Arnaud Desplechin

A Christmas Tale

A Christmas Tale

In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can’t begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that’s equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A Christmas Tale ties it all together in a marvelously messy package.

Film Info

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Arnaud Desplechin, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • L’aimée, Desplechin’s 2007 documentary about the selling of his family home
  • Arnaud's Tale, a new 35-minute documentary featuring interviews with Desplechin and actors Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Philip Lopate

New cover by Rodrigo Corral

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Arnaud Desplechin, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • L’aimée, Desplechin’s 2007 documentary about the selling of his family home
  • Arnaud's Tale, a new 35-minute documentary featuring interviews with Desplechin and actors Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Philip Lopate

New cover by Rodrigo Corral

A Christmas Tale
Cast
Catherine Deneuve
Junon
Jean-Paul Roussillon
Abel
Mathieu Amalric
Henri
Anne Consigny
Elizabeth
Melvil Poupaud
Ivan
Emmanuelle Devos
Faunia
Chiara Mastroianni
Sylvia
Emile Berling
Paul
Hippolyte Girardot
Claude
Laurent Capelluto
Simon
Credits
Director
Arnaud Desplechin
Screenplay
Arnaud Desplechin
Screenplay
Emmanuel Bourdieu
Producer
Pascal Caucheteux
Cinematography
Eric Gautier
Editing
Laurence Briaud
Music
Grégoire Hetzel
Production design
Dan Bevan

From The Current

Outlier Looking In: Emmanuelle Devos in A Christmas Tale

Performances

Outlier Looking In: Emmanuelle Devos in A Christmas Tale

Amid the tumultuous family dynamics on display in Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale, Emmanuelle Devos delivers a performance of remarkable subtlety and lyricism.

By Howard Hampton

On Film / Features — Dec 20, 2017
Stephen Cone’s Top 10

Stephen Cone is a Chicago-based filmmaker whose latest, Princess Cyd, opens in theaters November 2017.


Oct 24, 2017
Impure Cinema: A Conversation with Arnaud Desplechin
Impure Cinema: A Conversation with Arnaud Desplechin

The French filmmaker discussed revisiting the world of his breakthrough feature, his desire to communicate with a younger generation, and his signature cinematic flourishes.

By Hillary Weston

On Film / Interviews — Mar 18, 2016
Paul Schneider’s Top 10

Actor, writer, and director Paul Schneider has long been a devotee of the Criterion Collection.


Feb 25, 2016
A Desplechin Christmas in Los Angeles

Repertory Picks

A Desplechin Christmas in Los Angeles

Just in time for December’s holiday gatherings and celebrations, the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles will screen Arnaud Desplechin’s 2008 film A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), as part of its monthly series La Collectionneuse, which is devo…

On Film / In Theaters
Dec 17, 2015
Olivier Assayas’s Top 10

French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has directed fifteen features, including Cold Water, Irma Vep, Demonlover, Summer Hours, Carlos, and Clouds of Sils Maria.


May 29, 2015
Blue Christmas
Blue Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But you wouldn’t know it from all of the melancholy Christmas films that have been made over the years. In this video essay, we investigate the longstanding tradition of bleak midwinters at the movies (A …

A Christmas Tale:
The Inescapable Family

In the eight films he’s made since 1991, Arnaud Desplechin has been developing a visionary world, a personal style that goes against the grain of standard cinematic practice today. He’s a master of ensemble mise-en-scène and a brilliant director…

By Phillip Lopate


Dec 1, 2009
The Fantastic Monsieurs Anderson and Desplechin

For the new issue of Interview magazine, Wes Anderson sat down in Paris with another of our favorite contemporary auteurs, Arnaud Desplechin, who interviewed him in anticipation of the November release of Anderson’s animated Roald Dahl adaptation F…


Oct 29, 2009

Explore

Catherine Deneuve

Actor

One of cinema’s great beauties, Catherine Deneuve (born Catherine Dorléac in Paris in 1943) is also an icon of the transformative cinematic 1960s. The daughter of two actors and the sister of three (one of whom, Françoise Dorléac, died in a car crash in 1967), Deneuve has acting in her blood. After her major breakthrough in Jacques Demy’s poignant 1964 musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Deneuve continued to prove she was more than just a pretty face in Roman Polanski’s thriller Repulsion and Luis Buñuel’s surreal erotic daydream Belle de jour. Those films may exploit Deneuve’s crystalline loveliness for its seeming inscrutability, but her portrayals of sexual repression in both (and her shocking embodiment of schizophrenia in the former) make for two of the most vivid performances of the era. Those roles set her on the path to becoming a full-fledged movie star, and she went on to act for François Truffaut, Alain Cavalier, Marco Ferreri, and Jean-Pierre Melville. Her performances have grown richer as she’s aged; today, she is a true grand dame of the cinema, and her compellingly enigmatic looks—once interpreted as fragile—have taken on a mature imperiousness, as evidenced in such films as Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale (in which she costars with her daughter with Marcello Mastroianni, Chiara Mastroianni).