Joyeux NoŽl (Merry Christmas) Reviews
The film opens with three school children, one from France, Britain and Germany, each relaying a patriotic speech to the camera, each one taught to belittle their enemy nation. This opening alone garnered my full attention, secondly the fact that director Christian Carion chose to allow each nation to converse in their own language (English, French and German) was a fantastic idea and one that we see so little in cinema, not just modern, but the classics too. It's fantastic to see a director respecting each country presented by allowing them to represent their nation through their own language, thus forming a sort of barrier between the group of soldiers upon their truce, that acts as a fun challenge of deciphering. As much as I respect American cinema, this is something many US filmmakers should look at pursuing rather than leaving every foreign national speaking with a strong American accent.
Carion further displays Joyeux NoŽl as an anti-war film, which are my all-time favourite in the war genre, something that displays the horrors and sorrow behind war rather than glorifying it and shining a lot on over patriotic soldiers who win the war to an overzealous musical score. This gives the film a very sympathetic view towards both the Allied and Central powers, but more than anything it promotes the themes of peace at Christmas. This is a powerful movie to definitely watch.
Joyeux Noel has become one of our Christmas favourites.
This is a warm, beautiful and telling story of the horror and absurdity of war. The soldiers who fight it and die and suffer in it and the out of touch leaders who prosecute it but remain safe and far removed from the reality of it. This is a touching story made all the better because it is based on actual events on Christmas Eve, 1914.
The fact that it's based on a true story really did manage to get my interest. This is not a classic war movie; it's much more than that. It's amazing to see people from different nations interact like we humans are all the same. It also gives a new and nuanced perspective on WW1. We see the war from 3 different angles, the French, Scottish and the Germans. The movie incapacitates our differences and show that we are all living on the same earth, and that we can get along. We only have to talk. I admit that there are some slow and less entertaining scenes in this movie, and I expected much more action. But I still enjoyed it!
Merry Christmas (Joyeux NoŽl in French) gets a 7/10.