La Lettre (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

La Lettre (1999)

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Movie Info

Noted French screenwriter Daniele Thompson makes her directorial debut with this lighthearted romantic comedy. After the December 21st funeral of Yvette's (Francoise Fabian) second husband, she is consoled by the three daughters from her first marriage to Stanislas (Claude Rich), a Russian-Jewish violinist. The oldest, Lorba (Sabine Azema), lives with her father and makes a living by singing ballads in a Russian cabaret, Sonia (Emmanuelle Beart) is a fastidious middle-class housewife, and Yvette's youngest, Milla (Charlotte Gainsbourg), is a go-getting businesswoman. As Christmas celebrations gather steam, Louba learns that at age 42, she is unexpectedly pregnant by Gilbert, her married lover of 12 years. Meanwhile, Sonia develops a habit of taking five-finger discounts while shopping, and Milla takes up with a mysterious drifter who lives as a boarder in Stanislas' house.
Rating:
NR (not rated)
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Pathé

Cast

Claude Rich
as Stanislas
Isabelle Carré
as Annabelle
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Critic Reviews for La Lettre

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8)

There's little originality.

April 18, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Elegantly folds together multiple storylines ... into a confection that is ultimately better because of its bitterness.

December 21, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Sparklingly acted by a fine ensemble cast.

December 14, 2001
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The tone is light, the Michel Legrand music is high in calories and the result is a very handsome, well-appointed soap opera.

Full Review… | November 30, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Thompson keeps her focus (and ours) on the actors, most of whom have never been as luminous as they are here.

August 15, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

Never quite escapes from the familiar melodramatic cavern in which it becomes trapped.

Full Review… | February 21, 2001
ReelViews
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for La Lettre

a very nicely textured russian-french-jewish christmas family drama. good performances by all, especially the father. music by my fave legrand is charming too.

Aaron Chuah
Aaron Chuah
½

Stanislas and Yvette had three daughters. She left him to marry another one. Stanislas leaves with the middle daughter, Louba, which is a Russian singer and dancer. Louba is for 12 years waiting for her affair, Gilbert, to leave his wife that is pregnant again. The oldest daughter, Sonia, repeats her parents marriage. The youngest daughter is Milla, a character that is not so easy to describe. It is necessary to watch the moive to understand this family dynamic, and to have fun with all the surprises.

Claudia Feitosa-Santana Hernandez
Claudia Feitosa-Santana Hernandez

What better time to find out you have a brother you never knew about, than the holidays! This is a humorous French movie about a family that discovers secrets about each other and about themselves just in time for Christmas. I thought it was strange that all the Christmas songs were in English though. The three daughters Louba, Sonia, and Milla all lead different lives but come to understand each other more after their step-father dies. Louba sings at a Russian restaurant (beautifully by the way) and is having an affair with a married man for the past 12 years. Sonia is rich and snobby and while everyone thinks she is perfect, her marriage is falling apart with its own affair. Milla is the youngest and the most rebellious. She says she tends to scare men off when she just wants to be loved. This movie is really funny. Even though their father has slept with a lot of women and produced a son he thought he kept hidden from his family, he still wants a happy Christmas. If you like movies about dysfunctional families and want to watch one that is more comedy than drama, you might enjoy this one!

~Lissa~  .
~Lissa~ .

Super Reviewer

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