Looking for a good holiday movie? Stick to the classics. Whatever you do, skip A Christmas Tale by Arnaud Desplechin. This newly released DVD can be found tucked alongside The Grinch that Stole Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, and dozens of other feel-good standards. But donâ€™t be duped. This film doesnâ€™t deserve such good company. The DVD jacket is dressed with quality quotes of positive film reviews, one going so far as to name it â€œ#1 film of the year.â€ Letâ€™s be honest. This is the #1 yawn of the year.
The movie takes place in France, so youâ€™ll need to read subtitles. Itâ€™s about a dysfunctional family: the sister banishes a brother from her life; the mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness; and the grandson is sent to a mental institution. Then the whole family comes together for the holiday, and the viewer must endure their puffy speeches and trying interactions. The only likeable moments are those shared between the outcast son and his mother, whose constant banter about hating one another is clearly their distant manner of sharing affection.
Despite the jacketâ€™s description of the film as a â€œblack comedy,â€ Continue reading “A Christmas Tale: DVD Review”