Sorensen
as Nikolaus Sprink
as Le Konprinz
as La Chatelaine
as Le Chatelain
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Critic Reviews for Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
Unfolding slowly, then building in momentum like the hymns themselves, this entire sequence is tremendously affecting.
You can't watch this film without thinking about modern wars and about how much easier it is to demonize a foe when language and customs are more at odds.
For all their friendship and yuletide charity, the men must return to battle, and the miracle of Christmas does little to alter the course of war. By the end of it, they must decide if they've witnessed their own grand illusion.
Some might castigate its unabashed sentimentality, but I found myself moved, especially when I recalled that this was supposedly the war to end all wars.
It's a respectful, sobering tribute to the flickering of humanitarian spirit amid the darkest days of conflict and, as such, surely a Christmas film for the ages.
Well-photographed and acted, Joyeux Noël suffers most from the inevitable comparison with its betters, such films as Paths of Glory or All Quiet on the Western Front.
Audience Reviews for Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
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.
An incredibly thought provoking depiction of the WW1 Christmas ceasefire between the Germans, French and the Scottish. The uniting of each of the countries is especially moving and we get to see each solider as an ordinary human being, without the trails and tribulations of war on their mind. Interestingly, the meeting of German and French soldiers on some occasions is at times funny to watch, as both try to understand one another. One of the highlights of the film is the brilliant soundtrack. We see Opera singer Sprink sing to all soldiers in quite a poignant moment, which leaves all 3 sets of soldiers incredibly touched. What is so great about that, is that this relates to all occasions of war and that's why it feels more real that we are witnessing.The film has all the best European actors from; Daniel Bruhl, Diane Kruger, to Guillaume Canet to Gary Lewis. This just goes to show just how brilliant European filming really can be. This may very well be one of my top 5 favourite war films. Highly recommended.
Inspired by true events during WWI. ......Touching and poignant, this is a powerfully good Christmas movie. Well acted, well directed, well filmed. You see and feel the difficulty of war, the suffering of the men, the bitter cold of a Belgian winter, and the redemptive power of Christmas even through the darkest of times and events. We also get a good sense of the hypocrisy of the various leaders as they frantically thrash about trying to contain the news of a small outbreak of peace on the Belgian front. Highly recommended.
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